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Just In From A Quick Spotting Trip To OKC!

Thu Mar 18, 2004 1:53 pm

To take a break from the spring break activities with the wife and kids, I made a run from the Embassy Suites on Meridian down to Will Rogers for a bit of spotting and photography.
Found a great place to catch most commercial traffic at OKC when landing from the North. The corner of the fence next to the tarmac driveway at the FEDEX ramp on Air Cargo Road is out of the way and draws very little attention (like trying to sit on the side of the Airport Road...ask me how I can comment on that one....). You can get the landings, takeoffs and taxi activity in one spot with the State Capitol and downtown OKC in the background. I put the Fuji S5000 thru the chain link fence and shot away.
I had a word with one of the FEDEX ramp guys and told them what I was wanting to do and they said go ahead but watch out for the sliding gate that opened from time to time to allow ingress and egress for FEDEX trucks and for goodness sake, don't try to come inside the fence when the gate opened. From the looks of the grass (or lack thereof) in the spot I was standing, it would appear that some others have had the same idea as me. For the OKC area guys, if you haven't already, give this spot a try.
In just over 2 hours, I got 3 WN (one was an oldie 737-200); 2 Delta Connection RJ and a Delta 737-200; a Frontier CRJ-700; a NW DC-9-31 in new colors; a United Express CRJ-200 in the new colors and a Fedex 727-225 that has not been shown in the photo section here before.
The ramp guys came over and told me that they had an a/c inbound and that it would be on the ground within 10 minutes. I got several good shots of the taxi in and unloading of the cargo containers. I did not know that Fedex carried US Priority Mail. You can learn something new everyday.
Another good spot for a quick shot or six is from the parking lot of the airport firestation. You can get some neat gate shots of United, Frontier and American. Over on the general aviation runway side, I got a shot of a vintage DC-3 and a Champion Air stretch 727 both coming in to land on the West side of the terminal. This was from the side of the road which, needless to say, drew some attention from the OKC police department. They were just as nice as could be but were quite adamant about not taking pics from the side of the road. The officer suggested a couple of other places to relocate to, which I thanked him for. He could have given me the bum's rush without any comment about where to take some pictures. He said that he saw a lot of photographers as of late and that it appeared to be a neat hobby.
The final "event" of the day was finding a Miami Air 737-800 loading a group of US Customs agents outfitted in their black tactical uniforms with most, if not all, carrying shoulder-slung SMGs or M16's. I walked over to the fence to have a look, but when a young fellow with an exceedingly ugly disposition walked over to me and wanted to know just what did I think I was looking at, I figured that discretion was the better part of valor and went back to the Suburban without trying to snap a pic of that ordeal. I wonder if they were enroute to a training exercise or something...They could have overtaken many small 3rd world countries from the looks of the group.
I missed the C-130 doing touch and go's as he started just about the time I was leaving as luck would have it. Likewise, I missed a 707 (likely military) doing some touch and go's, as he finished about a half hour before I got out to the airport. I could only watch from the hotel parking lot with the camera locked "safely" in the Suburban...
All in all, it was a nice trip over to OKC from Tulsa given the near 70 degree weather and on again, off again sunshine. I hope to have some pics posted here (if accepted) or over on in the next day or so.
Canon Shutter Slut
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

RE: Just In From A Quick Spotting Trip To OKC!

Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:57 am

Miami Air flys JPATS charters, and I believe that OKC has a large prisoner transfer facility, so you prob. saw something related to those 2 things.

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