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Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:45 pm

What was the worst time you didn't have your camera with you when there was an excellent photo oportunity?

Mine was just the other day. I think I may be scarred for life...

I was going to dinner in the city (of Sydney) when I noticed two helicopters making low passes over famous Sydney Habour. Once I got closer I noticed they were making passes by the Sydney Opera House and were filming something. This went on for about 45 minutes to an hour, with me sitting, watching and dining, helpless without my camera. From the Opera House to the hovering/slowly passing helicopters right by it, it was a perfect picture. Finally, rubbing salt in the wound, the helicopters were probably filming the new Qantas ad. It would have added another dimension of relevance to the scene...

Oh well, I've rambled on long enough. Have you guys experienced any moments like that?

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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 5:19 pm

We wait for Concorde to takeoff.
I shoot various aircraft while waiting for her.
Concorde lines up, switches on afterburners.
I point the camera, AF does its job, then poum ! battery symbol blinks red and camera shuts down . Asti !

Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 5:49 pm

Same as UTA it was Concorde.

Althouh, mines a differernt story. About 5years ago I was on the viewing deck at T£ @ LHR, when there was a nig band. Concorde had blown a tyre! All of the emergancy services were around her. I was annoyed for days!!


Simon Big grin
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:21 pm

Went to Airliners International Convention in Dallas in early 1980's. Took lots of great shots at DFW. Next day home went to SeaTac more great shots. Got that sinking feeling when I noticed the counter on the old Canon was at frame 39 of a 36 exposure roll. Yep, no film in the camera!
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:54 pm

Many years ago, KLM where putting there DC-9's out of service and they made a goodbye flight over the Netherlands, there where about 4 or 5 DC-9's flying in formation at about 1000 feet I think. There was a lovely sky, nice clouds and the sun was starting to set, I think this could have been a great photo.
This must have been somewhere in 1990.

Also, about 6 years ago, on a hot summer afternoon I was at the beach and there was an Evergreen Boeing 747 (Cargo) which was having serious controlling problems and returning back to AMS, flew along the coastline at (it must have been) about 800 feet dumping fuel. This was an amazing, I thought it was going down. A few days later I heard the ATC conversation, and if I remember right, the ATC could not see it on radar anymore.
Luckily the pilot managed to get the aircraft safely on the ground (runway 19R (now 18C))

You can read part of this on

For Dutch people there is a very interesting document about this incident at

[Edited 2004-02-10 14:02:42]
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:29 pm

Shoebomber Richard Reid.......
A co worker asked me if I heard what was happening at the airport (Logan-KBOS)....I was off work that Saturday. He said it sounded like some trouble on board a plane. At that moment, directly above me, 2 fighter jets whiz over my car (I was on the elevated highway at Logan's perimeter)........OUCH!One that got away...
Mark Garfinkel
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:49 pm

Back in the summer of 2003, Concorde made a low pass over Southampton for some kind of special flight which I think was to do with Swanwick Air Traffic Control Centre (Does someone know why?)

I had about 20 seconds to get my camera but I was too late  Sad Kicked myself so many times about this!

Justin  Big thumbs up
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:21 am

Oct 24th 2003, Kennedy Airport, Concorde Last departure.

Got two shots of before battery went dead. Brand new batteries to. Guess they were defective.
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:57 am

I was over at Falcon Field, on the Echo Ramp (with special permission) getting photos of R22's and R44's when a MD-500 started doing maneuvers about 60-75 feet from my location and I ran out of film!  Pissed
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:16 am

Back in 1998 I saw a Sabena A340 landing and skidding off the runway due to a construction error in the main landing gear. As usual, my camera was at home  Sad

Furthermore, every now and then I get to see AMS diversions taking off from BRU, where I work. I'd love to get out of the office for a couple fo hours and go shoot some pics...

UTA_FLYingHIGH: Yeah, I remember. What a terrible moment indeed. The rest of the crew were all taking pics and you had nothing but a dead camera  Sad . Let me show you the picture I took at that very same moment :  Laugh out loud

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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:29 am

I just happened to drop by the Museum of Flight one afternoon to pick something up from the gift shop. There was a crowd gathered. I was told the Museum was receiving their F-14 Tomcat donation that day. It flew in escorted by a F-18 Super Hornet. They both flew over the field, did a carrier break, landed, taxied through the perimeter fence gate and into the MOF parking lot, not more than 20 feet from where I was standing. (LOUD!) The F-18 pilot's parents lived in Seattle and he was visiting them for the weekend.

My camera was at home.

Now, whenever a trip even takes me by Boeing Field, I bring my camera.
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:32 am

"Now, whenever a trip even takes me by Boeing Field, I bring my camera."

