Aviation, Safety, Technology, Travel FAR's & Humor!

Some Lucky Shots . . .

We took off from Anchorage the other night behind FedEx 90.  We were on the same route for a while. When we got to altitude, it turns out we were 2000 higher and slightly behind.  We were running about .1Mach faster and had slightly better winds… as a result, I managed to get some of the shots you see in this slideshow.  Click the photo for the slideshow.

FedEx 90 over Alaska

FedEx 90 over Alaska

You can also ge HERE to see some raw videos of this flight.

May 24th, 2009 Posted by | Aviation Photography, Photos | no comments

The “Tokyo Out -N- Back”!

I just completed a few ‘firsts’ this week.  Considering I’ve been doing this for more than 13 years, this is somewhat remarkable.  I left the house at 0545 Wednesday morning, and walked back in about 5:15 pm Friday evening.  That’s a total of just under 60 hours.  In that time I flew from BOS to MEM and started my official pre-trip crew rest.  At 0315 Thu morning we launched for NRT (New Tokyo International Airport – Narita)

The route is displayed here: This is roughly the path and the speed we flew.  While on a map, it appears to be that we ‘curved’ north – perhaps to follow a route close to land, the fact is, this is a ‘great circle route.  If you were to take a piece of string and lay it on a globe from MEM to NRT, this is the path the string would show as the shortest distance between two points.

It was about 13:49 air time, (average 80 knots headwind) and 14:30 block time. As we landed in NRT on Friday morning (local time) the visibility and ceiling were unrestricted, thus allowing for a fabulous view of snow-capped Mount-Fuji shortly after sunrise.  This is the longest flight I can recall doing since I’ve been flying.  The other long flights I’ve operated are Paris to Manila, and Osaka to Memphis.  I then waited in NRT about 4.5 hours, and took the next flight home… NWA 12 from NRT to DTW then BOS.

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji

From the time I left MEM at 0320 and arrived in BOS at 1520 was about 36 hours. In that time, I spent about 28:45 on moving airplanes. OUCH!  The big trick to surviving this is 1. Hydration. Lots and lots of water. 2. Good rest. While I can’t and DON’T take anything as an operating crew member, as a passenger on NWA, I did take a ‘simply sleep’ and managed to get about 7.5 hours straight sleep on the flight from NRT to DTW.

While this type of flying is ‘once in a lifetime’ for many people, it’s just part of what I do. I frequently ride passenger carriers to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, etc and get paid to do it. I try to always remain conscious of how special it is, and how lucky I am to get to do something that many people would love to do, but will never or only rarely have the opportunity.

Semper Fly!


November 21st, 2008 Posted by | Aviation Photography, General Information, Travel | no comments

SwissAir A-340

SwissAir A-340

Originally uploaded by boxav8r

We passed this jet just south of Moscow on Sep. 12, 2008. Beautiful viz and a relatively smooth ride!

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | Aviation Photography, Travel | no comments

Russian Airplane Video

Shot some stills and even managed a little video of an Antonov AN-22 Antheus today.  Put the Russian Nat’l Anthem to it because I could… don’t read anything into it. :) It held the distinction as the largest airplane in the world from 1965 to 1969 when the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy came into service. It was a very big airplane, and it seemed to take as long as any I’ve ever seen to get off that runway. Once it did, it certainly didn’t ‘leap’ into the air. A very lumbering, cumbersome, lazy climb. From the start of the takeoff roll until it rotated was more than 40 seconds. I edited down for time, and because it took so long I was unable to maintain focus over the 3 miles or so distance as the aircraft climbed away. The final ‘still’ is pulled from the video on departure.

Some of the other stills you’ll see are of the MMi-8 “Hip” helicopter, IL-76, and the TU-154 “727-ski”… a very close cousin of the Boeing 727!

Thanks for watching! I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | Photos, Travel | no comments

MI-8 Hip

, originally uploaded by boxav8r.

An MI-8 Hip. This one has a UN paint scheme on it.

The designation Mi-17 is for export; Russian armed forces call it Mi-8MT. The Mi-17 can be recognized because it has the tail rotor on the port side instead of the starboard side, and dust shields in front of the engine intakes. Engine cowls are shorter than on the TV2 powered Mi-8, not extending as far over the cockpit, and an opening for bleed-valve outlet is present forward of the exhaust.

