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.
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
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.
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!
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!
Just One More Thing
A few more aircraft posts:
- I saw a Convair CV580 water tanker outside Kamloops in 2015.
- There were a pair of Lockheed L-188 Electra fire fighting planes at the Prince George airport in 2014.
- I visited the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, Alberta.
- I have a Google photo album of aircraft. It’s not being updated but there are some planes there.