Karl Drage's 2012 blogGAR Entries

FEB 27 2012
blogGAR: Sunny, Snowy Scenes at London-Luton Airport

Conscious of the fact that Luton tends to go quiet after the early morning rush of easyJets and WizzAirs, I planned to get there for sun-up, which, on that particular day was due to happen around 0720.

Now I knew we were due to have an overnight frost but when I got in the car at 0600, I was a tad surprised to see it register -11C! Driving out of the village, visibility dropped to hand-in-front-of-face levels and the temp lowered further to -12C and, a little later, -13C! I've never experienced temps like that in this country first hand.

By the time I got to the edge of Luton it was -14C, and I must confess to having got a little bit excited when I got above the fog/mist on some of the bigger hills surrounding the town.

That excitement suddenly turned to concern as I drove around the airport. Terminal side seemed to be in the clear but 'dead side' was obscured.

The sun was still to rise when I parked up but, looking out over the surrounding fields, it was a rather beautiful scene - quite surreal in places.

Having watched a Thomson 757 depart, it soon became clear that the mist banks were being displaced by aircraft movement and that it wasn't something that was likely to pose a lingering problem. It certainly afforded a few 'different' shots, such as the header image here.

While there might not have been quite as much snow on the ground as I'd have liked, the heavy frost certainly added to the appearance of what there was, and, as the sun rose, the picture looking out across the airport became nicer still.

Before the sun had completely cleared the horizon the 'inverse' easyJet A320, G-EZUI, got airborne; the first time I'd shot 'the Carrot', as it's been affectionately dubbed - for obvious reasons! The scheme marks the fact that it was the 200th Airbus to be delivered to the airline. It would be back a little later.

A little later than planned, Geoff joined me. His lateness meant he'd missed the bulk of the scheduled movements but, as we'd see for the duration of the morning, there'd be plenty of biz activity to maintain interest during the gaps. In fact there were no less than 43 bizjets movements during my time there! That's a lot by anybody's standards!

While interesting schemes were somewhat few and far between, LY-DSK certainly lived up to the billing. A Hawker 800XP belonging to Aurela, it was only on the ground for a little over an hour, and a shot on airliners.net from the same day shows that it had been to Samedan-St Moritz, presumably taking some lucky people skiing.

Global Express OY-ILG looked nice departing against the deep blue sky too with its dark blue tail and GRAFF titles. It's owned by the aviation arm of billionaire Laurence Graff's diamond trading company.

With the snow disappearing fast and the Six Nations rugby calling, Lord Sugar's departing Embraer Legacy 650, G-SUGA, was the last aircraft we shot before calling it a day.

It had been an excellent morning - the fourth out of five almost perfect-weather outings in 2012. I still maintain that it doesn't matter what you're out snapping when conditions are good, and I really enjoyed it.

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