July 1, 2009 was Canada Day and a statutory holiday! It was a Wednesday and one of the three days in the week that Emirates flies to Toronto, the other days being Mondays and Fridays. It's difficult to go spot the Airbus A380 during the week, so any statutory holiday falling on these days is definitely to be used to go see this bird! Runway 23 was in use and the weather was just great! Thunderstorms were supposed to past through the area, but fortunately the weather did not deteriorate. Got some usual arrivals like KLM, and some never seen before like the Transaero, before the beast arrived.
The Emirates Airbus A380 has drawn tons of non-spotters to the airport. Nowadays it almost feels like a celebrity is arriving at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International airport. Airport Road (yes that is the name of the road bordering the airport perimeter) is lined up with cars and tons of people, most of whom disperse no sooner the jet lands. And then with the warm summer nights there are line ups again at night when it departs at 2140, and then too the crowds disperse ever so equally once she takes to the skies. I can now say I have seen all three A380s flying in the world, the SQ and QF jets in Sydney and the EK whale jet here in Toronto!!!
Here is the beast arriving. I finally nailed it!! Not a very gorgeous plane though :(
The afternoon progressed with the other usual arrivals like Air India and Lufthansa. I finally, yes finally managed to get a fairly decent picture of one of the longest birds in the sky, the Airbus A340-600!! It's hard to sometimes fit it in your viewfinder but I guess that day I got lucky. I was there for over 8 hours (see reason why below) that I actually saw it arrive around 4:30pm and then leave some two hours later. I hope you like the pics too :)
Air India Boeing 777-200
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600. Now that is a gorgeous bird!!
And here she is departing back to Frankfurt from Rwy 23, where it landed some two hours earlier.
It was followed by the equally long and gorgeous Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER! I think this bird was going to London Heathrow!
A very unfortunate accident happened that day. From the last few arrivals around 4:30pm to almost 6:00pm Rwy 23 went "dead". Every single jet was landing and taking off on the far side on Rwy 24R and 24L. So when I saw the transit bus approaching, I decided there was no point waiting at this spot so I ran to get it. In a hurry I sat on the bus and removed my sunglasses, turned my head and saw a jet heading to the Rwy23 where I was just at, lining up to take off. It looked like the runway was going to go back into operation!!!. I pulled the cord immediately and ran off the bus to get a shot of it, and in all that hurry left my "Prescription sunglasses" on the seat of the bus! It is only after I had taken the photos, I went to put my sunglasses on, that I realised what had happened!
During the 45 minute wait between the next bus I photographed the LH A346 and AC 773ER above and some others. When the next bus arrived, I got on and frantically asked the driver if he could contact the driver of the earlier bus. He said he could not by any transit means, but happened to have his cell phone number. He got in touch with him and asked if anyone had handed him sunglasses when he finished the Southern route about 25 minutes ago, to which his response was "No". I was devastated. However he suggested I wait at the Airport terminal (where the bus makes a loop) and get on that driver's bus who was doing the return Northern trip to where I had got on earlier. So I waited and he came back and I frantically searched the bus where I had lost the sunglasses, to see if they had been left on the seat. They were gone and now I'm only hoping somebody returns it to the "Lost and Found", considering they can only use it should their eyes be as bad as mine.
I was so pooped by then I just had to sit down and relax my mind. . I got into a nearby coffee shop and as I was ordering the Air Canada Boeing 777-200LR to Sydney, Australia passed by and I was quite upset I missed it. Anyway I have my eyes set on being on that bird sometime next year using my FF points to travel the route! Fortunately Aeroplan (Air Canada's FF programme) is linked with American Express, so the more I use my credit card the more I rack up on the points. Sweet!!). It was almost 8:30pm now and I decided to wait to see the Emirates A380 take off in about an hour. Fortunately it left on time and around 10pm I was heading back home after a very great day of spotting but unfortunately a sad one where I lost my expensive prescription sunglasses on the bus!!
The Emirates A380 departing for Dubai, some 6 hours after it landed earlier in the afternoon.