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What day is it?? Where am I??

Hi All;

Something different for a change to the Afghanistan run, pictures on Fotopic as per usual and Flickr .

Little did I know when I boarded TF-ELK, fresh from a C-check on Sunday morning that it would turn into something of a tour of half the world!! The schedule looks like this but could and probably will change! Abu Dhabi to Damascus with 17 show horses for a show there. Then on to Hong Kong to collect a full load then on to Dhaka, Bangladesh for a crew rest there then on to Lahore to drop the freight and then back to Dhaka for another crew rest. Then, over to Singapore to collect another load the onwards to Dammam in Saudia Arabia. A crew rest there then over to Jeddah to collect another load and down to Bamako in Mali. At the moment it should be then back to Abu Dhabi but we have been warned that it could change.

Anyway, when we got to Damascus and proceeded to turn off the runway, the nosewheel steering failed so we ended up staying in Damascus for rather longer than planned, just over two days.

TF-ELK now looking rather boring bereft of its Etihad scheme.


Abu Dhabi Sunday 29/11/09:

VT-AYC Air India Express 738.

A9C-BAU Air Arabia A320.

AP-BEH PIA 733, picture on Fotopic.

9K-CAF Jazeera A320, picture on Fotopic.


Then it was 17 horses to;

Damascus Sunday 29/11/09:

A7-ADB Qatar A320.

HZ-APD, APE Saudia MD-90’s.

YI-AQA Iraqi Airways CRJ900, picture on Fotopic.

A9C-BAV Air Arabia A320.

YK-AQB, AQF Syrianair YAK-40’s, picture on Fotopic.

5Y-AXE Ishtar Airlines 727, picture on Fotopic.

YV1004 Conviasa A340, picture on Fotopic. Must be friendly with Mr Chavez!

YK-AYF Syrianair TU-134, immaculate and picture on Fotopic.

SX-BTF, BTG SkyWings Airlines DC-9’s.

TC-ETF Saudia A321.



EC-JVO Syrian Pearl Airways 146 still impounded here.


Damascus Tuesday 01/12/09:

EC-JQG Air Europa A330, picture on Fotopic/Flickr.

A6-EIG Etihad A320.

YK-AQD, AQF Syrianair Yak-40’s.

9K-CAE Jazeera A320.

JY-JAG Jordan Aviation 767, still in full Silverbird colours.

A7-ADW Qatar A321.

A6-EKT Emirates A330.

EP-CPT Caspian Air TU-154, picture on Fotopic/Flickr.

SU-BPZ AMC 738, picture on Fotopic/Flickr.

TC-JFU Turkish 738.

F-GKXO Air France A320.

EP-MHO Mahan Air A310.

TC-OGS Saudia 757.


Hong Kong Wednesday 02/12/09:

I am sat in room number 9052 whilst writing this, it has excellent views over one side of the airport and also one runway. The bed is almost as wide as the runway!! This room is also high enough to see most of the cargo apron so with an SBS box you’re laughing.

RP-C8609 Philippines A320.

RP-C3340 Philippines A330.

RP-C7777 Philippines 777.

A6-EFE Emirates 77F.

VT-VJP Kingfisher A330.

VT-JWG, JWL Jet Airways A330’s.

9V-SQI, SWI, SWK Singapore 777’s.

9V-SKE Singapore A380.

N758SA Southern Air 742F.

D-ACGB Air Cargo Germany 744F.

N571UP, 578UP UPS 744F’s.

JA402J JAL Cargo 744F.

HS-TJH Thai 777.

HS-TEF Thai A330.

9M-MMF Malaysian 734.

9M-MRC Malaysian 777.

PH-CKB KLM Cargo 744F.

N741WA World 744F.

HL7421 Asiana 744.

P2-ANA Air Nuigini 767.

HL7608 Korean 744.

B-16828 Mandarin Airlines E190.

A7-AFP Qatar A330.

C-FIUJ Air Canada 777.

ZS-OKG Air New Zealand 772.

VH-QPC, QPJ Qantas A330’s.

TF-AMI Saudia/AAI 744F.

TF-ELK Air Atlanta A300F, my ride.

HS-PGN Bangkok Airways A319.

VT-EJJ Air India A310.

D-AIHT Lufthansa A340.

N527FE, 596FE Fedex MD-11F’s.

N700CK Kalitta 747F.

VQ-BFX Air Bridge Carriers 744F, all white with titles.

HB-JMH Swiss A340.

N119UA, 174UA United 744’s.

F-GSPX Air France 772.

G-GSSC Global Supply Systems 744F.

B-3903 Deerjet 125.


Hong Kong Thursday 03/12/09:

I have included one picture on Fotopic/Flickr of the freight apron taken from room 9052 in the Regal to give you an idea of the view.

N831NW Delta A330.

JA617A, 618A ANA 767’s.

HL7480 Korean 744.

