Remarks: Having just completed fueling, two Marine Corps F-18s from MCAS Beaufort, SC hover just off our right wing high above the California desert near Lake Havasu. The unmistakable profile of the beautiful 707 wing, still fitted with P&W JT3Ds, will stick in my mind for a long, long time!
Remarks: The conclusion of a wonderful 7½ hour flight aboard the Omega Air Tanker as we're on short final for runway 25L at McCarran Airport on a beautiful, clear Las Vegas evening. A world of thanks to this flight crew for making our trip so enjoyable!
Remarks: A quick photo of the new BusinessFirst seats onboard Continental's first 777. As far as I know, this is the first photo of the new BF seats (only installed on the 772 to this point) online. Seat pair 3K/L shown. 3K would be my ride home aboard CO11 from CDG-IAH, with my good buddy and JP.net contributor Chris Starnes taking 3L!
Remarks: Blasting out of St. Maarten and starting a quick right turn with such force that I was physically unable to move forward in my seat to get more of the wing in this shot. Departing SXM is always fun; departing on a 757 at max thrust with a 3,000 foot takeoff roll and climbing at over 25 degrees is just magical!
Remarks: Air France 488, daily service from Paris, passes quietly in the distance as folks at the Maho Beach Resort go about their business with nary a glance. One benefit of visiting St. Maarten in the summer is that many of the hotels are nearly vacant, meaning that, often times, you have the whole swimming pool, bar, or what have you, totally to yourselves.
Remarks: Getting out of dodge just before the weather turned really ugly in St. Maarten, aboard AA2160 to Miami. The poor conditions in this photo were caused by Tropical Depression 4, which was centered about 80 miles south at the time. This sytem would later turn into Hurricane Dennis! In this photo, you can clearly see the new passenger terminal going up at Juliana, as well as the runway extension which will extend the runway some 1,000 feet to the east into Simpson Bay.
Remarks: The action of getting this shot was a hundred times more thrilling than the resultant photo. Imagine, laying on your stomach on a pretty steep hill, facing the runway, camera in hand, hearing total silence behind you... knowing there's an airplane coming. The topography of St. Barths prevents hearing an approaching aircraft until several seconds before it's on top of you. All of the sudden, you hear the plane come over the hill, whining in reverse pitch, so loud you feel like it's going to hit you. As it clears you by a matter of feet, you feel the rush of wind, still unable to see the airplane at all. Finally, it appears in your viewfinder. What a rush!
Remarks: Normally, in the summer, Continental's daily Newark flight is operated by a 737-700. High loads this Saturday caused an equipment change to a 757-200, however, and the result is seen buzzing Maho Beach just seconds from touchdown.
Remarks: KLM's deep blue color scheme lends itself perfectly to the surroundings of beautiful turquoise Caribbean water as she floats across Maho Beach toward runway 09 at Juliana. Quite a number of folks have assembled at the Sunset Beach Bar for her arrival, and a few of the more adventuresome have congregated on the beach under the extended centerline to feel the once in a lifetime rush of a jumbo just overheard.
Remarks: St. Maarten's long-time passenger terminal, to me, has tons of charm and character. The small, overcrowded building is the first to greet you when you arrive, and the last to bid you farewell when you leave.. and despite her age, has gotten the job done for more than the last 20 years. Alas, however, times change, and demand grows. Overshadowing the current facilities, on the left side of this photo, the new, modern glass and steel terminal which will replace the old is well under way. The new facility will feature four jetbridges, dual levels; everything a modern terminal needs. It won't, however, give first time visitors the experience of stepping out of the aircraft into the warm, humid air, and onto airstairs for the walk across the ramp to immigration, which is how, I think, it should happen in the Caribbean. The new terminal is slated to open in Spring 2006, and the old buildings will be demolished. We'll miss you old girl -- thanks for all of the wonderful memories!
Remarks: In a scene that could very well be from a postcard, brilliant colors of all hues come together perfectly harmoniously. Even the man-made red roofs seem to fit right into the scene. And the best part? This scene is a hundred times more beautiful in person!
Remarks: Having been to St. Maarten five times over the last five years, I've become quite weary of the standard 'over the beach' shot that's become so popular from one of the most scenic places to view aircraft in the world. On this trip, I really concentrated on trying to capture angles and compositions I'd never seen from St. Maarten before. This photo captures, I feel, the greater essence of St. Maarten: people enjoying the pool, sunning on lounge chairs, enjoying lunch at the Tortoga Beach Cafe, and even a single person snorkling just off shore in the beautiful waters of Maho Bay. There is so much more to St. Maarten than taking airplane pictures, and it's a shame some people don't ever take the time to realize that.
Remarks: St. Barthelemy, to me, is the 'true Caribbean' -- not yet overrun by tourists, still featuring a simple, laid back way of life, and a society in which only French, the native tongue, is spoken. A true getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and a welcome refresher for anyone who has the opportunity to visit! Here, an Islander from the 'hometown airline' is in her last seconds of flight before landing on runway 10 at SBH which, flanked by breathtaking terrain, beautiful turqouise beaches, and the warm Caribbean sun, must be one of the most beautiful airports in the world. [1600x1094]