After stopping off at the Aviodrome at Lelystad on our drive back from Wittmund, we found ourselves approaching Amsterdam at about 1800, and traffic was heavy. The sat-nav performed a few recalculations of the route, none of which I’m convinced saved an awful lot of time, but after a quick stop off at McDonalds for what was effectively my breakfast, we arrived at Schiphol Airport’s famous Polderbaan viewing area just before 1900.
On the drive from Germany, we’d encountered a few heavy rain showers and it seemed we would not have to wait long before the next one hit.
Sure enough, the heavens opened. While I sought refuge in the car, Chris kept diving in and out to catch the various arrivals as they passed us by.
I should perhaps point out that this was my first time shooting at this location when it was in use for Runway 18R arrivals. On my previous trip a month earlier, it had been the departure runway, 36L, on the second day of my visit.
The cloud at our backs started to part, bit by bit, and sure enough, a few rays of sun started to emerge, throwing some lovely light onto the side of the arriving aircraft. All the time the cloud that had dumped on us pushed through to the east, creating an amazing black backdrop.
That wasn’t all, though. A complete rainbow started to emerge with a secondary, inverted example outside of it. These were rare conditions!
While the majority of the traffic at this time came from KLM, there were a few nice bits and pieces too, such as an Orbest A320, El Al 738 and the Netherlands Government Fokker 70 that is used to transport members of the Dutch Royal Family.
With time pressing on, the available light started to fade, but there were still brief moments where nice colours were being generated.
Finally it was time to call it a day, but not before I’d shot my first FedEx 757.
Our accommodation for the night was the Best Western Schiphol Airport and a suitably aviation-themed room was provided, complete with some rather lovely airliner wall art from yesteryear.
The next day would also be spent at the airport. Find out next time how it went….