I got a new Olympus SP550-UZ camera at Christmas time. With 18x optical zoom, it was a huge improvement over my previous camera, an Olympus C2100-UZ. But after testing it out at DFW at the end of December, I realized I needed just a hair more “oomph” and bought an Olympus TCON-17 1.7x teleconverter. That did it.
Plane spotting at DFW is always a bit boring for long stretches because you get to watch American Airlines’ MD-80 and B737 aircraft land all day long with very few other airlines to break things up. On this visit, I managed to catch the AA PinkRibbon Susan G. Komen Embraer RJ once more. I captured a Sun Country Airlines 737, an Airtran 717 and a Lufthansa A340 all taking off or landing on the far runway from Founder’s Plaza. Previously, they would have been a tiny spec in my camera.
I also saw a hawk standing in the field at the foot of the runway watching both us, the spotters, and the aircraft landing. It seemed like it wondered what the big deal was. One of the DFW fire trucks came by on the service road and goosed his fire pump as he went by much to my surprise. I just happened to be taking a photo of him anyway and got the water spraying out although only close up instead of from far away.
The other catch was a China Airlines Cargo B747-400. We visit a secluded area to shoot from that requires us to drive past the air cargo area on the west side of the airport. As we drove by, we saw this huge aircraft parked and pulled over to take photos. While doing so, I noticed it was buttoned up completely and running its APU and figured it would be taking off soon. It did but took nearly an hour to do so.
We also saw three corporate jets take off one after the other. You can see them HERE, HERE and HERE. Both my wife and I had the odd feeling of almost a race the way they took off and quickly turned south by southeast. About 20 minutes later, my wife guessed it. They were the wealthy taking off for Tampa and the Superbowl. I’m sure she is right. They took off so fast that I was only able to get one good photo of each.
Take a look at this PHOTO. The aircraft seems to either be coming straight at me or aimed just to the left of me. In fact, the runway was to the right of me. The crosswinds for that runway (13R-31L) must have been pretty high today.
One final observation. I’ll be sorry to see the Northwest Airlines livery fade away into Delta. Northwest has, in my opinion, one of the handsomest liveries on a US Airliner and it is a shame that Delta isn’t even retaining some small portion of the logo.
You can view all of the photos HERE.