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Day Trip To SJC  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Posted (15 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3139 times:

Yesterday was a beautiful day throughout CA. I had the day off, and decided to take a one day excursion from my local airport, ONT (Ontario, CA)up to San Jose (SJC).
Leaving the house at 0400, I arrived at ONT at 0430. I purchased my last minute ticket, getting fleeced in the process (but it was worth it...and I did it because....I can).
I waltzed up to gate 408 at ONT, received boarding pass #2. Then had breakfast at the Carls Jr. inside the terminal, consisting of a Western Bacon cheeseburger and onion rings....at 0515...yummy....
Then they announced a gate change that the flight was going out of gate 406 instead.
In due time, we boarded 737-500 N506SW. The early morning flight was pleasantly only about half to two-thirds full.
I got to sit in the window seat in the back...I had the whole row to myself.
Great flight, and an older woman f/a served our part of the cabin with a smile that would've brightened a coal mine.
We landed at SJC about 10 minutes early after a smooth flight.
I deplaned and went straight to the top of the parking garage of terminal A at SJC. It was butt-cold at 0725!!!! Fortunately, I had me warm leather jacket on!
I watched the planes taking off, but the sun angle at this time of the year just does not allow good pix from up there.
So I walked down to the terminal, hitched a ride on the inter-terminal blue bus over to terminal C. I bought a pack of Marlboros, some water, and some candy bars, stuffed them into my bags containing my photo albums and was all set.
I hitched a ride on a taxi and went over to the famous SJC photo spot, on the corner of Coleman and Airport Blvds.
Since it was still early, the sun wasn't up yet, I sat on the picnic table in the grassy area for awhile.
Finally, someone showed up. That would be none other than who is known on this forum as Rotate777 showed up. He walked over to the side of the road there. I followed over, and introduced myself. He had his camera and scanner with him. We sat and chatted for awhile. I showed him all of my pix. He seemed to like them, although he didn't seem to like the idea that I had pix of the Delta 757 "Soaring Spirit" and he didn't (Sorry Wilsam!!!!! )
Anyway, we sat there, chewing the fat all day. Finally, the afternoon came, and the light was now good. So we shot pix of a few odds and ends.
I was upset because I managed to blow the shot of the AA 777. I got it when it was on the taxiway, but when it positioned for takeoff, I should've put the wide angle lens on my camera.....
Oh well...maybe next time. I could swear I saw Wilsam crack a slight grin when I told him I should've changed lenses......
What a punk!!!!
Finally, the highlight of my day came, the Midway 737-700!
I was bummed because the one that showed up was the one with the damaged no. 1 engine cowling. So the engine has a primer grey stripe on it.
It was also only about 2 hours late taking off. But better late than never. Besides, the lighting was better.
Since he giggled at me for blowing a can't miss shot (how do you manage to blow a 777 that is taxiing that close to you? Well I did) But he was freaking out because he still doesn't have a shot of N902RA in American livery. So every time an AA M90 showed up, I reminded him about how it WASN'T #902!
We had a ball.
But, as my return flight was scheduled for 1700, and he had to leave, we said goodbye and parted ways. He went and got his ride back home. I walked over to the remote parking lot on the corner of Coleman and ???? Well, I forgot the street, but it's tucked away in some industrial corner, next to the reail road tracks over there off the 880 freeway.
I sure as hell wasn't going to walk back to the terminal from that spot, and there was no phone that I could summon a taxi.
After waiting about 20 minutes, the free shuttle showed up. I got my ride back to the terminal. I saw that my return flight was leaving gate A3. But there was a flight going to Burbank out of the same gate that was delayed until 1645.
I made a small bet in my mind what that meant to MY departure time.
Sure enough, it was going to be about half an hour to 45 minutes late.
I still managed to get in line, and get boarding pass number 5. As it turned out, I unknowingly cut in fron of the line.
It wound around the corner from where the planters or whatever they are was. I should've got pass number 76 or something. But being tall, and angry looking, no one said a word to me!!!!
While I was waiting, I went and had a Big Mac value meal at the McDonalds there. I finished it off with a frozen cone and cinnamon pretzel from the TCBY that is right in front of gate A3. I was bummed when I saw that they took the smoking lounge out of SJC, way over in the far end of the airport. So no Marlboros for me for awhile....
Finally, the Burbank flight cleared, and ours came in (737-300 N370SW). If there was ever a cattle car boarding, this flight was it! Even though I had pass #5, I was about the 30th one to board.
Luckily, my favorite window seat in the back of the plane was still open. So I plowed my way to the back and sat down, and turned the air blower on.
The plane was booked sloid, and every seat was taken.
Seated next to me was some woman that looked about 5 years older then me. She was kind of cute, but I kept focussing on her face. She must've been in a bad accident at some point because she had scars on her face that were clearly indicative of reconstructive surgery of some kind. Like I said, in spite of that, she was kind of cute. We talked on and off during the flight, mostly about our jobs.
Before I knew it, the flight had landed.
It was heavy, and so the touchdown at ONT was a bit rough.
Being seated in the back of a full flight meant I wasn't going to be going anywhere anytime soon.
But in due time, I got off. The girl I was seated next to vanished. I walked out of the terminal, lit up a smoke, and departed morosely into the night towards my car parked in the central lot.
I found it, got in, and came home.....
It was a good, full day...

