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Unknown Paradise for a whole day!

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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 1447
Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Unknown Paradise for a whole day! Reply with quote

Like I mentioned in the previous topic, I would be returning to Negombo, pretty soon. Me and Dad decided, the day on which Mum returns from Kolkata, we'd spend the day in Negombo. I checked the flight schedule for a Saturday from Bandaranayke Airport in Katunayke.

There were a lot of heavy metal expected! The first, starting with the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER flight to Dubai (for us, Dobby's flight. Why? Because that's the flight my dog came in, BOM-DXB A332 and EK-650, B77W DXB-CMB). Sadly for us, I woke up a bit too late, and worse, there was a LOT of traffic. 1005 was the departure time for the flight. Assuming the Emirates usual, we hoped it would be delayed. But that wasn't the case. When we came near the runway, the status said 'not yet departed'. But the wait was too long: with traffic zooming by, and both sides of us being 'Restricted Area's', a few military personnel came, but we drove away, just in time. Dad stopped at a place nearby, to have breakfast. Obviously, I was standing outside, with my camera! By now, the status changed to 'taxiing for take off' this was it. I stood there for 7 minutes in the sun. The traffic minimized. The cloud covered the glazing sun. Two buses raced each other, which caused the ground to shake. Everything grew silent. Just then, the ROAR of the GE-90 followed with a spectacular view of the Boeing 777 zooming into the bright skies! It almost felt like I could touch it! But, my prayers weren't answered. Just as I feared had happened. The auto focus on my lens didn't catch the aircraft, so I was extremely late to switch it to manual and get a perfect shot. This was the best I could manage:

At least, its the first time I got a photo from this angle Smile
The under of the aircraft was painted, showing that it is relatively new.

The next scheduled flight, was at 1210 hours, a SriLankan Airlines A332 to Frankfurt. More heavy metal, yes!

We hadn't got reservation at the Jetwing Lagoon hotel. So, I had to get over marshy lands to get pictures, which I knew would be hard.

Note the water monitor!

Lots of military action!

1210 arrived. Nothing. 1220, nothing. 1230, nothing. 1240, nothing. I told Dad that we'd go to the Lagoon Hotel at 1240, in time to catch the AirAsia A320 to Kuala Lumpur. This part of the land is located right in between the ocean and lagoon. Its just 0.5 km of difference. The sound of the waves kept fooling me. But as we went to our car, I was right. The A332 blasted away in on top of us! I had missed it. I didn't feel bad though, knowing there was something big coming up Smile

Dad got a phone call, which was enough for me to miss the AirAsia flight. The second miss of the day. Although, I got some more military activity:

Then we took our table and ordered our drinks. Action started immediately!
First aircraft, 15 minutes behind schedule, UL183, Airbus A320 service to Karachi:

1305 was the departure time for the A332 service to London, UL503. But, the third SriLankan flight for the day also looked set to be delayed. Instead, we got a SriLankan A320 to Chennai, as UL127, banking slightly late.

4R-ABK, one the 'new' ones.

A long time passed by. It was certain all SriLankan flights were delayed. No wonder my friends call it Usually Late (UL Wink )
Or, maybe, I finished my drink a bit too soon.
I ordered for a repeat, but it took too long. Instead, there was action on the landing side:

EK 348 from Dubai (our flight, as we know it Razz )

And a fantastic flare by the SriLankan A343!

No planes yet Sad

Atleast, this bird was flying!

Just as my drink arrived, a slightly late UL-115 to Male' departed.

This time, my aim was to sip my drink, instead of gulping it. So far it worked. The aircraft which I wanted to see, had taken off. The queen of the skies (no, she still rules it! Very Happy ). Saudia SV789 to Riyadh and Jeddah. The sound was beautiful! It echoed wonderfully! Topping that up, IT WAS LOUD!!!!!!!

What a fantastic show this beauty put up! I was now assured that there are Boeing 747 flights into Sri Lanka! Wonderful! There wasn't any doubt about the equipment as well, because most of the labourers I know, have been to Saudi Arabia for more than 2 years.