B-LDA, LDB, LDC, LDD, LDE, LDF, LDG Air Hong Kong A300F’s.

3B-NBL Air Mauritius A330, new scheme and picture on Fotopic/Flickr.

F-GUOC Air France 77F.

N128UA United 744.

VT-JWQ Jet Airways A330.

RP-C3240 Cebu Pacific A320.

HS-ABC Air Asia A320.

9V-SFB, SFN Singapore Cargo 744F’s.

RP-C7777 Philippines 777, picture on Fotopic/Flickr.

9V-JSH Jetstar A320.

OH-LQE Finnair A340.

C-FIVR Air Canada 773.

PH-CKD KLM Cargo 744F.

9V-SWM Singapore 773.

B-MAG, MAQ Air Macau A321’s.

HS-TGZ Thai 744,

N50KC G5.

B-KGP G550.

N818HK G550?, not in my Db.

N338MM G4.

B-8020 Da2000.

N888FR G4.

N68888 CL605, not in my Db.

B-LIM G550, picture o Fotopic/Flickr.

B-8085 G200.

B-KVC G550.


B-LSS G200.

B-KID G550.

M-ODKZ Da900.

N452PA Polar 744F.

N740CK Kalitta 744F.

HL7721 Korean 777.

JA8356 ANA 767F.

RP-C-8605 Philippines A320.

B-HSH A320 ex Dragonair outside HAECO, all white fuselage Orange engines and tail.

Dhaka and Lahore next...

Log & trip report for Kuwait and Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

Hello once again all;
Well, we are down to one aircraft in Abu Dhabi now and we are only
flying in and out of Afghanistan at the moment so not as much variety
as there has been. More pictures on Fotopic as is the norm but once
again, Flickr will just have to be patient.

The supply flights into Afghanistan seem to be gathering pace now, maybe something to do with Christmas, I dont know. I am still not entirely comfortable flying into a war zone but one thing that does make it worthwhile are the superb views of Afghanistan, very mountaineous.


Kuwait Thursday 19/11/09:
Not much here as usual apart from the local Wataniya, Jazeera etc;
N522AX Omni International DC-10.
I-LIVL Livingston/Kuwait Airways A330, picture on Fotopic in the dual
ZS-GAU Gryphon DC-9.

Bagram Air Base Thursday 19/11/09:
06-6155, 07-7170, 07-7185 USAF C-17’s, picture on Fotopic.
69-6820, 69-6575, 69-6577, 73-1590, 79-0479, 82-0060, 84-0207,
84-0212, 85-1365, 85-1368, 86-0410, 89-0509, 92-0253 USAF C-130’s.
1211 UAE Air Force C-130, picture on Fotopic..
S9-DBE Transafrik/ National Air Cargo C-130.
07-0711, 07-0736, 08-0790 USAF PC-12’s.
N40GZ, N350PT, N789LL, N898RJ Be200’s.
85-0150, 85-0155 US Army RC-12’s.
N967BW, N2357G Casa 212’s.
N1269J Casa 235, picture on Fotopic.
96-6049 USAF Casa 235.
96-0111, 99-0101 Ce560’s.
N948HB Be100.
86-0016, 87-0034 USAF C-5’s.
N956BW Metroliner.
021 Polish Air Force Casa 295.
N713CK Kalitta 742F.
YA-KMS, KMW Mil-8’s.
159584, 160433, 160436 USAF Prowlers, picture on Fotopic.
88-1670, 88-1687, 88-1700 USAF F-15’s.

Then it was back to Kuwait in the dark and the only things noted were
9K-PAA Legacy and ZS-GAT DC-9.

Regards clive.

My photos can be found at

Posted by superspotter | with no comments

Trip report and info for Abu Dhabi, Calcutta, Dhaka and Guangzhou

Hello again all;
Earning my keep once again, this time it included my first daylight
visit to Guangzhou. As per usual, pictures on Fotopic but dear old
Flickr will have to wait.
I have also posted on Fotopic, a few pictures of some of the aircraft
outside the maintenance hangars in Abu.

It seems there are too many employees here in Kolkata, this poor sod has been put to use as a wheelchock!!

Calcutta Wednesday 11/11/09:
Frame of the trip for me K2760 Indian Air Force AN-32, picture on
VT-JGX, JNN, JNR Jet Airways 737’s.
VT-ADJ, DKA Kingfisher ATR’s.
VT-ABC, ABD Alliance Air ATR-42’s, picture on Fotopic.
VT-INL, INX Indigo A320’s.
VT-SCO Air India A319.
VT-EPL, EYL, EPQ Air India A320’s.
VT-BAF Be200.
The three incumbent frames WFU; VT-AIU DC-3, NEA F-27 & BAA HS748,
looking decidedly worse for wear, as seen below:-.

Dhaka Wednesday 11/11/09:
The usual suspects, GMG, United Airways etc plus;
HS-UTW all white 742 not in my DB.
5N-MAD Kabo Air 742 still in the hybrid Northwest colours.
S2-ACU & AEU Ce208’s.

