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zolagola
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Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:18 am

This is the third of now four posts covering our recent trip to Arizona:

The summer break is over (at least for me), so let´s continue with this trip report series. After spending two days in and around Phoenix, we left the city on the I-10, heading south towards Tucson. Half-way, near Marana, we stopped at Pinal Airpark, one of the largest boneyards for commercial aircraft

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There is no public access but when driving along the fence one can get impressions of the various aircraft parked there. For example this Atlas Air B747-400 (N322SG) which was first delivered to ANA in 2000.

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This A330-200 previously flew for EK

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Dismantled engines and a less fortunate Korea 747 in the background

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This is one of the visitors who may one day re-enter service: D-AIHS (built in 2007) still belongs to Lufthansa and has been stored here since early 2017

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Despite it was Sunday when we visited, people were still working

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The sad remains of a Kunming Airlines B737

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Delta had some older 767 dismantled here - like this 1988 built -300 series (N126DL) which came to its final rest at MZJ after 28 years in service in 2016

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Also 28 years in service, this B757-200 (N523US) was delivered to Northwest in 1987 and flew its last years in Delta colours before being retired in 2015

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Special liveries don´t protect you from being scrapped as this Air China B777-200 (B-2060), which came to MZJ at the beginning of the year after a 20-year career, could certainly tell

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This 733 (XA-VIX) had 30 years in service between 1985 and 2015 with US Air/Airways and Mexican carrier VivaAeroBus

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Brazilian carrier GOL operated the B737-700 as PR-GOI from 2001 until 2016 when the aircraft was acquired by Delta to provide spare parts for its fleet and re-registered as N320GL

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An even older 737, this -200 series (N24089) with the characteristic JT8D engines was built in 1970 and flew for various Canadian operators

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The remains of a 737-800 (N436SR, built in 1999 and flying for Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, Viking, XL Airways, Enter Air) and a 747-300 (N3439F, delivered to Sabena in 1986 and stored at MZJ since 2003)

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We then drove around the airfield and spotted this special 747 (N744ST), more on her later

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Next stop was Tucson airport, namely Double Eagle Aviation who would allow us to see the boneyards from a different perspective

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We set off in a C172 from TUS

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The Pima Community College Aviation Technology Center, locatd right at Tucson airport, provides training to become an aircraft mechanic, FedEx had donated a 727 to the college in 2012

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Looking back at TUS and the Santa Catalina Mountains

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Alaska had stored some Dash 8 at TUS

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Flying over the commercial part of the airport where this Southwest 737-700 was getting ready for pushback

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After a pleasant ~20min flight, we were back at Pinal Airpark / MZJ – but with a much better view than from the ground

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From the ground, we for instance had not been able to see this B767-300 (N662GT) which was delivered to Dutch carrier Martinair in 1995 (when they still operated passenger flights), was later operated by ArkeFly, bmi, Varig and Russian carrier VIM Airlines whose livery she was still wearing. After being stored in Spain (TEV) and Germany (HHN) she was ferried to MZJ under the new owner Atlas Air in March this year

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The aircraft however which – unfortunately – was over-represented at Pinal was the 747

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This was largely due to the US carriers recently retiring the Queen of the Skies.

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Delta had several 747 ferried to MZJ in late 2017, early 2018

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But also other operators had sent 747s to Pinal over the last couple of years. The LH A346 must feel strange among such old ladies

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What makes boneyards a fascinating place for Avgeeks is that you come across airlines long gone – such as Northwest and TWA. Surinam Airlines is also not an everyday encounter

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These days one will not be able to find a conga line of 747 at another airport anymore

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The Delta 767, Enter Air 737 an Sabena 747 we had seen from the ground already

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Aerial view of the norther section of Pinal

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Approaching runway 12

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For the first of multiple low passes

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The Sabena 747 again and a former United 757-200 (N526UA) which flew between 1991 and 2016

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A collection of Boeing aircraft from around the world: two Air China 777-200 (B-2060 & B-2063), a Kunming Airlines 737-700 (B-2678 or B-2679), Korean Air 747-400 (HL7491/N316KA). GOL 737-700 (PR-GOH/N321GL) and Air Canada 767-300 (C-FCAG)

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Southwest had parked some 737, the Atlas 747-400 (N263SG) flew for ANA and Oasis Hong Kong before and the now white 737-800 (N832BC) was first delivered to Malaysian in 2013

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This United 747 must have been at MZJ for quite a while looking how pale the livery looks

