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Old 03-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Today, I was planning to head out to YYZ around 3pm, but I ended up at a Baby Shower until 5. I still really wanted to head out there, since I had just realized today that it was the last time KLM 691 to YYZ would be Operated by a 747. At first I thought the last flight was on Sunday, but re-reading the schedule I saw that the new sked would be effective on Sunday, therefore the last day of the old sked is today (Saturday). So I had to get out there somehow, to see the last KLM 747 in broad daylight at YYZ. I decided to try and catch KLM 692, the return flight to EHAM, which departs at 6:45pm, which should still be light enough to get good shots. But it was after 5:30 and I was heading away from the Airport to go back home. So I got back home, turned around and went back west. It was kind of a race against the clock, I was determined to not screw this up. As I neared YYZ I could see that everything was departing to the East, off Runway 06L. I was kind of excited, since 06L is my favourite spot for Departures, because they pass so close to the fence. It was nearly 6:30, cutting it pretty close and I still needed to get to the other side of the field, get a visual on KLM at gate C34 from the infield and then high tail it to either Runway 05 or 06, which ever way I saw KLM was heading. Finally got off the Highway and headed to the infield, but for some reason, at the last minute, I decided to take the chance and head to Runway 06L, based on a hunch. I understood that if KLM went to 05, I would miss it and there wouldn't be another chance after this, it was now or never to catch KLM. If it went to 06L, I would have some amazing shots of the 747 up close and I would no longer have to keep trying frantically to track down the big blue. If it went to 05, I would once again be fooled and left disappointed (as is usually the case), and I would not have another chance in any of my spotting trips to catch KLM. If I miss it, I will have failed my quest and the KLM 747 will always be the one that got away.

Anyways. I got to the 06L spot, where I had already seen several heavies depart on the way there. Now, they were all gone, and when I got there, I only saw a couple buses, RJs and 737s. But I did meet up with a fellow spotter who I met in January.He is gathering video footage to put in a YYZ Movie. Here are some shots from when I got there:




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Old 03-27-2011, 12:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Through the fence, I could see KLM's tail by T3. I could tell it had pushed back, it was pointed in Runway 06L's general direction, but the Runway that KLM lands on, is always unpredictable, most YYZ Arrivals will usually land on a specific Runway most of the time, KLM is the Wildcard. You can never tell where it will land, that also applies for takeoffs. So while KLM sat by T3, still unclear which Runway it would take, it was overtaken by another Aircraft with a red, white and blue tail. I was quite surprised, I looked across the field to see G-VIIF, a British Airways 777-200, taxiing past Terminal 1, clearly heading to 06L. I rarely catch BA arriving, and I don't have many good pictures of it. I have no close ups and only one good Departure photo. Now I had a chance to get several photos of what I had missed out on. I took a few shots as the 777 passed right by the fence. I probably didn't have as much time to photograph it and enough distance to fit the whole jet in the frame. There were 4 or 5 cars parked near the other side of the fence, where people were far enough to get full shots of the jets. In my case, once the plane rounded the corner, you wouldn't be able to shoot sideways through the fence and fit the whole aircraft in the frame. Anyways, here are my BA shots. I am very happy to have taken these. The second shot is my favourite.



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Old 03-27-2011, 12:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Did you get the KLM?
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

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Did you get the KLM?

lol.


You must have your own personal chauffeur WestJetter to be jetting around whenver you want at Toronto.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Now, BA was just spooling up and I was talking to my Spotter friend, but I was really distracted by the KLM 747. Still sitting next to Terminal 3, it hadn't started to taxi. Only when it did start taxiing would I know if this whole KLM thing would end well or not. I kept talking, but I was distracted and kept looking back at Terminal 3. The light was fading fairly fast but that wasn't what was worrying me. Finally, the beast started to roll forward, if it turned left, it was coming right to me, if it turned right it all goes down the toilet. If it went to 05 I wouldn't have time to get to any spot where I could see 05 Departures. It was a really intense moment, I stopped talking to stare right across the field, I fixed my eyes on that White and Blue tail, to see which way it would turn..............................





After this whole "Quest", after all those failed attempts, all the times luck wasn't on my side and the times I ranted about how it wasn't working out. But fortunately for me, luck was on my side and the "Spotting Gods" decided to let me have a good day, and end this quest knowing that I have succeeded in the end. I was worried before that I would never catch a KLM 747 before it disappears from the daytime sked, but it just so happens that on the very last day I will see it in daylight will be the very first time I photograph it fully, in daylight.













A few first for me, in case you didn't know.

-First time catching KLM at 06L
-First time catching KLM Departing
-First time Catching KLM up close
-First time getting non-backlit photos of KLM on a clear day
-First time getting more than 2 consecutive shots of KLM
-First time catching PH-BFV 'City of Vancouver'
-First time seeing a 747 so close
-First time seeing a 747 at 06L
-First time getting several KLM shots that are sharp and well lit.
....

-Last time seeing a KLM 747 operating KLM 691 and my very last chance to photograph it in my quest for KLM.

I couldn't help but smile, I was overjoyed that after all that work to get single pictures, I was able to get several sunset shots at my very last chance. Just as KLM 692 lifted off the ground, the cops came and decided to clear out the us and the other 7 cars parked in that area. I wasn't irritated at all. I got my KLM shots and I was happy beyond words. Overall a very special farewell for this very elusive airplane.

My last shot of the day:


-WJ
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

VERY nice shots of the 744. Very nice.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Excellent shots! I am sure that you have been asked this before, but what camera are you using? I am currently seeking out a replacement for my old Canon PowerShot SX10 !
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

You finally caught it! That story was so exciting to read though... would Orion finally catch the Big Blue, or would he be left stranded with the tripple sevens? Really, really, really good shots though and definitely an amazing way to catch the last departure.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Really great story.
After your first 2 posts i thought, well.... did he?

