A week after our trip to London-City Airport, the forecast was looking promising for two days of crystal clear skies and Runway 09 operations at London-Heathrow Airport.
As those days drew closer, however, the forecast got progressively worse until just the afternoon of Wednesday, 12 March remained good.
Driving down that morning, it was foggy literally all the way right up until the Runway 09L approach lights, where the sun could finally be seen poking through.
Having collected GAR colleague Paul Filmer, by now nearing the end of his stay back in the UK, we headed to Blenheim Park for some Runway 09R banking shots. While the sun was out, it was still quite hazy to begin with.
It’d been quite some time since I’d last been able to get down for my favourite type of Heathrow shot. Since then, British Airways has added the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 to the list of types operated, and I was particularly keen to get some shots of each of those coming right on departure.
We looked certain to get at least one 787 but the A380 would require a decent dose of luck with the only scheduled departure before sunset being the BA269 to Los Angeles, which normally banks left rather than right.
A few other ‘newbies’ for me were the Air Canada 772ERs, a smattering of American Airliners new-schemed types and Virgin Atlantic Airways’ A333s.
As it transpired, only one of the BA 787s got away while the light was good, conveniently passing across the near-full moon as it came right, heading to Newark.
Unsurprisingly, the company A380 did indeed go left. Luck and some new routes making use of the type will be needed to get that box ticked!
As the light started to fade, we headed to Runway 09L to shoot some arrivals before meeting up with some of Skippy’s friends for a curry. What looked like being a fairly non-descript sunset eventually provided some deep purple tones and some quite nice images.
It had been another decent, if unspectacular, visit to Heathrow.