Remarks: Head back 5 years with me and here is a typical evening at T3 and the G-concourse. A Virgin America Airbus RONs at the inactive T2, American planes are docked at T3, Skywest was still only using gates 71, 76A-79, 87A for their UAX operation, every last United jet is in the grey colors, a Skywest Brasilia sits at 87A which was essentially a bus stop turned make shift gate for 4 or 5 years before returning to its original purpose, some TED Airbuses rest at 72-75 where they usually operated from, a Qantas 747 is parked on the G side which was most likely a one time occurrence, the gates at the end of the G-concourse are being prepared for the arrival of the first A380 the following month, and an NZ007 rests before the flight back to AKL about 1 week before I started a customer service internship there. Good memories.
Remarks: Before it re-opened, the T2 ramp was an awesome place to watch airplanes from on breaks at work. The crew super-duper stretched -900 doesn't even glance at the 747 touching down behind them. Thanks to my buddy Brian for taking me out.
Remarks: A barren shell of its former self as a B-52 base, this is the only active area of the airport. The ramp on the left is the Sierra Academy/transient GA parking, where prospective pilots are trained for Korean Air. To the right, by the hangars, is the local GA area. The buildings in the foreground are the remnants of the base itself. Finally, at the bottom of the picture is the Castle AFB Museum, which is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area. The rest of the huge airport is just empty space.
Remarks: Banished to a decrepit corner of this former AFB, this BAC 1-11 isn't going anywhere with its engines stripped. Still owned by Sky King, it sits parked next to a company 737-200. Built in 1966, over the years it has been registered as N5031, N111FL, N5LC, and N401SK(where it served as Bon Jovi's tour plane). Not sure how long its been here, but it was here on my first flight to MER in 2008. These things were once a common sight in the area when Pacific Express was around in the 80s. First shot in the DB.
Remarks: Such an unusually clear and gorgeous afternoon, I had to take some pictures. Terminal 1 is sparsely populated in-between traffic rush periods, the Delta Skyteam 757 sits between flights to JFK. The A terminal hosts only a British Airways 747, while terminal 2 has a hand full of Virgin America tails. At the top of the frame, an American 767-200 climbs away to JFK, closely trailed by a United A320 departing 1R as an oil tanker makes a rare trip up from the South Bay. You can see Oakland International directly across from SFO. Taken from my home in Millbrae.
Remarks: Parked with company BAC 1-11 N101PC, 464 basks in the California sun apparently having the engines worked on. Hopefully it'll fly again some day, but its been stored in MER since 09. This one has a history as long as...well, anyway, it flew for Boeing, Maersk, Tunisair, Air Lanka, Aerotour, TAAG, GPA, Air Europe, Air Lanka once again, Bahamasair, SARO, Air South, AirTran Airways(pre and post Valujet merger), and finally SkyKing, who still owns it. Phew, what a life!
Remarks: Landed just in time to pull into the run up area, shut down, hop out, and shoot Great Lakes departing for Visalia, CA. Great Lakes currently flies the 1900 from MCE to LAS and VIS, previously they flew ONT-MCE-VIS-ONT. Since then, the ONT hub was shut down and ZK decided to focus on LAS and LAX on the West Coast to serve EAS markets. Took 4 trips to MCE to finally catch these guys, and from the looks on their faces, they liked my Mario pajama bottoms.
Remarks: Don't see many Eagle ERJs around SDF. The sleek and sexy 145 is only used on the daily Miami flight and occasionally used from DFW in addition to the mainline flights. Chautauqua operating as American Connection has the bulk of American flying into SDF.