ualcsr
Posts: 348
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Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:24 am

Can anyone tell me more about this? Which US airlines have them parked and if any, how many aircraft? How quickly can they be brought back to service and what are the costs involved? Thanks in advance!
 
beech19
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:34 am

Quoting Ualcsr (Thread starter):
Can anyone tell me more about this? Which US airlines have them parked and if any, how many aircraft? How quickly can they be brought back to service and what are the costs involved? Thanks in advance!

Well... the short answer is they park them there because they can last a long time. Its warm, dry and the climate varies only slightly.
I would say the only US airline without aircraft parked (retired aircraft excluded) in the desert is probably Southwest as they can't get enough aircraft.

Aircraft can be brought back pretty quick actually... i don't know the exact time span but its very rapid.
KPAE via KBVY
 
PanAm747
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:40 am

There are several locations in California and Arizona that are used for long term storage: Mojave, Victorville, and Marana are the most active.

The number and type of aircraft at storage facilities varies from day to day. Reasons for storage range from airlines cessation of a particular type of aircraft (727's, DC-9's, and so on) to poor lease rates (United and some of its 777's) to going out of business.

There are four different levels of storage offered by these facilities, and they range from very short term (possibly used by airlines who need a two week delay in taking delivery of an aircraft) to long term (leasing companies shopping around for a new customer) to ultra-long term (retiring older aircraft that might either be eventually converted to cargo or scrapped altogether).

Once an aircraft is parked, the facility will cover the plane to shield it from the elements. This may include deflating the tires and covering the engines, doors, and windows. The decision as to actually what will be done, however, lies in the agreement between the facility and the owner, to be determined by what level of storage the customer wants.

I drive frequently on highway 58 and pass by the airport in Mojave. Every time I'm there the number and type of planes to be seen changes. For many years, TWA's Convair 880's and an occasional 990 were seen, but they have since been scrapped. Many airlines cover their name, but KLM's distinctive blue is frequently seen, and even without the name, Delta's L1011's are hard to miss.


Here's an overview of Mojave:


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Photo © Linze Folkeringa
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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer



Here's Victorville:


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Photo © Ralph Duenas - Jetwash Images



Here's Marana:


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Photo © Matt Bearup

Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
bongo
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:54 am

Mojave, Victorville and Marana are private airports? Who are the owners? Is the same owner/company that actually runs all three?
MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
 
carledwards
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:04 am

Quoting Ualcsr (Thread starter):
Which US airlines have them parked and if any, how many aircraft?

Northwest, Northwest, and Northwest. and half their fleet  Smile

its ashame to see such a great airline with most of their aircraft ending up here actually, especially as their red tops were one of the nicest liveries in the sky.
Directoria
 
beech19
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:21 am

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 4):
especially as their red tops were one of the nicest liveries in the sky.

Agreed 100%. Northwest "Red Top" livery is still one of my favorites... The new one is pretty nifty too... but just not the same.
KPAE via KBVY
 
RIXrat
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:28 am

If they are private airports, what about the parking fee per day? Could run up quite a bill.
 
Dtw757
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:34 am

I visited Victorville last month and I took some photos. It was so interesting to experience this first hand even if it was looking through the fence.

Currently at VCV there are most if not all of the Delta L1011's as well as many of their 727-200's and 737-200's. Most of United's 767-200 fleet is parked there as well along with about 5 or 6 of their 747-400's. I even thought I saw a UA A320 sitting there.

Here are some photos I took if you are interested in seeing them.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2719.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2717.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2711.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2725.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2700.jpg
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MMEPHX
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:44 am

Quoting Bongo (Reply 3):
Mojave, Victorville and Marana are private airports? Who are the owners? Is the same owner/company that actually runs all three?

IIRC Marana is owned or at least operated by Evergreen International. Not sure about Mojave or Victorville.
 
atlaaron
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:45 am

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 1):
I would say the only US airline without aircraft parked (retired aircraft excluded) in the desert is probably Southwest as they can't get enough aircraft.