And a spare timing chain.  Laugh out loud

Cheers, Andy
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 4:07 am

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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:02 am

I had my camera that day but me and my buddy: Nuno, stopped by a store for a little chat with some friends when I look out the window ans see a DC-8 landing on runway 23 (about 700m away from us) and it was the only one i've ever seen  Sad Later we saw it take of.... the black smoke was just WOW!
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:08 pm

Delta 727's at BNA When I had the camera I never saw one then when I did not have the camera I saw it a couple of times.

I think it was teasing me.  Wink/being sarcastic
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:40 pm

Back in 1996, the only one chance that I have spotted Concorde in Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport. My friend told me that Concorde will arrive the next day, so we just walked back home from the spotting place. And then, I heard a very special sound was just coming at the back. So, I turned around and shouted "Here is the concorde". However, my friend didn't trust me. I, immediately, picked up my very old 50mm fixed focal length Chinese-made SLR camera and shot.

After the photo has been developed, it was blurry since I was so excited at that time and my hand shaked! That's the only one chance that I have saw Concorde in air. I miss concorder now. Everytime, when she visited Hong Kong, I wasn't able to spot it. It's a shame of me.

Anyway, I am now an international student who is now studying in University of Victoria in Canada. Victoria International Airport is a very special airport to me since there are just a few jets come. However, sometime, they have some charter flights! That's why I am going to love this airport. You never know what is coming before you have checked the online schedule.

Just my 2 cents.

Bowen @ YYJ
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:43 am

Lets see, I have a few.

Going back to 1998 or 99 when Concorde visited MAN, I took the camera (a normal household camera - I never cared for photography at that time), there was some film in it and I was told that there was 36 blanks. So I am there at the viewing park and start popping off shots of the outbound
American stuff - AA, CO and DL when I hear the camera making a funny noise (like I said, I never cared for photography but I did guess that it was winding back) well it was, it was a 24 not a 36 so all my careful planning went balls up and I just had to watch.

October 2003 - MAN, Concorde (G-BOAG) visits on the farewell tour, I manage to grab a place on the side of the first mound at the viewing park with my dad - just infront but below the hardcore A-netters, I was using my dad's digital camera (I didn't get mine for another three weeks), Concorde finally begins the approach and I have it lined in my sights and am following her in, when bam, I get a brilliant clear photo of the back of someone's head at close range. Fortunatley I managed to recover and get a good shot of the main gear touching and the nose gear too.

Jan 2004 - The Monarch A300 (G-OJMR) which I am sure is the only one in old colours was a real surprise visitor (to me who never checked the schedule). I was still getting used to my camera so as I was following it in, i thought I had a great shot - which I did, just it is missing the tail! So me and my dad waited about two-three hours and finally decide to go home, I'm stood at the car and I hear something so I start walking back to the mound and I see her coming at me. I manage to get about 15 shots of her taxing past, the problem was I was so damn cold I couldn't stop shaking so every picture was written off, only the tail shot which took so much sharpening made it onto the JP database - I didn't bother here because I knew there was no way it would get in. I only think they accepted it out of pity.

Last night - MAN - T1 Car park roof - Well it was dark, just decided to go to the airport with my dad for an hour. My dad got talking to some guy who was shooting - I guess he was from here. When I hear something coming around Pier C, I look and see the large 'M' - It was G-OJMR again. This was the third time I see it with my camera (the second it was windy on the roof but I did get them into JP not here though). I leg it over there and pop off about 30 shots of her, I get home and not a single bloomin shot of anything last night was salvagable. All 60 shots were W/O, because of the light my lens stays open just a little longer to focus and well - it shakes too easily.

Thats why the Monarch A300 in Old Colours is my Unicorn - Something always goes wrong when I see her.

My Bat went today, lucily I had just bought some new ones but they went as I was lining up a shot on a KL F100.

Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:28 am

Actually I just remembered this while browsing through some of my pics:
On a late afternoon in SSA (Brazil)I was taking pics with some friends when we saw an A320 on finals. Suddenly two buzzards show up flying low and slow towards the threshold area, and my friend screams "they're gonna hit the plane!"
I did'nt say anything because even my mental calculations told me it was gonna be close. I turned my camera on in any case, and start snapping away.
Then the 2 buzzards converge on the A320, my buddy screams "it got 'em!" but I miss the exact moment one of the buzzards hits the middle of the nosecone!
I shot the second before and the second after the hit, with the nose already caved in and the dead buzzard on the runway.
Man, thats probably the only birdstrike I'll ever witness!
Funny thing is that while taxiing in the A320 not only reported the birdstrike over the threshold but also a stray dog on the taxiway!
I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:40 am

Well, two lost opportunities come to my mind :

1) November 5, 2003 : I arrive from Europe at JFK and see that the Concorde is there, being prepared for departure to BFI. What an opportunity I thought... besides the lousy weather I could maybe still at least see the last departure. Well, went through immigration and met our station manager at JFK shortly afterwards who called BA for me - only to hear that Concorde had just departed  Sad

2) Flight on Sabena to Brussels on board a Schreiner ATR. We had to hold for a while and suddenly I spotted Sabena's A340 not too far below us, gracefully turning towards the airport. What a picture!! And stupid me with no camera....