Guangzhou Wednesday 11/11/09:
Amongst the usual Chinese fare were:-
HL7466 Korean Air Lines 744F.
HL7507 Asian Cargo 767F.
N259UP UPS MD-11F.
JA613A ANA 767.

Kunpeng Airlines Embraer E190 at a very rain sodden Guangzhou airport.

Then after a 10 hour stay in the superb Pullman hotel at the airport, I have to say, this is probably the best Hotel I have ever stayed in and I have stayed in many! It is immediately outside the terminal and is part of the Accor chain of hotels, superb room, superb breakfast.Now, after the plug, will I get a discount next time I am paying??!!

Guangzhou Thursday 12/11/09:
HS-TEM Thai A330.
JA-605J JAL 767.
JA320J JAL 737.
VN-A308 Vietnam Airlines A320, picture on Fotopic.
B-3059 China Eastern E145, picture on Fotopic.
B-3063 China Southern E145, picture on Fotopic.
B-3130 Kunpeng E190, picture on Fotopic.
B-8088 Deerjet Aviation G4.
B-5047 China Postal 737F, picture on Fotopic.
B-2132 China Southern MD-83, picture on Fotopic.
B-5085 China Eastern 738, picture on Fotopic.

It was then back to Dhaka and onward to Abu Dhabi;

Dhaka Thursday 12/11/09:
A9C-KJ Gulf Air A330.
VT-AXN Air India Express 738.

Abu Dhabi Thursday 12/11/09:
RA-76807 Aviacon Zitotrans IL-76.
A9C-EV Gulf Air A320.
VT-AXQ, AXX Air India Express 738’s.
A6-MXB Maximus A300F.
D-AIKD Lufthansa A330.
AP-BIU Shaheen 732.
S2-ACP Biman DC-10.
VT-JBD, JGP Jet Airways 738’s.
ST-ATA Sudan Airways A300.
9V-SQB Singapore 777.
RA-82068 Polet AN-124.
G-ZZZB British Airways 777.
TC-JMI Turkish A321.
A7-ADA Qatar A320.

Regards Clive.

My photos can be found at

Posted by superspotter | with no comments

Trip report for Abu Dhabi, Madras & Columbo

Hi All;
Back in Abu from rainy Hyde.
Firstly a request, a few months ago there was a small thread on one of
these lists regarding a TU-154 abandoned in the desert in Abu Dhabi at
a small military base. I have a picture on Fotopic of the base and the
154 but could somebody please remind me of the name of the base and
the reg of the 154?? The picture appears in the Abu Dhabi Gallery
should you wish to peruse. OK, this request was answerd and I was informned that the field is called Al Ajban and apparently it is used by special ops forces....maybe the 154 is now used in that role.Here is the picture:-

You can see the 154 above the apron at the top right.

As usual now I am back here and Flickr is banned!! So, Pictures on
Fotopic but Flickr will have to wait until I am somewhere I can

Abu Dhabi Saturday 07/11/09:
A6-EIL, EIM Etihad two newest A320’s.
D-AAAM G550.
EZ-F427 Turkmenistan Airlines IL-76, picture on Fotopic.
I-CCCH BD100, picture on Fotopic.
VT-AXA, AXE Air India Express 738’s, picture of AXE on Fotopic.
N650PL G550, picture on Fotopic.
N381WA World Airways MD-11F.
A7-ADT Qatar A321.

En route to Madras/Chennai and a first for me, my first air to air
frame!! A BD700 approaching in the opposite direction and a 1000 feet
above us came over the GULAM beacon at the same time and called it’s
reg VQ-BSC, nice.

Madras Saturday 07/11/09:
Unfortunately it was dusk and peeing down here so not many logged;
My request first, there are four ex NEPC F-27’s stored here. I think I
read two of them as VT-NEB & NEJ, any ideas on the other two??
VT-BDJ, BDM Blue Dart 757F’s.
VT-AIO Deccan Cargo A310F.
VT-JCJ Jet Airways AT7.
VT-PAB, PAC, PAD, PAF Paramount Airways E190’s.
VT-DKJ Kingfisher AT7.

Then it was off to a new country for me, number 67, Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately in the dark and I didn’t manage to get a pic of the
stored AN-8  next time maybe.

Columbo Saturday 07/11/09:
4R-SKI Sky Cabs AN-8.
UP-AN213 ATMA AN-12.
9M-MPS Malaysian 744F.
8Q-IAQ Maldivian DHC-8.
4R-EXD Expo Air IL-18.

Regards clive.

My photos can be found at
My Flightglobal blog!!

Posted by superspotter | with no comments

Log/Trip report for Fujairah, Sharjah & Kandahar.


Hello again all;

Because of yesterdays catalogue of errors, I found myself once again starting out from Fujairah, a couple more shots on Fotopic , Flickr will have to wait etc.