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The 737-800 which is hiding behind the LH 346 had been delivered to Malaysian in 2013 and had just been repainted to Tarom colours when we visited. It is now flying for the Romanian carrier as YR-BGL

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Another former Korean 747-400 (N779BA, delivered in 1989) which also flew for Air India and then belonged to Boeing, leased by Evergreen Int

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This A330-200F (OE-IFJ) was delivered to MASkargo in 2012. The LH 340-600 is being dismantled as is the Delta 767-300 (N136DL)

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Lots of former Delta planes being scrapped

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Aerial view of the southern part of the airfield where most 747 are parked

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The multiple low passes allowed to properly focus on one side each turn

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Even DC-10 could be seen

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Delivered to Cathay in 1991 and converted into a freighter already in 1997, this B747-400 (B-HOU) last flew for Air Hong Kong / DHL

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Two 767-300 (N665AC / N668AC) among various DC-10 freighters which data back to the 1970s

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Another classic – TWAs 747-100 (N129TW) was delivered to Air France in 1976, joined TWA in 1996 and is stored here since 1997!

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A 747-200 (N471EV) with history – delivered to World Airways in 1973 it flew for Pan Am (as Clipper Mercury), Air Algerie, Malaysian, Air India, Saudia and was bought by Evergreen in 1986

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ANA received this 747SR (a specifically for the Japanese domestic market developed high-capacity 747-100) in 1981 as JA8153, it has been stored since 2004 as N245BA

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Another shot of he TWA 747-100

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Unknown 747

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Max Air 747-400 (5N-HMB). This is the former Qantas ‘City of Newcastle’ (VH-OJK) which in 2008 suffered a large hole in the fuselage enroute from HKG to MEL

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One of the Delta 747s

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N674US was the last 747 to be retired by Delta, thereby also making it the last 747 of a commercial US airline to be withdrawn from service

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Parked right at the end was N744ST, a former JAL and Evergreen 747-400 built in 1991. In 2016 it was converted into a tanker by Global Super Tanker Services and named ‘Spirit of John Muir’

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View of the eastern ramp

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747s all the way

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The Super Tanker along with a 1979 built 737-200 (N73HK) in Executive Jet Aviation, stored since 2016

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An Ansett 747-300 at the far end

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After 5-6 low passes it was time to head ack to TUS, one last look back as we departed in the evening sun

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Enroute to TUS

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TUS airport

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A United Express E175 landing at TUS

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The approach to runway 21, I hope you enjoyed the (virtual) flight

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The last images of this trip will be coming in part 4 shortly, in the meantime, feel free to leave comments below or check out some of my other trip reports:

2018
Arizona Avgeek Trip – Lufthansa Aviation Training & PHX Sky Harbor Fire Department
Arizona Avgeek Trip – Condor inaugural Frankfurt-Phoenix

2017
In Ethiopian C to paradise: OSL-ARN-ADD-SEZ
First Class East Coast Easter with LH and BA 747
Lufthansa A350 Inaugural Flight MUC-HAM-MUC

2016
European Regionals (incl. CS100)
Round the world (Part 3): Arabic A380 Apogee (Etihad Apartment)
Round the world (Part 2): Skipping a day
Round the world (Part 1): a First Class start
Air Berlin across the pond – AB Y+ & C on DUS-MIA-DUS
A South American Teaser – LAN C 787 on FRA-MAD
Testing The Swiss Triple Seven In C FRA-ZRH-GVA

2015
Tudo Bom! - To Brazil In BA First & Club World
Lost In India – BOM-DEL-DOH-DME In AI+QR C
Meeting The Singapore Girls – ZRH-SIN-BOM In SQ C
At Putin’s Show Room - Maks Airshow 2015
New, Newer, Qatar Airways – A350, A380 & B788 In C
Siam Birds - Nokair & Bangkok Airways

2014
Quick Trip Across The Pond To NYC (SN & UA In C)
The Kim-Dom Calling-avgeek Heaven North Korea (P3)
The Kim-Dom Calling-avgeek Heaven North Korea (P2)
The Kim-Dom Calling-avgeek Heaven North Korea (P1)
Beijing And Back In C: LH A346 Vs. CA B773
A visit To Kingman & Mojave Boneyards With LX & LH
Northwest In Style - FRA-SEA-FRA In LH F (old)
Living The Dream(liner) – LAN FRA-MAD-FRA In Y

2013
Sleep Like An Egyptian:BRU-CAI-BKK-CAI-FRA In MS C
Endangered Species - A Weekend Trip To Russia (P2)
Endangered Species - A Weekend Trip To Russia (P1)

2008
The True Berlin Airport - Last Trip To THF
 
bgboiflyer
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:37 am

It's amazing you got access. It's sad to see a lot of things here, and maybe one of those 744s flew me in 2013. Thankfully some part of the planes will exist somewhere else and maybe live on longer!
 