It a spotters life to be always on the wrong runway for the most beautiful aircraft.
Glad you had the spotters luck that you could catch this "Big Blue" on it's last voyage out.

Great crispy shots by the way.
My guess is, you will enjoy this day for a long time...

Thanks for your report
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Great job on finally getting the KLM 744!! And truly amazing shots. I've never been to that location, but I think I could very much get used to it once I did. Do you get security asking you to leave, considering it's not like at a location like Wendy's etc where you can still go across the road and stand.

So aren't you going today to capture the A330?



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Old 03-27-2011, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-ay View Post
lol.


You must have your own personal chauffeur WestJetter to be jetting around whenver you want at Toronto.
Yes I do . I hear that from a lot of other spotters.

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Originally Posted by lanceb View Post
VERY nice shots of the 744. Very nice.
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Originally Posted by runway34r View Post
Excellent shots! I am sure that you have been asked this before, but what camera are you using? I am currently seeking out a replacement for my old Canon PowerShot SX10 !
Thank You. I'm using a Fujifilm Finepix S1500fd. I would recommend it, it has good zoom. Fuji makes some very nice Point and Shoots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parminder27 View Post
You finally caught it! That story was so exciting to read though... would Orion finally catch the Big Blue, or would he be left stranded with the tripple sevens? Really, really, really good shots though and definitely an amazing way to catch the last departure.
Thanks Parm! I try and add some excitement and suspense to my Spotting Threads. The 06L spot always turns out some good photos, have you been there before?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arcunia.nl View Post
Really great story.
After your first 2 posts i thought, well.... did he?

It a spotters life to be always on the wrong runway for the most beautiful aircraft.
Glad you had the spotters luck that you could catch this "Big Blue" on it's last voyage out.

Great crispy shots by the way.
My guess is, you will enjoy this day for a long time...

Thanks for your report
Thanks!
Its comforting to know that all those attempts to catch the Big Blue have not been in vein. I will remember this day everytime I go spotting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1:200Freak View Post
Great job on finally getting the KLM 744!! And truly amazing shots. I've never been to that location, but I think I could very much get used to it once I did. Do you get security asking you to leave, considering it's not like at a location like Wendy's etc where you can still go across the road and stand.

So aren't you going today to capture the A330?
Thanks Freak! It is a great spot, and there are many different places along the fence to take shots from diferrent angles. And there are also spots to take photos from different distances, since it is sometimes harder to take pictures sideways through the fence, as well as fit the whole jet in the frame as it taxies by. I haven't tried to spot from a different angle through the fence, but I would like to next time. Normally, security doesn't come to kick people out. I used to think that spot was exclusively for Airport Watch members. But I have been there several times already and Security hasn't asked me or anyone else to leave. Yesterday, 2 Police SUVs pulled up and instructed us and 7 or 8 other cars to leave. It wasn't a matter of security, it was because we were all parked on the side of the road, and there were quite a few cars. Normally, they never kick you out, especially on weekends. The only reason they would normally ask spotters to leave is if there were several cars parked on the side of the road on a weekend. They only really visit that spot when they choose to, it's not monitored consistantly.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

I know this is a noob question but what is KLM going to use for it's YYZ-AMS route? Also, what was the reason to change aircrafts?
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

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I know this is a noob question but what is KLM going to use for it's YYZ-AMS route? Also, what was the reason to change aircrafts?
Starting today, they are using the A330-200 on the daytime flight, which has switched arival times from 3:45pm to 11:40am, and departure switches from 6:45pm to 5:30pm. The Evening flight, KLM 695 will be switched from the 777-200 to the 747-400 and the arrival time will be switched to 7:30pm from 8:30pm.

My guess for switch would be capacity, because it used to be: Larger Aircraft in the Afternoon (744) and Smaller Aircraft (MD-11 or 772) in the evening. But now it's: Smaller Aircraft (A332) in the Morning, and Larger Aircraft (744) in the evening. So I would assume that the evening flight is busier and takes enough passengers for KLM to put a 747 on the evening flight.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Last time I was in YYZ, BA also operated a 744. Mind you, that was also an evening flight, is it all 777 now or do BA still operate a 744 to Toronto ?
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

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Last time I was in YYZ, BA also operated a 744. Mind you, that was also an evening flight, is it all 777 now or do BA still operate a 744 to Toronto ?
The last time YYZ saw a BA 747 Operating a scheduled service was in the Fall of 2009. At that point I think the first flight, BA093 was operated by a 747-400 while BA098, the second flight was operated by a 767-300. Then it switched, the daytime flight (BA093) was switched to the 777-200 and the evening flight (BA098) is still operated by the 767-300. Now, BA will be switching again, this time BA093 will be flown by the 767-300 and BA098 will be flown by the 777-200. Everyone seems to keep downsizing. Whats next, an A318?

I really miss BA's 747s. If anyone was to fly a 747 to YYZ, it should be KLM and BA. I don't have any memory of seeing BA 747s at YYZ though.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

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Originally Posted by WestjetterO View Post
I really miss BA's 747s. If anyone was to fly a 747 to YYZ, it should be KLM and BA. I don't have any memory of seeing BA 747s at YYZ though.
Well you don't have to miss BA's 744s at all now . They are coming back for May 1, 2011

British Airways Cairo & Toronto aircraft swap from May 2011 | AIRLINE ROUTE

London Heathrow – Toronto

BA099 LHR1615 – 1855YYZ 744 D
BA098 YYZ2045 – 0840+1LHR 744 D



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Old 03-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: YYZ 3.26.11+ A special farewell

Hopefully that KLM 747 was heading to the showers once it arrived in EHAM.
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