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3062 times:

Hey Matt, While you were there with Wilsam, did you see another guy with a beard shooting in the afternoon? If you did, that was my friend (and fellow airliners.net photog), Bill Hough, who was visiting from NY. I was down there with him on Wednesday afternoon shooting. I wish I had known you were gonna be there yesterday. I would have went down. Instead I opted to take down the Christamas decorations.


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3062 times:

Yeah, he was there. he had a HUGE Pentax camera, probably big enough to where, if he had a clear line of sight, could've simultaneously shot pix at SFO while at SJC.
he didn't say much. He spoke with Wilsam, but I didn't really say anything to him.
My going up there was sort of a last minute spur of the moment thing, but because I didn't get the Midway i wanted, I'm toying with going there again soon.

User currently offlineRotate777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 3055 times:

Great report Matt. I want that Soaring Spirit shot! =) Good lighting, weather, background in that pic you have. Grin? What Grin? =)...I was trying to keep myself from laughing since Bill was cursing under his breath while playing games (i think) on his cell. Glad to hear you managed to get on the shuttle. You must have been starving since you were feeding yourself on a pack of Rolo and water most of the day. =)

Hey Ricahrd. Bill Hough was there. He's a really nice guy. I thought his lens was like a 1000 or something since it was so huge, but he said it was a 80-200 (i think that was it). You didn't miss anything there yesterday, there was absolutely nothing, just the usual stuff. There was a Miami Air 727 over on the jet center side though. And in the morning, there was a dog running around on the runway (which delayed my sister's flight for about 5 min while airport ops were chasing it =)).


User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

Hey Wilsam,

What dog was on the runway? It wasn't the German Shepherd that roams around on the G/A ramp behind SJSU was it? That dog belongs to one of the guys who does maintenance work on planes. I have seen him go out near the runway, but never on it. He has been out there for years.

Yes Bill is a real nice guy. He has been shooting just about as long as I have.

The reason that lens he has is so big is because it is a 2.8 lens. The ability to use a 2.8 aperature setting throughout the 80-200mm range allows him to use slow film like K64 even when lighting conditions are not perfect. The reason is it bigger is that it has more glass to let more light in. A 2.8 lens is a must for anyone who is serious about shooting K64 film. For us print guys who use faster speed film, it is not as much a necessasity. They are very expensive!


User currently offlineRotate777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 5 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3027 times:

I didn't see the dog, but I heard the controller talking about it. It was running around on the other end near taxiway K. Tower was telling the planes "Make a right on Kilo. Use Cation. There is a dog running around the runway". =) Didn't this happen once at SFO too? =)
I've seen that german shepherd around the prop plane lot area, I doubt it was him though. He seems to be pretty behaved. =)


User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3018 times:

Yeah I doubt it is that dog too. It is pretty amazing though, that at a busy airport likes SJC, that the German Shepherd is allow to wander around loose so close to the runway. I wish I could be that dog sometimes.

Yes it did happen at SFO once when I was there. It was hillarious. He was loose for about 30 minutes running all over the ramp and finally out onto the runways. He caused several go-arounds also. The controllers and pilots were have fun with it on the radio. On conversation I remember hearing was:

"Ground Control, United 123 is clearing 28L at Kilo for Gate 81"

"Roger United 123, give way to the Sheltie running from left to right on taxiway A and follow him to your gate"

Finally 4 ops trucks got him surrounded out near the intersection of 28L/28R and 1L. The guys got out of their trucks and all started to slowly walk up to the dog. The dog then darted pass one of the guys and jumped right into his ops truck. He had enough and was ready to give up!


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