General characteristics

* Crew: Three – two pilots and one engineer
* Capacity: 32 passengers or 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) on internal/4,500
kg (10,250 lb) external hardpoints.
* Length: 18.42 m (60 ft 5 in)
* Rotor diameter: 21.352 m (69 ft 10 in)
* Height: 4.76 m (15 ft 7 in)
* Disc area: 356 m² (3,830 ft²)
* Empty weight: 7,100 kg (15,700 lb)
* Loaded weight: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 13,000 kg (28,700 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Klimov TV3-117VM turboshafts, 1,450 kW (2225 shp) each


* Maximum speed: 250 km/h (156 mph)
* Range: 950 km (594 miles)
* Service ceiling 6,000 m (19,690 ft)
* Rate of climb: 8 m/s (1,575 ft/min)
* Disc loading: 31 kg/m² (6 lb/ft²)
* Power/mass: 0.26 kW/kg (0.16 hp/lb)

* Fuel consumption: 600 kg/h (1,320 lb/h)


* up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of disposable stores on six hardpoints, including bombs, rockets, and gunpods.

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | General Information, Photos | no comments

Tupolev TU-154

, originally uploaded by boxav8r.

An Uzbeki Airlines jet on the ramp near us. Lovingly referred to as the “727ski” for its strong resemblance to the Boeing 727!

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | General Information, Photos | no comments

Yangtze River Express

, originally uploaded by boxav8r.

This was on the ground next to us in Shanghai. It’s actually 3 photos stitched together!

Boeing 747-400

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | General Information, Photos, Travel | no comments

Great Wall

, originally uploaded by boxav8r.

And a few minutes later we saw part of the Great Wall!

This is from about 33000 feet.

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | General Information, Photos, Travel | no comments

West-Bound Around… July 2008

Finally back at home ‘recovering’ from my odyssey around the world.  As always, it is lots of fun to circumnavigate the globe, but it does take its toll on the body!  Just going to throw in a couple of the cool pics I was able to take along the way.

Moonset over Hawaii

Moonset over Hawaii

This was an amazing moon set. I hesitate to put these types of photos up, because they just don’t do justice to the real thing.  It was a clear, full moon and the colors were amazing.

South to Tomorrow!

South to Tomorrow!

While going from HNL to SYD, we passed very close to the point where the International Dateline and the Equator meet… hence the caption “South to Tomorrow”.  The picture is of the cockpit display. I made a waypoint called “Zero” at 0 degrees latitude and 180 longitude.  The line 90 coming out of it is the equator, and the lline 180 is the International Dateline. 124 is the bearing at which we passed closest to point zero.  “ARTOP” is just a waypoint on our flight plan.  Nothing there but a geographical reference for ATC to keep tabs on us along the way.

Sydney Panorama at dawn.

Sydney at Dawn

This is a compilation of four photos I took on the Harbor Bridge of Sydney at dawn on 22 July 08!

Sydney Harbor Bridge at sunrise.

Sydney Harbor Bridge at sunrise.

This was a beautiful, cold, July morning.  About 6C (43F) and since I was still on Hawaii time, I was easily up by about 3 am. I walked out on the bridge and took pictures of the Sydney skyline at dawn.  I then walked down to City Etc. cafe for breakfast. as I was walking out, I saw the early sun reflecting off the bridge and got this.

Ice in the bay!

Ice in the bay!

Many miles between Sydney and here… this is Greenland at about midnight (above the Arctic Circle in the summer).  At first glance, it looked like sailboats in the the water; it’s funny how the mind tries to make sense of what you see. A zoom in quickly show it to be chunks of ice.  Much larger bergs were off the coast to the south.

Boston Skyline at Sunrise

Boston Skyline at Sunrise

Finally, the morning I arrived back in Boston, while waiting for the Water Taxi bus to the terminal, I got this shot of the Boston skyline at sunrise.  It’s actually five shots stitched together.  The sun reflecting off the buildings makes this view from Logan one of the more stunning sunrise city-scapes in the world.

Hope this isnt’ too boring for you. I just try to appreciate every day the privilege I have of getting to move heavy-metal around the world, get paid to do it, and see so many interesteing people and places along the way.

-Boxav8r, out.

August 1st, 2008 Posted by | Photos | no comments

Lucky Shot…

Taxiing in to FRA last week – I saw the reflection – struggled to get the camera out in time… That was lucky – because if I’d taken the picture when I first saw it, the airport sign wouldn’t have been in view!
Frankfurt - Taxi to Parking.

May 28th, 2008 Posted by | Photos | no comments