We arrived from HNL yesterday, now follow along as we push back from gate 54B at LAX, wrap up a four day trip and return to DTW.
Now that we've moved over to the Delta gates on the south side of LAX, (which offers better culinary choices... BUT NO STARBUCKS) I have a new perspective of this historic old airfield. However, each time I've pushed back and taxied out, I've been sent over to the north complex to depart off 24L. We're on Bravo taxiway, headed west to the crossover taxiways when we site BA 747, One World.
Now on taxiway Quebec, we pass this A-380 on our way to taxiway Echo in the north complex. Present, but not visible in this shot, was another QANTAS A-380 to the left. Do you know what QANTAS means? Leave a comment.
In fact, here it is. Although I recognize it as an engineering marvel, aesthetically I don't find this airplane pleasing. Would you like a tour of this aircraft? Click here. Or, visit Chris Sloan's AIRCHIVE.COM site and go to his Inaugural A-380 commercial flight tour. Be prepared to spend time here though... but don't forget to come back!
Here's an interesting view of a United Triple 7 shortly after takeoff, in fact the gear doors are just opening to allow the mains to be safely stowed away. There's a lot of "sequencing" going on here, initiated simply by moving the gear handle into the "up" position. What I mean by that, is the gear can't begin its upward motion (or downward travel) until the gear doors are open and the path is clear. This process is accomplished with "hydraulic sequencing valves" that create an order of events. When the gear handle is moved, hydraulic pressure is applied, gear doors open, the gear over center locks break, the gear moves back and inward, locks into position and then the gear doors close. I'm unfamiliar with a B-777, but on the 757 now, we'd move the gear handle to neutral, relieving hydraulic pressure allowing the gear to suspend from the up locks. You can imagine can't you, what that gear assembly and six trucks must weigh.
Nice touch on this American 757 with the LAX control tower in the background.
Just off runway 24L we're flying the LOOP FOUR departure, an LNAV/VNAV, or in Airbus parlance, a managed departure. After reaching 5,000 feet, departure control gives us a left turn (180 degrees) direct to the LAX VOR to cross it at or above 10,000 feet and resume the SID. LAX ATC does a great job moving a lot of traffic as we approach the field climbing eastbound towards the San Gabriel Mountains, Death Valley and Las Vegas.
Overhead LAX, you have a clear view of downtown Los Angeles over the nose. Do you see the plume of smoke just ahead? Just east of the city at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, this massive fire erupted yesterday as we circled to land on 25L. Eighteen hours later it's still raging out of control.
This area is the Angeles National Forrest, where more than 1200 firefighters and numerous air tankers and helicopters are doing battle. While waiting at our downtown hotel this morning for our limo to the airport, the acrid, pungent odor of smoke lay heavy over the city.
Our last look at the Angeles National Forrest fire as we climb above it, pass over Death Valley and turn directly to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Overhead LAS headed towards Bryce Canyon, looking from my copilots side window, we easily view Lake Mead and a small portion of the Hoover Dam. I visited the Dam about a year ago on a LAS layover and enjoyed the experience, even though I dislike Las Vegas. I've been told that Delta has greatly improved our accommodations here, which may change my viewpoint, but when we stayed at Circus Circus with NWA, it was depressing.
Just 30 miles south of Las Vegas, Lake Mead is the nations largest reservoir, created by the Hoover Dam. The white band that you see, also referred to as the "bathtub ring," indicates just how low the reservoir is.
Flying over the very northern section of the Grand Canyon by Lake Powell, the nations second largest reservoir created by the Glen Canyon Dam, we'll soon enter mountainous territory as the Rocky Mountains lie just ahead.
I have a few days off now and plan to get out and enjoy the Cub before flying an Amsterdam trip next week. As usual, thanks for following along.