Fujairah Wednesday 14/10/09:

The only changes from last night;

JY-JIA Jordan International Cargo IL-76, picture on Fotopic.

N921R National Air Cargo DC-8-62, picture on Fotopic.

ST-BDE Badr Airlines IL-76.

UP-I7601, 7602 Air Almaty IL-76’s.


Kandahar Wednesday 14/10/09:

580, 581 Hungarian Air Force Mil-24’s.

130325, 130332 RCAF C-130’s.

166512, 166763, 166923, 166924 US Marines C-130’s.

04-4134 USAF C-17.

06-4633, 06-4634 USAH C-130’s.

88-0326, 89-0267, 89-0271, 92-0253 US Army RC-12’s, picture on Fotopic.

A97-442 RAAF C-130.

EX-417 Aerovista Airlines LET 410.

ZA675 RAF Chinook.

ZH866, ZH882, ZH883 RAF C-130’s.

ZS-OLG, OLU Be1900’s.

ZZ417 RAF Be200.


EK-76717 South Airlines IL-76, picture on Fotopic.

A6-ESA Eastern Skyjets DC-9.

CH-04 Belgian AF C-130.

ZS-RSG Safair C-130, picture on Fotopic.


Just the one new one back in FJR, being 4L-FFE IL-76, operator unknown.


Regards clive.


My photos can be found at


My Flightglobal blog!!



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Posted by superspotter | with no comments

LOG/Trip report for Fujairah, Sharjah and Kuwait


Hello once again all;

Seeing as the aircraft was left parked in Fujairah instead of Abu Dhabi, we had to undertake the drive over there to start the journey.

We were supposed to be making our way to Kandahar in Afghanistan but due to one disaster after another I spent 23.5 hours on the aircraft and only got as far as Kuwait. We then returned back to FJR to try for Kandahar tomorrow. Only a couple of things different were seen in FJR in the dark from the previous visit. Photos as usual on Fotopic, Flickr will have to wait until the weekend when I am home.

So, I am sending this report from the Siji hotel just off the perimeter of Fujairah airport. Some of the higher rooms may give some view of the airport say rooms 801, 802, 901, 902 etc, unfortunately I am in room 803!!


Fujairah Tuesday 13/10/09:

RA-64032 Aviastar TU-204.

E7-BBA Icar Air 733.

N709CK Kalitta 742F.

ST-MGD El Magal Aviation IL-76.

UP-I7610 Skylink Arabia IL-76.


Sharjah Tuesday 13/10/09:

There are a couple of Sharjah overview shots on Fotopic taken on the climb out; 4L-FFF IL-76, operator unknown.

4L-GLX Sakaviaservice IL-76.

4L-VAS Trans Avia Service AN-12.

EX-036 Ababeel Aviation IL-76.

EK-76487 Click Airways IL-76.

EK-76717 South Airlines IL-76.

EK-76737 South Airlines IL-76, picture on Fotopic.

EK-76754 Click Airways IL-76.

EW-78792 Trans Avia Export Cargo Airlines IL-76.

EY-403 Click Airways AN-12.

N706CK Kalitta 742F.

N746SA, 758SA Southern Air 742F’s.

N872SJ National Air Cargo DC-8F.

ST-EWX Air Cargo West IL-76.

UP-I7606 Eastern Express IL-76.

UP-I7612 IL-76, operator unknown.

UP-I7621 East Wing IL-76.

UP-I7618, 7627 Asia Continental Airlines IL-76’s.

UR-BXS Maximus IL-76.


Kuwait Tuesday 13/10/09:

There is never a great deal here;

YK-ASC Da900.

ZS-PVF UN EMB120 Brasilia.


ZS-GAU Gryphon Airlines DC-9.

EP-CFH Iran Air Fk100.

JY-AYL Royal Jordanian A320.

A7-ADG Qatar A320.

HS-TND Thai A346.

A9C-EE Gulf Air A320.

4L-GLN Sakaviaservice AN-12, picture on Fotopic.


Then back to...

Fujairah Tuesday 13/10/09:

In the dark;

UP-I1802 Irbis Air IL-18.

UP-7624 East Wing IL-76.


Regards clive.


My photos can be found at


My Flightglobal blog!!



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Posted by superspotter | with no comments

LOG/Trip Report Abu Dhab, Sharjah, Bagram AB, Muscat & Fujairah


Hi All;
On a mission with this two day extravaganza! Started off in AUH, over to Sharjah to load up and then on to Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Muscat next for a tech/fuel stop then overnight, well four hours rest in Sharjah then load up once again and back to Bagram. Tech/fuel stop again in Muscat then night stop in Fujairah, phew!
Pictures as Usual on Fotopic, Flickr will have to wait. 

Abu Dhabi Friday 09/10/09:
Only two of interest;
AP-BIU Shaheen "new" 732.
UP-I7618 Asia Continental Airlines IL-76.