I don't think that is true. I am pretty sure I have looked at photos before of some of their old 737's parked out there.
 
jetjeanes
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:07 pm

I have seen some old Wn a/c as well

did i count 11 nw 747,s a dozen dc9,s and some 757,s..a few 10,s

There was one twa 717 in the back left...

Boy Nw is dumping some a/c
i can see for 80 miles
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:02 pm

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 1):
I would say the only US airline without aircraft parked (retired aircraft excluded) in the desert is probably Southwest as they can't get enough aircraft.

Add us FL into that equation! We can't get em fast enough. We sometimes have to Rob Peter to pay Paul; take flights from MIA and send them to MCO or FLL!
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:06 pm

Does anyone have info about how the airline prepares the aircraft for storage? Is it flown there with interior etc. intact? Is anything removed (except maybe engines and other parts if permanent storage) after the aircraft is parked? Short or long term.

Also, what kind of maintenance is performed on stored aircraft - particularly those expected to see service life again that may still be stored for an extended time.

Thanks

Scalebuilder
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
phxplanes
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:55 pm

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 7):
Here are some photos I took if you are interested in seeing them.

Wow, thats cool that you can get that close, at marana you cant get within a mile or so without gaurds stoping you.
 
beech19
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 9):
I don't think that is true. I am pretty sure I have looked at photos before of some of their old 737's parked out there.

If you read my post again you will see that i said "excluding retired aircraft" which those are if they are WN. WN is in no way "storing" aircraft.
KPAE via KBVY
 
studedave
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:56 pm

I don't see the two C-133s in that first Mojave pic- are they gone?
Yes, I do see them in the second pic, but it's much older then the first.
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
studedave
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:07 pm

Forgot to mention- here are a few other posts that may be of interest to you:
Planes In The Desert (by Rooinc Jul 13 2001 in Civil Aviation)
MOJAVE. . . Aircraft IN The Desert (by Sbe727 Oct 27 2003 in Civil Aviation)
Airplanes In The Desert (by COAMiG29 Oct 10 2004 in Civil Aviation)

I know they were to me!!!
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
columba
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:14 pm

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
Convair 880's and an occasional 990 were seen, but they have since been scrapped

That is a crime to aviation history.... Sad
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
Dtw757
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:56 pm

Quoting Phxplanes (Reply 13):
Wow, thats cool that you can get that close, at marana you cant get within a mile or so without gaurds stoping you.

Well that is a story within itself. The perimeter of VCV is nothing but dirt desert roads. They are on the county map so they are public roads that basically rarely see use. If you look at the VCV aerial photos above you can see them. At one point a security truck did drive around the inside perimeter and I thought sure we were busted but he didn't say a thing.

I took my aunt with me who is a nun who works at a church just a couple of miles from VCV. She had a great map of the area and it showed all of the roads including the dirt roads. I was the one who was scared to drive around there and she kept pushing me to go farther. It was great. I was glad I had her with me to keep my mind tuned less on the airplanes and more to the brush and holes in the ground as I would walk up to the fence to take these pictures. Being from the midwest, I have no clue what lives in the desert and I really didn't want to find out.
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bobnwa
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:04 pm

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 4):
Northwest, Northwest, and Northwest. and half their fleet

its ashame to see such a great airline with most of their aircraft ending up here actually, especially as their red tops were one of the nicest liveries in the sky.

All the Northwest aircraft in that picture are retired aircraft that they no longer use. What else would you suggest they do with them?
 
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flylku
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:16 pm

Those photos of aircraft taken from the ground are interesting. I flew into Marana in December in a 172 and they put us on a very short leash. We could roam the 100 feet between the FBO and our 172. I started taking a couple of photos, thinking nothing of it, and a security car pulled up and said I would have to stop, not for security but because airlines don't like these kinds of photos released to the public. So, all I got was some shots taken from the air that were not of high enough quality to post here.

That said, the FBO manager for Evergreen was very friendly.
...are we there yet?
 
aviateur
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:05 am

It can be fascinating to note the tail number of a desert plane and trace back its history. That's what I did withe a former CO 747 in this article...