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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:42 am

Just a couple of weeks ago, flying LGW-LAS, staring out the window, had a fantastic opportunity, as I had my digital camera and my trusty old SLR with me, but I was taken by surprise initially, then I didn't have enough time once I put my brain in gear.
Beautiful deep blue sky, colourful Union Jack winglets on our 747, and AA 767 slightly above and heading diagonally front to rear of our plane glinting in the sun, leaving vapour trail. What a shot it COULD have been.
I've still got the picture in my head.......a gorgeous sight indeed. Vibrant Colours, Snow white vapour trail and shiny silver 767.
Ok, Now I'm going to go bang my head against the wall!
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:46 am

I missed those great shots opportunity all the time, especially most of the time inflight I looked out the window, something underpass you or a contrail or flypast a nice airport, where is my camera? At the overhead bin.....I am just too lazy to hold my camera on a flight for some rest. Imagine I have my camera everytime with me on a flight, that would be something but thats more intentional and I feel comfortable about the shot I am getting so far. You get certain amount of good chance and good photo in life, but don't push you luck too much and you ain't getting any.

I missed the first schedule arrival of PIA B777 at LHR in gorgoeus sunset light, but I ain't complaint, you get something in life, you lost something......I am already too happy about what I got so far.

For more of myself and my flight reviews visit
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:20 pm

Mine was years ago, back when I carried a camera around religiously.

When I and my family were vacationing at a lakeside cottage in Northern Ontario, a Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules flew almost directly over the cottage a few hundered feet above treetop level and then out over the lake. My parents were on the lake in a canoe when it flew by, and I was in the cottage toasting a bagel.
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:19 pm

I haven't actually had many. One was a go-around by a CRJ when there was a 747 on the runway. My camera wasn't on! And the other was MSP-MDW, I was on a Northwest A320, on short final, I was ready to shoot a shot of us skimming the rooftops, then the battery died! I was rather mad!

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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:43 pm

Mine were missed shots from an aircraft. I board the Airbus A340-313X of Cathay Pacific at HKG to AMS. I point my camera to some subjects on the tarmac and then... battery icon blinks.. battery low  Sad
No photo's of aircrafts on the ramp, no photo's during take-off and landing, no cabin shots grrrr...
I already boarded the aircraft and it was to late to buy some new batteries.
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:05 am

Medevac chopper trying to land in the garden, by the time i got my camera the pilot had decided to put the chopper down a few blocks further.

Missing the Jubilee flypast over Buckingham Palace.

A few months back a Rossiya IL62 visited Schiphol. I could see it take from in the distance from the train to Schiphol. The same happened a few months before that with a Singapore Airlines A340.

And i have missed CSA's logojet about 3 times because it took of from the wrong runway. Still have not got a photo of it!
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:44 am

Hi William,

I still remember your LHR experience very well! Big grin

What a sad moment indeed...  Sad Certainly because you didn't catch the departure flight on Sunday (you had already left to DUB).

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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:59 am

How about an A330-300 passing by 300 meters to the left of my plane in the opposite direction while I was staring out the window and had my camera in the bag. Ouch !
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:33 am

Well, recently, JA8906 (JAL HAWAII 50th Anniversary) made one appearance in Syd, Aus and I've been waiting ever since for it's return.

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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:23 am

I wouldn't say worst, but definitely disappointing...

The other day I was headed to class here in FLG, the campus is right near the approach to Pulliam Field. As I'm walking from my car I see the evening Dash8 for Am. West heading sunset...into the sun (so it is a nice shade of pink and orange)...right over the treetops...and no camera.

It's rare enough to see much here anyways, but something that nice doesn't come often.


still missing the smell of Jet A...
is that a light at the end of the tunnel or just a train?
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:41 am

About a year ago, I was just discovering my new end-of-the-runway spot at SAN waiting for "the" plane to take off (BA 777). A buddy and I were standing there for a good hour before pushback, and we realized the delay was getting to the point where it could be sundown before liftoff... we waited and waited and just as the a/c was finally taxiing, the good ole Airport Ops and Harbor Police folks came up to have a word. Get all of our info, run background checks, "put your cameras down, come over here to the fence" and whatnot. As they were running the background check, with both of our cameras out of reach, the BA did a very late, very heavy liftoff with plety of condensation all over the wings, in clear skies AT MAGIC HOUR.

Even the cops turned to watch. I never forgave the Harbor Police for making me miss that shot (don't think I'm against background checks and whatnot, but when you get questioned for 30 minutes and are told to down your camera when your shot comes up... argh.)

The best aviation photo I've ever taken was rejected by
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RE: Your Worst Missed Photo-op

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:49 am

I haven't really had that many opportunities to miss something great.  Big grin
But the one and only has to be the Santa Barbara Airlines DC-10 at MAD in November -03. What a beauty! At least I got to see it..

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