Sharjah Friday 09/10/09:
A6-ABC, F, G, H, J, K, L, N, O, Q, R and their just delivered ABS Air Arabia A320's, pic of ABS on Fotopic.
9A-BTD Sun Adria FK100, picture on Fotopic.
EX-035 Click Airways IL-76
EX-036 Ababeel Airways IL-76, picture on Fotopic.
N746SA, 758SA, 795SA Southern Air 742F's.
4L-GLR Sakaviaservice IL-76.
4L-GLL IL-76, not in myDb??
EX-169 Click Airways AN-12.
EW-275TI Rubystar AN-12.
EW-78792, 78848 Trans Avia Export Airlines IL-76's, picture on Fotopic.
UP-I7616 Sayakhat IL-76.
N279WA World MD-11F.
UP-I7612 IL-76, operator unknown.
UP-I7621 East Wing L-76.
UP-I7628 IL-76, operator unknown.
EK-12005 Taron Avia AN-12.
EK-12104 Air Armenia Cargo AN-12.
4L-FFF IL-76, operator unknown.
S2-AET L1011 Tristar, stored, picture on Fotopic.

Bagram Friday 09/10/09:
Only the civil registered aircraft here;
N962BW, 966BW, 967BW Casa 212's, picture on Fotopic.
N1269J Casa 235.
S9-BAT National Air Cargo C-130, picture on Fotopic.
S9-DBE Transafrik C-130.
TC-ACB ACT Cargo A300F.
9G-SIM Johnsons Air DC-8F, picture on Fotopic.
N535PN Be300.
N40GZ Be350.
N948HB Be100.
N761SA Southern Air742F, picture on Fotopic.
YA-KMR, KMS Mil-17's, picture on Fotopic.
N586BW Be350.
N64TR Be350.
N2696S Casa 235.
N801LR, 810LR DHC-8's.
N83KE Be350.

Muscat Friday 09/10/09:
4L-PAS AN-12, not in my DB and picture on Fotopic.
554 Royal Oman Air Force A320.
ZJ691 RAF BD700.

Nothing new seen in Sharjah on my return or in the dark the following morning and then, back to:-

Bagram Saturday 10/10/09:
07-0821 & 07-0838 PC-12's.
07-7184 C-17.
R-225 French AF Transall.
YA-KMW Mil-17.
N898RJ Be300.
N2357G Casa 212.
N150RN DHC-8.
N789LL Be350.
N350PT Be350, these two Beeches were seen in Manchester, so this is where they ended up!!

Muscat Saturday 10/10/09:
910, 915, 916 Oman Air Force Shorts Skyvans, pictures on Fotopic.
A4O-DB Oman Air A330.
F-OKEZ EC225, this was also wearing VN-8619 on the boom?? Picture on Fotopic.
N885AR G4.
4L-PAS AN-12, still not in my Db!!

FuJairah Saturday 10/10/09:
Finally!! I have been in the UAE for 10 months and this was the first time I had managed to get here. So glad I did.
I have posted on Fotopic several overview shots also of this place so you get an idea of what's there.
3X-GDP AN-26, operator unknown.
3X-GEZ GR Avia IL-18.
4L-BKA Trast Aero AN-26.
4L-ROM AN-12, operator unknown.
4L-TAS TLA Aviation AN-24.
4R-EXD Expo Aviation IL-18, picture on Fotopic.
4R-EXJ Expo Air DC-8F, picture on Fotopic.
5A-DKS Libyan Air Cargo IL-76.
5A-DQA Global Aviation IL-76.
5A-DQB Global Aviation IL-86.
5X-PST Transafrik 727.
A6-FAD PA-34.
AP-BIA Vision Air 732.
EK-32604 Ayk Avia AN-32.
EK-74043 Vega Aviation AN-74.
EK-76300 Air Highnesses IL-76.
EK-76727 South Airlines IL-76.
EK-85536, 85566 Armenia Airlines TU-154's.
EP-SAJ Safat Airlines AN-26.
ER-AFE, AFQ Aerocom AN-26's.
ER-AUR Trast Aero AN-26, picture on fotopic.
EW-43966 Genex Air AN-2, picture on Fotopic.
EX-017 AN-24, operator unknown.
EX-019 Air West Cargo An-24.
EX-049 Reem Air IL-76.
EX-059 Aquiline IL-18, picture on Fotopic.
EX-115 Trast Aero IL-18.
EX-151, 152, 153, 154, 155 AN-12's, picture on Fotopic.
EX-170 Varty Pacific AN-24.
EX-171 ASA Aviation AN-24.
EX-601 National Paints IL-18, picture on Fotopic.
EX-103 SCAT 1-11, picture on Fotopic.
EX-86916 Botir Avia L-76, picture on Fotopic.
EY-536 Skylink Arabia 737.
EY-538 Pamir Airways 734.
N194AT Barq Air Tristar.
N708CK, 715CK Kalitta 742F's.
RA-76386 Aviacon Zitotrans IL-76.
RA-76484, 76951 Volga Dnepr IL-76's.
RA-76509 Abakan Avia IL-76.
RA-76822 Kosmas Air IL-76.
RDPL-34146 Imtrec Aviation IL-76.
RDPL-34153 Lao Capricorn Air AN-12.
S2-AFA THT Air Aervices 742, picture on Fotopic.
S9-DAE Goliaf Air IL-76.
S9-KHF Tranzliz Aviation AN-12, picture on Fotopic.
ST-ASX United Arabia Airlines IL-76.
TL-AEB "Asia" 727, picture on Fotopic.
UN-76499 ATMA IL-76.
UN-87537 Taraz Wings Yak-40.
UP-AN201 Mach Cargo AN-12.
UP-AN210 East Wing AN-12.
UP-B2701, 2702, 2703, 2704 Mega Airlines 727's.
UP-I1803 Jubba Airways IL-18.
UP-I7601, 7603 Air Almaty IL-76's.
UP-I7624 East Wing IL-76.
UP-I7630 Skylink Arabia IL-76.
UP-I7637, 7639 Asia Continental Airlines IL-76's.
UP-MI219, 220, 222 Skylink Arabia Mil-2's, picture on Fotopic.
UR-CCY Astral Aviation AN-12.
UR-CEM Veteran Airlines AN-12.
VP-CGF L1011 Tristar WFU.
Z-WTV Avient IL-76.