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DL747
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:19 am

Surprised to see a -800 parted out, and a RJ9+E75 in what appears to be storage. Lovely report, thanks for sharing!
Hey, thanks for stopping by! My photos can be found here: https://www.airliners.net/search?user=17 ... lay=detail
 
767747
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:22 am

Great photos. Would love to visit this sometime - Thanks for the tour of the boneyard! That 767-300 for Delta looks new from the photo there - hard to believe it flew since 1988.

All best -

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:03 am

Amazing photos!

It's sad to see all those 744s parked up there, especially the DL ones which look very new! Surprised to also see early 2010s build aircraft on the chopping block and real yesteryear airlines such as TWA, Ansett, etc.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:27 pm

Great, really great photos. One lucky son of a gun getting that ride, thanks for posting.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:15 pm

bgboiflyer wrote:
It's amazing you got access.

It's not as restrictive as it used to be. When Evergreen ran the place, they kept a tight lock on the field (unless you flew in yourself, but there were no services), no doubt a remnant of the field's and Evergreen's history with the CIA. They were out of compliance for many years with the state, because it is a public facility and requires public access. The company that took over about five or six years ago now arranges tours, I believe you just have to arrange it ahead of time.
 
Speedalive
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:25 pm

Did you catch a glimpse of C-GHPD (ex-Air Canada B763) by chance? Flew that bird from YYC-PUJ in 2011. Apparently it's stored there as well.
 
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mke717spotter
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:02 am

Thanks for the cool pictures. I went to school at UA in Tucson, graduated in 2014, so I drove past there numerous times on the way to/from Phoenix. Unfortunately for me, the place only became more accessible after I moved out.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
cwa2toa
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:33 pm

Saw 944 dropping phoschex on the Holy Fire this week. She's a beauty in the air.
We’ll pick a star
in the twilight canopy
and search the world
for the sights you long to see.
Your heart is young,
you’re alive, so come with me.

TWA, up, up, and away!
:airplane:
 
ba319-131
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:59 pm

Fantastic pictures, such a shame they don’t do tours, I’d definitely be taking one!

Best Wishes

BA319-131
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
brucetiki
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:21 am

All 3 of your TR's so far have been impressive. This was such a fascinating TR with the various stored/stripped jets about. Amazing to see some real classics in both aircraft and airlines in the TR.

Thanks for posting.
The early bird catches the worm, the late bird will be featured on a You Tube video
 
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zolagola
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:54 am

Thanks for all your positive comments :)

The last part is now also online: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1401163


Speedalive wrote:
Did you catch a glimpse of C-GHPD (ex-Air Canada B763) by chance? Flew that bird from YYC-PUJ in 2011. Apparently it's stored there as well.


I checked my images but couldn´t identify her I´m afraid. There is a Wikimedia image from 2014 which shows her half-dismantled so I don´t think there´s much left by now
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:11 am

Thank you for posting this Trip Report. Wow, so envious you got to see all this for real! I’ve never seen or visited an aircraft boneyard as yet.

I really appreciate the amount of research and detail you have put into the text, and the angles and variety of the images that you have captured here. :profile:

Cheers! :thumbsup:
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:14 am

Looks like this one is being scuff sanded getting ready for new paint.

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This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
airzona11
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:38 pm

This it the best tour of Marana I have seen. Driven by countless times, what a great trip!
 
cschleic
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 10:47 pm

Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:04 pm

Well done! Great photos and use of the Cessna as an aerial platform.
 
345tas
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:34 pm

Thank you for these terrific photos!

Surprised to see that Ansett 743 there after what must be at least 16 years.
Also I see a Hellenic Imperial Airways 742... any idea how long it has been there? There was one apparently abandoned in ATH as late as summer 2017 but judging from Google Earth it is longer at ATH.
 
RTY1941
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:35 am

What makes some of the 747s stay for so long?
 
evank516
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Re: Arizona Avgeek Trip – Pinal Airpark Flyover (747 boneyeard)

Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm

Wow, to see a plane in TWA colors after this long is just amazing.

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