Letter from Mojave: The Deeper Meanings of an Airplane Graveyard
http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/08/04/askthepilot197/

Another aspect to consider: when is an airplane no longer an airplane? I wondered that during my visit to Mojave, coming across the fuselage section of an Eastern DC-8. The story above contains a photo or two of the "aircraft."

- PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
beech19
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:12 am

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 21):
Another aspect to consider: when is an airplane no longer an airplane?

When you remove the Aero-planes from it. If you pull the wings off... its no longer an aeroplane(airplane).  Wink
KPAE via KBVY
 
D950
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:20 am

Quoting JetJeanes (Reply 10):
There was one twa 717 in the back left...

Does Joe Leonard know that??
Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
 
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RobK
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:14 am

Going off on a bit of a tangent, a couple of guys I know went to Marana (or was it Mojave) a good number of years ago on business and were treated to a tour of the aircraft there. Everything was going well taking pics and getting close up to the aircraft and stuff when one of them turned round to come back to the jeep and was face to face with a pretty pissed-off looking snake!  Wow! Clean underwear moment! He managed to do a 180 and run round it back to the jeep but he didn't get out again until they were back at base!

I guess aircraft graveyards like MHV and MZJ are a paradise for deadly snakes and spiders etc and I think I'd be frightened to death of walking round somewhere like that!!

R
 
planetime
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:18 am

Quoting RobK (Reply 24):

I guess real life Snakes on the Plane.

Does anyone of these places give tours of the facilty?
 
Austinflyer
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:37 am

Would someone be kind enough to answer some questions I have always had about planes in storage?

1) Why is security so tight? It sure would be nice to let aviation enthusiasts walk around, photograph and look at these planes.

2) It seems that newer planes like the UA 747-400, the Swissair MD11 and the 717 could certainly be sold for more than they are worth as scrap and parts? Why don't the airlines sell them at a reasonable price rather than letting them sit?

3) Does it cost a lot of money to get them back in service after being stored?

Thanks
 
mrstl
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:45 am

Quoting JetJeanes (Reply 10):
There was one twa 717 in the back left

I did not see a 717 in the picture-- I saw an old DC-9.. but I might be missing it. If a TWA 717 is in the desert I believe it was a total loss resulting from a landing gear incident at BNA-- does anyone else remember this? I want to say it was in 2000- not sure.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:45 am

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 21):
It can be fascinating to note the tail number of a desert plane and trace back its history. That's what I did withe a former CO 747 in this article...

Letter from Mojave: The Deeper Meanings of an Airplane Graveyard
http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/...t197/

The Discovery Channel documentary and ex-CO 747 discussed in the article was one recently shown as part of a new program on the network and an episode about the deadliest airline accident - at Tenerief 30 years ago. They had the pilot and the co-pilot (or FE) of the PanAm aircraft involved along with an air crash expert inside and outside of the aircraft discussed in the article as part of the program.
Several other Discovery Channel programs, including MYTHBUSTERS have also been done at Mojave.
 
airtran717
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:08 am

Quoting Ualcsr (Thread starter):

Check out Historychannel.com. The show was called "The Boneyard" I believe. It explains a little about this and other types of "boneyards".

717
 
goaliemn
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:46 pm

RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:08 am

Quoting Austinflyer (Reply 26):
1) Why is security so tight? It sure would be nice to let aviation enthusiasts walk around, photograph and look at these planes.

They are still planes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

Quoting Austinflyer (Reply 26):
3) Does it cost a lot of money to get them back in service after being stored?

From my understanding, its not too bad. The people out there do rotate the blades and also put fluids inside the engines to keep them ready to go. The interior is protected from sunfade and such, but I'm assuming they'd still do some cleaning of it.
 
BA787
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:16 am

Cant believe there are 744s sat around, and I assume that the SR MD11 in a photo is long gone inot freighter form
 
CWAFlyer
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:25 am

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 27):
I did not see a 717 in the picture-- I saw an old DC-9.. but I might be missing it. If a TWA 717 is in the desert I believe it was a total loss resulting from a landing gear incident at BNA-- does anyone else remember this? I want to say it was in 2000- not sure.