Regards clive.

My photos can be found at

Trip Report to Stansted, Munich and Abu Dhabi.

Hi All;
On my travels again, this time on a horse charter, taking the Queens Cavalry horses back to Blighty. This was a departure to my usual jobs in that rather than load the aircraft on the normal freight ramp here in Abu Dhabi, we loaded the horses on the "royal" or to give it the proper name, "Amiri" ramp. This is located at one end of the airport and, as the name suggests, normally plays host only to royalty, VIP's, sheiks, sultans etc but on this occasion it had me! To say this ramp is kept clean is perhaps an understatement, so when the hi-loader that was positioning onto our aircraft shed it's load of hydraulic fluid onto the ramp, well, lets just say people started to panic.Again, that's probably an understatement...headless chickens came to mind!! Fire engines appeared, soldiers appeared, guns get the picture.Anyway, it didnt take them long to clean it up...

Return to Abu Dhabi was via Munich to pick up some General freight.
A few pics on Fotopic and although I managed to update Flickr whilst in the UK, these pics will once again have to wait for their Flickr upload.

Stansted Tuesday 06/10/09:
D2-ANG BD700.
N606CH G450.
N257JM TBM700.
OE-IBR Legacy.
SX-DVL Aegean A320.
D-ABQF Air Berlin DHC-8-400.
LZ-CGO CarGo Air 733F.
9M-XAB Air Asia A340.

Stansted Wednesday 07/10/09:
N664JN G4.
D-ABDM Air Berlin A320.
A6-GDP 742F.
A6-MMM 744.

Munich Wednesday 07/10/09:
Only there for a couple of hours and  had to fit the spotting in between work!
I-ADJK, ADJM, ADJO Air Dolimiti E195’s, picture on Fotopic.
VQ-BAR Rossiya A320.
EI-DVT Air One CRJ900, picture on Fotopic.
CS-DFC Netjets Da2000.
G-LEAB Ce510.
YR-SBE Carpatair Sf2000.
N411WW G550, picture on Fotopic.
N709DS BD700, picture on Fotopic.
D-ABDJ Air Berlin A320.
HS-TNF Thai A346.
EC-KRV Pronair MD-87, picture on Fotopic.
LN-KKD Norwegian 733.
D-APBD Privatair 737.
LX-WAL Westair ATP.
OH-LEM Finnair E170, picture on Fotopic.

I caught two guys airside at Munich airport taking pictures of the aircraft and I caught them taking pics of me!! Anybody recognise them??

You know who you are!!

Air Berlin A320 D-ALTF.

Air Dolimiti EMB 195 I-ADJM.

Abu Dhabi Wednesday 07/10/09:
Seen after landing back here;
P-204 UAE Police Air Wing AB139?? Notin my Db.
4R-ABJ Sri Lankan A320.
EZ-A002 Turkmenistan 733.
UP-I7618 Asia Continental Airlines IL-76.

Regards clive.

My photos can be found at

Posted by superspotter | with no comments

Trip report/LOG Abu Dhabi, Tripoli & Milan Malpensa

Hi All;

Another flight to a couple of the scheduled destinations, a few photos as usual on Fotopic, again Flickr will have to wait.

