Air Time

I seem to be photographing a fair number of aircraft these days. I thought I’d share a few here from a recent excursion.

The helicopter above is a Hughes 369E, also known as a McDonnell Douglas MD 500E. It’s a small helicopter, 9.4m (30.8′) long with an 8.1m (26.4′) rotor diameter. This series of helicopters was originally built as a Light Observation Helicopter for the US Army.

This particular helicopter was apparently involved in a minor landing accident in Nunavut in 2001.

It has been working on the new Manitoba-Minnesota transmission line I talked about here. It appears to be doing light equipment moves.

Another Helo

I saw another helicopter buzzing around the power line work recently. It looks like a twin engine chopper but I couldn’t get the registration number to see what type it is.

Speaking of twin engine helicopters, I remember seeing a lot of Twin Hueys back when my dad worked for 403 Helicopter Squadron in CFB Gagetown, but this isn’t a Twin Huey.

A Water Bomber

This grainy photo shows C-GMFY tanker 257. This is a Bombardier CL-415 “Super Scooper”. It was delivered in November 2010 as the first of four CL-415 aircraft for Manitoba’s aerial fire fighting fleet. Previously, the province operated smaller CL-215 aircraft, and still owns three of those.

In a controversial move, the province elected to privatize the operation of these aircraft and engaged Babcock to maintain and operate the aircraft. The province still retains ownership of the aircraft.

Oh Yeah, There Was a Train

CP 8798 about to cross the Floodway
CP 8798 about to cross the Floodway

The reason why I happened to be photographing aircraft is because I was A) looking for trains, and B) photographing the Red River Floodway.

I was hanging around the CP railway bridge over the Floodway, hoping for a train to come along, and also wanting to fly my drone to get an aerial shot of the water in the Floodway. Now that the spring flood is here, the province has opened the gates at the south end of Winnipeg. I think they were opened on April 9.

With the red helicopter buzzing around, I didn’t want to fly my drone. I have to keep out of the way of aircraft and the helo was definitely in the vicinity of the bridge.

I got my chance when they landed to refuel. I put the drone up and zoomed out toward the Floodway to take my photos.

Water in the Winnipeg Floodway
Water in the Winnipeg Floodway

I’m still nervous about flying the drone over water, so I kept to flying over dry land. I shouldn’t be nervous, but I am…

While I was flying, I heard a train horn. Keeping an eye on the nearby helicopter, still refueling, I set up to record the train coming across the bridge.

CP 8798 was in the lead. You can see in the video below that the engineer held up a STAY SAFE sign as they approached the road crossing just south of the bridge. A PSA!

CP 8058 on the tail end
CP 8058 on the tail end

Here’s the video. There’s no sound so don’t think your speakers are broken!

I didn’t record the entire train, because a little snow squall showed up. Snow and electric motors don’t mix, so I quickly landed my drone and packed up.

I headed up to the CN Redditt and CP Keewatin subdivisions to see if I could find trains there. I had terrible luck on the CN, as there was a train just passing by as I approached it the first time, and when I returned from visiting the CP line, there was another CN train rolling by. In both cases I missed the start of the train. Sigh

At least there were some interesting cars on the first train. Long live the Rock Island!

Ex Rock Island car IC 769555
Ex Rock Island car IC 769555
ROUTE ROCK
ROUTE ROCK
Ex Alaska Agriculture car IC 10153
Ex Alaska Agriculture car IC 10153

Just One More Thing

Antonova AN-124-100 in Winnipeg
Antonov AN-124-100, Winnipeg, June 2011

A few more aircraft posts:

8 thoughts on “Air Time”

  1. I found some Airline DVDs on Greenfrog that were from around 2000 at various airports around the world (ATL, DFW, LAX, Germany, etc..) and its been fascinating to see the old airlines which are now gone (Northwest, Continental, etc) as well as the old aircraft that are mostly replaced now.

    I keep watching your drone videos and know at some point I’ll have to get one even though it seems they keep limiting where you can fly them down here.

    Reply
    • Hi Gene, yes, things have changed a lot in the past 30 years or so in the airline industry. There’s been a lot of change both in the airline and in the manufacturing space. Look at Bombardier in Canada, who have basically sold off most of their aviation space (and all rail assets).

      Drones are a lot of fun to fly. I don’t know the regulations in the US but they seem similar to Canada. I’ll have to study them more in case I want to visit and fly in the US at some point.

      Reply
    • Hi Patrice, the Bell 212 was developed from the UH-1N / CH-135 Twin Huey, so maybe this is a descendant of the Twin Huey!

      Reply
    • Yes these new towers are very distinctive! I look at different transmission towers and imagine them as people standing in different positions. These I think of as someone making an “O” with their arms over their heads.

      Reply
  2. Nice shots! Here in NYC we had a real treat today….5 US Navy Blue Angels flying in formation with 5 USAF Thunderbirds, as a tribute to frontline COVID19 workers. Cool stuff!

    Reply
  3. That would have been great to see, Marv! The Blue Angels are used to keeping their “social distance” from each other – at least 2m 😉

    Reply

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