The incident you mention was a DC-9-30, not a 717. The only TWA 717 gear incident I know of was a nose gear failure after a diversion to BLV.
 
kmh1956
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:30 am

Quoting Goaliemn (Reply 30):
They are still planes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

If these places were to charge a nominal fee for touring/photography etc, surely that would help go toward the upkeep of the planes in storage.

Just an idea...
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
 
Dtw757
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:39 am

Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 33):
If these places were to charge a nominal fee for touring/photography etc, surely that would help go toward the upkeep of the planes in storage.

There is probably some insurance regulation I'm sure to keep visitors out. Probably afraid of a lawsuit in our sue happy society.
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scramjetter
Posts: 58
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:58 am

After 9-11 there were a lot of airliners parked at KGYR in Arizona.


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Goodyear is a municipal airport and hosts Lufthansa's training facility as well as a heavy maintenance company, the name of which escapes me now. There were many freighter conversions done here for FedEx (DC-10s).

Now the field is considerably less dense with aircraft waiting to be modified or chopped for parts. May be a sign of the times, upswing, or a change of the local mx. company's mission. There have been aircraft of every major type here from DC-9s -10s, to 777s and 747s and Airbus.

A search on the airport's code KGYR will yield lots of cool pictures of very different aircraft parked next to each other as well as a variety of color schemes!
 
tonytifao
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:05 am

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 5):
Agreed 100%. Northwest "Red Top" livery is still one of my favorites... The new one is pretty nifty too... but just not the same.

Why does Northwest have so many planes in the desert?
 
ualcsr
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 12:53 pm

RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:46 pm

Quoting AirTran717 (Reply 29):
Check out Historychannel.com. The show was called "The Boneyard" I believe. It explains a little about this and other types of "boneyards".

Just ordered it. Thanks for the tip--and to everyone else who's posted.
 
hamster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:08 am

RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:52 pm

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
Many airlines cover their name, but KLM's distinctive blue is frequently seen, and even without the name, Delta's L1011's are hard to miss.

why do they do this cover the names?
 
TSS
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:26 pm

Quoting RobK (Reply 24):
I guess aircraft graveyards like MHV and MZJ are a paradise for deadly snakes and spiders etc and I think I'd be frightened to death of walking round somewhere like that!!

If you know what creatures you're dealing with, it's really not so bad.

Tarantulas are common in the desert and though they're huge and scary-looking, their bite is not deadly.

Scorpions are also very common in the desert, and some of them have deadly stings. Fortunately, they're nocturnal and prefer to stay deep in their burrows during daylight hours.

Some desert snakes are poisonous, some are not. All are best left alone.

Just pay close attention to where you step and where you put your hands and you should be fine.  Smile
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
IFIXCF6
Posts: 107
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RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:43 pm

I'm a mechanic at VCV, so here are a few answers to questions and comments I have seen in this post...
No, you did not see a UA 320, we've never had any 320's here.
An airplane officially "dies" when the data plate is removed, it's usually in the L1 door sill.
The costs for reactivation can vary widely. A UA 744 is usually bugeted for 350-400 man hours. But that is just to "undo" the induction to storage and some checks of systems. Storage and reactivation cards always assume the aircraft was in perfect operating condition going into storage, and will be the same coming out. Neither (especially the latter) is true. Finally, what was the quality of the storage program itself? Engines run or preserved or left to rot? Hydraulics, flight controls, pneumatics run or not? It all affects the time and cost to get her flying again, safely.
Last, I know of no 744, 717, or MD11 that has been scrapped. They are stored and will live to fly again!

Mike
 
Dtw757
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

RE: Planes Parked In The Desert

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:51 pm

Quoting IFIXCF6 (Reply 40):
No, you did not see a UA 320, we've never had any 320's here.

Sorry, I probably confused these 2 airplanes with A320's and I can see now that they are not. Looks more like 767-200's now that I look at the picture closer.
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