AUH-TIP-MXP-AUH is a regular scheduled route that we undertake.As you all know, visiting the same airport all the time gets a little less exciting the more you do it and I feel the same now about Tripoli. I get several e-mails when I say things like this along the lines of "how dare you complain when I would give my right arm etc" so I apologise for my misdemeanour but it's the same in all walks of life isnt it?? variety being the spice of life?? We used to drop into Mitiga, the military airfield in Tripoli and drop the freight but no longer. Unfortunately, I only ever got to go there once and that was in the dark and I could see so many tails going begging, I was looking forward to a daylight visit and I am still waiting.....

Malpensa though had a nice surprise on this occasion in the shape of a brand new Ferrari California being shipped to Australia! We quite often carry vehicles and this one, Ferrari's first hard top convertible was rather nice and at a price tag of circa £147000, was the closest I will ever get to one!! I had to sit in it didnt I?? It would have been rude not to, and pop the bonnet....

A work of art!!





The Airbus A300 freighter, as with all freighters, can carry a multitude of different sized pallets and the locks on the floor of the aircraft cater for all these sizes. There is a worlwide standard of pallet sizes and believe me, there is a lot of them! All with different codes: PMC, PAJ, PRA, PZA, PLA, PLB, get the picture.The thing is, you have different codes but the same sized pallets, that's when your job gets a little more difficult. Always handy keeping a document with all the different sizes/codes to hand helps! Anyway, this ferrari was shipped on a PRA pallet which equates to a 16foot long affair.On the airbus however, the 16foot pallets do not fit into any of the locks so it becomes what's known as a "floating" pallet which as the term suggests, will move around because of the lack of suitable locks. So, these pallets have to be restrained using straps, no problem just a little more work! I think you can see the strapping in one of the above pics. The red and white tag you can see in the pic states that this pallets carries dangerous goods, in this case petrol and batteries and not the launch button a la F1 you can see on the steering wheel!!

There is also a 20foot pallet available but these blighters thankfully dont fit on the airbus, they cannot be turned through the door on entry.


Abu Dhabi Sunday 27/09/09:

Only one of interest;

AP-BIT Shaheen 732, not in my Db and picture on Fotopic.


Tripoli Sunday 27/09/09:

Please don't call me like some of you do!! But TIP is getting rather mundane now, sorry!! How I wish we could go over to Mitiga like we used to L All the usual Afriqiyah/Buraq and not a lot else apart from:

SE-DUU Petro Air FK100 all white.

10201 Swedish Air Force G4.

5A-ONG Afriqiyah A330.

5A-ONI Afriqiyah A319.

5A-DLL Libyan Air Transport IL-76, picture on Fotopic.

5A-DRT & DZZ Libyan Air Transport IL-76's, picture on Fotopic.

These last two 76's seem to be in storage. They have appeared here recently and are parked on the same side and close to the IL-76's, Caravelles etc.

These two Libyan Air Transport IL-76's are recent arrivals here and appear to be in storage. 5A-DZZ And 5A-DRT.

More rotting corpses here in TIP in the shape of 3 727's and a couple of F-27's.



Milan Malpensa Sunday 27/09/09:

Not a great deal seen here this visit;

D-ACNA Lufthansa Regional CRJ900.


SU-PBG Air Memphis A320.


Landing back in Abu Dhabi I managed to see A6-EHK so just EHL left for me.Luckily, I had to return to the airport later, near midnight to "kick-out" a flight which basically means I do all of my job despatching the flight but dont fly with it and A6-EHL taxied past me on departure so that's all of the Etihad fleet up to date for now!


Regards clive.


My photos can be found at



Posted by superspotter | with no comments

Getting paid to go spotting!! (or, my life as a loadmaster...)

Well hello all;

My first blog post finds me writing about my trip yesterday into the cauldron that is today's Afghanistan. But before I do that, maybe I should tell you a little about myself.

Clive, British, 47, fat. That's all you probably wish to know! I fell into this job via the classic route of not what you know but who you know, you know. I had worked all but a few years of my working life behind one wheel or another driving all over Europe, becoming more and more stressed as the years rolled by. Maybe my good friend was taking pity on me when he suggested working as a loadmaster or maybe he had been a passenger one too many times up and down the wonderful roads of the UK seeing me slowly losing my cool (more often, not slow enough...). So, here I am, currently working out of the middle east, 28 days on duty and 10 days off, return tickets back home courtesy of my employer. This surely is the closest I will ever come to getting paid to pursue my hobby!! Enough about me Embarrassed

Working as a loadmaster, a dying breed in this day and age it seems, allows me the dubious pleasure of visiting Afghanistan. It has to be said I do have reservations about these flights to Iraq and Afghanistan and as long as we carry only general freight for the US bases then I suppose I cannot refuse because as the sign in the shop states "a refusal often offends", in this case it would most likely mean looking for a new vocation. One of the most irritating things about these flights are the constant changes in the run up to the scheduled departure times, or sometimes even cancellations when crew have already been positioned along the route.