Then the SriLankan A320 action continued. UL A320's in CMB is just like 9W B738's at BOM. Except a smaller number, that's all. This was UL133 to Tiruchchirapalli, once again, late.

The Q400 from Chennai arrived:

Almost an hour late, at long last, came the A332 to London. The bank angle was spectacular! Also, there was water vapour lines coming out from the winglets! Another wonderful sight! Sound was also, fantastic!

(look at the winglets)

Another late A320, this time to Cochin..

Late to Delhi:

Slightly late, (but still, LATE) UL896 to Bangkok and Shanghai. This was a perfect way for me to describe the slower climb rate of the A343 as compared to the A332.

And then, 'our flight', EK 348 to Singapore.
Engines were bigger from last time. I could hear the engines as compared to last time. I saw the red belly, not there the last time. Wing tips were extended. In other words, the aircraft has been upgraded to a Boeing 777-300ER on the DXB-CMB-SIN sector.

VT-SUO was once again doing MAA-CMB-MAA! Silence was there when she flew past!

The next aircraft was unscheduled. A surprise. First, the take off freaked us out, because it was extremely low. Second, the smoke scared us, because we thought it was on fire. This was a mystery I had to solve:

While taking this picture, I told myself: this was just fall and crash on you, I hope you're ready?! Luckily, that didn't happen Razz

I did a quick search on the internet, looking at the registration. It belongs to Expo Air Lanka, a cargo airline. But along with that, I told my self: 'Low take off? Smoking engines? Only the Russians can, only the Russians can!' Yup, this was an Ilyushin Il-18!

All my boxes were ticked, other than the FRA A332 and the AirAsia A320. Two remained, and those were the 9W 73H and AI A321.

We went back to our hotel, so I waited for my last two catches.
Mihin A320 to TRZ as MJ301:

She gave me company Razz

The second Indian of the day, VT-JBX Very Happy

And the third, VT-PPL:

For the unaware eye, its a Kingfisher Airlines plane. But for us, its an Air India Airbus A321.

Speaking of Kingfisher, this one flies! Very Happy

There aren't any departures between 1700 and 1800 hours. So, we went for a cruise on the Negombo Lagoon.

UL A320

Another UL A320

Yes, that is my spot Very Happy

UL A320 again..

The sun hit us HARD!

They had smiling faces and a wave! Very Happy
No they're not photogenic, they didn't want their pictures to be taken.
Well, I don't understand Sinhala Razz


MJ A320

Back in the hotel..

We came back at 1805. By now, UL 229 to Kuwait, an A343, was supposed to depart. Just before we got down, I heard loud engines. This was NOT the UL A343, instead, it was the 'uknown flight'. In other words, the EK 773 from Male' approaching into CMB!

Seen all 3 EK planes in CMB!

Just then, another loud blast was heard. This was another heavy metal show. This was, UL229 to Kuwait!

It may be under powered, but it surely was LOUD!

The sun went down, and the activity heated up. Every few minutes there was an aircraft taking off. This was sad. But, the last picture I got was another heavy metal, UL217, A332 service to Male.


Following that, we went to pick up Mum from the airport, who came on VT-JGQ. That, of course, went back to BOM. The next, I was too tired to take pictures of aircraft taking off. But I did see the Oman Air B738, QR A321, etc.
All in all, another fantastic day spent in Negombo! I will surely get back there in winter to catch all the seasonal operating airlines.
I hope you enjoyed the whole report.

Jbalonso777 Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another lovely report, Jishnu - thank you! What stood out were also the non-aviation pictures: the water monitor, the somewhat rare sea eagle, the blue jay(?), the white egret/heron and the kingfisher. Your pictures of the water activity were also superb. Among planes, your `military action' also captured an Il-18 - a smokey with its four Ivchenko AI-20 propellers. Lovely captures of the Il-18, the SV 747 and the UL 332 with the condensation coming off the winglets, and the PPL, the `proletariat' plane.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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