So yesterdays routing was Abu Dhabi-Sharjah-Kuwait-Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan-Muscat-Abu Dhabi. On paper this was, for me, supposed to be a 17-18 hour duty from leaving to returning to my apartment here in Abu. It must be said at this juncture that being a mere loadmaster does not entitle me to the same duty restrictions as the flight crew i.e. captain and first oficer unfortunately and I am expected to work very long hours. This particular routing used two flight crews but only one loadie!! Anyway, it turned out to be 26.5 hours in does beat a 9 to 5 job though!! and my ofice window can be quite spectacular...

My ride


So as befitting my job title of loadmaster, my job entails receiving the "pallet weight statement" or PWS from the customer and transferring the weights and dimensions of each pallet onto our loadplanning sheets in order to ensure that the aircraft is loaded in such a way as to maintain an ideal balance of the aircraft's centre of gravity and that the load is secure and any dangerous goods are clearly marked and visible should the need arise to access them for any reason. Once I have determied everything fits then I transfer the information onto a loadsheet which determines the zero fuel weight and take-off weight %MAC (mean aerodynamic chord). This then determines the takeoff trim settings for the flight crew and if I have got my calculations correct, it means we actually become airborne!!

The aircraft's cargo deck, both the main deck and the forward and aft cargo bellies on a dedicated freighter are fitted with numerous locking devices that accept all standard pallets used throughout the world except, that is, for the blinkin pallets that the United States Air Force choose to utilise, why do they have to be different?? So on our Airbus A300-600 freighters, as these particular pallets only fit into the locks on three sides, I have to strap each one of them in order to prevent them from moving laterally. Another one of the reasons these particular flights are not my favourite, I have to endure a little physical work!!

So, back to the flight in hand. We left Abu Dhabi for Sharjah empty but with as much fuel stuffed into the tanks as possible, including the trim tank in the tail. This tank can hold as much as four tonnes of fuel and helps greatly with the trim espcially if you have the aircraft loaded in such a way that the C of G is biased towards the nose. Sharjah airport was, as usual, filled with plenty of Ilyushin IL-76's and Antonov AN-12's & AN-26's though not as many as used to be seen here a few years ago. This airport has transformed itself from a sleepy backwater that was mainly used to service the ageing russian behemoths to a fully fledged International airport mainly served by Air Arabia but also by other low cost airlines such as Jet Airways, Air Blue and even Air India amongst others.Six pallets were loaded in Sharjah, on this particular flight we were going to have 15 pallets in a single row down the entire length of the main deck and 4 pallets in the forward belly with nothing in the rear belly. So three pallets rearmost and three near the front for the short flight to Kuwait then the aircraft was fully loaded with general freight including tyres and truck axles etc and then it was off on the four hour six minute flight to Bagram Air Base near Kabul in Afghanistan.

Kinshasa B747SP, Sharjah

IL-76 line-up, Sharjah

As this was going to be my first visit to Bagram, I was quite looking forward to the expectation of the aircraft I was to see but not so to the approach pattern we have to fly into these bases and airports in these two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. No 12 mile finals here oh no. Lots of bobbing and weaving about, it does make one distictly nervous Indifferent I always have in mind the DHL A300 with the rather large hole in it's wing.....

Bagram is a large base, a mini town in it's own right. It made me wonder about the amount of money the US is spending here and the utter futility of it...oops a little political there. I have never seen so many Hercules aircraft in one place, unfortunately most of them went unread along with all the fighters and helicopters, lots of them. On the ramp that we parked on I was surrounded by Hercules, C-17's and numerous civilian registered but quasi military Beeches, Casas, Metroliners etc and it was a very busy base indeed. My first impression, stood there on the ramp was of the beauty of the surrounding landscape. On three sides the base is surrounded by mountainous terrain. The base itself is 5000 feet AMSL (above mean sea level) and the mountains rise to 20000 feet in places. 

Well, the unloading here was quite straightforward, undertaken by a civilian company rather than the military and after refuelling we were on our way once more. The departure was also rather interesting, I think we set a climb to height record for the Airbus with an all lights out departure including nav lights until 15000 feet....onwards to Muscat. This is a silly diversion because although we are operating for an Emirati company, they do not allow any direct flights from Afghanistan to the Emirates so we have to land in Muscat before continuing back to Abu Dhabi. It was only upon landing in Muscat that we were informed that we would not be returning to Abu Dhabi but instead they would like us to go back to Sharjah, turns out that they had another flight returning to Bagram the next day with the freight out of Sharjah snd the company were quite happy sticking us in a taxi for the 2 hour drive back to Abu, not so the crew!!

So here I am back in my apartment in downtown Abu Dhabi, waiting for the next flight. Coming up on Sunday is Abu Dhabi-Tripoli-Milan Malpensa-Abu Dhabi so hopefully I can let you know how it goes!

You can view many more of my pictures at or the first link is more up to date.