Posts Tagged ‘landing’

Introducing the “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco – What It’s Like to Ride an Amphibious Vehicle on the Bay

Monday, July 14th, 2014

IMO, writer Tony Hicks has got things spot-on right here in the San Jose Mercury News:

Taking the Kids: Quacking up and around the city by the bay

I just took the media cruise for the new-ish “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco - it starts at 7:30 PM.

Here’s Captain John:

Quacking away with people in another duck boat while passing by:

So that’s how things start in Fisherman’s Wharf. Then you begin a circuitous trip to the launch ramps down south of AT&T Park. I’ve never been up so high in an open vehicle, so this was a new experience, kind of like what I imagine the “hop-on hop-off” city bus tours are like.

So off you go, past the working part of Fisherman’s Wharf…

…past the Gary Danko (perennial No. 1 in the Bay Area for “Food, Service and Popularity” per Zagat)…

…through North Beach and on to Chinatown, where you look down upon the #30 Stocktons as you pass them by…

…and then through the tunnel to Union Square and then through SoMA to the launch area.

I gotta say that that was the touristy part of the tour, so check out Beth Spotswood’s take on that in the Tourist Trapped Culture Blog of the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com if you want more on that.

So finally you get to launch – it looks like this:

And then you’re slowly cruising the bay, albeit near to shore for the most part.

This was the late-starting 7:30 PM sunset cruise so things were getting darker as we made our way past AT&T Park:

You might catch a little spray from the bay but most likely you won’t.

This riding-on-the-water part in a military-style vehicle with not all that much freeboard is an experience – I recommend it.

Then after puttering around on the water, you drive out of the water to take the Embarcadero back to the Wharf.

Looking back at the Bay Bridge through Doris and Don Fisher’s Cupid’s Span skate park / tourist hiking platform – plenty of oohs and ahs at this point here:

Interacting with happy passersby on the way home…

…while zipping past the historic F-Market streetcars:

These ducks look somewhat menacing at night, huh?

And there’s your trip:

So, you need to show up at least 15 minutes early to keep your reservation, I think.

And this tour can get quite cold and windy, needless to say.

If you want to see some more photos, there are some good ones on Yelp.

This was a great experience – I think it’d be good for tourists and locals alike.

 

The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner I’ve Ever Seen – JAL JA821J – To SFO from Haneda Tokyo International Airport

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

One thing’s for sure, Boeing didn’t do a good job with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries.

OTOH, if you want to get to the city of Tokyo, it’s nice to be able to fly on in to Haneda instead of big old, far away Narita International.

Presenting your fuel-efficient, little-giant, wide-body Boeing 787: 

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Know Better Your Failed Jetliners: MD-11 Above 1 Rincon – Made in CA in the LBC – Too Crashy for Passenger Use

Friday, February 28th, 2014

So most of these three-engine jets are now freighters.

Three-engined jetliners sort-of-made-sense back in the day, back when turbofan engines were less reliable and less powerful. But these days, in the era of the Big Twin, the only use for trijets is as a freighter.

As here, near the tall, tall Rincon 1 building in SoMa, a UPS Airlines freighter coming in to SFO from an unusual direction on account of the crazy wind we’ve been having:

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Fundamentally, the MD-11 is an evolution of the ill-starred McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, which became a very unappealing aircraft back in the 1970′s. It was like girl you got a fat ass, girl you need a makeover. So she was made over. And the resulting MD-11 is indeed sexier, more appealing to operators, and that’s why you can still see them above.

But, as they say, mistakes were made. The tailplane was decreased in size for improved fuel economy however the MD11 became trickier to handle as a result.

And twinjets will always beat any fuel efficiency race with trijets.

Oh well.

What It’s Like to Fly an Airbus A380 Super Jumbo Jet into SFO – Excellent Video – Multiple Angles

Friday, December 27th, 2013

See?

The Floating Helicopters of San Francisco – How Inflatable Airbags Help When Crash Landing in the Bay

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

These tourist choppers sometimes conk out near the Golden Gate Bridge and when that happens then only thing for the pilot to do is pop open the compressed gas container you can see there in order to inflate the six airbags you can also see there.

Then a call to the Coast Guard, which will give you a friendly tow to land, hurray!

It happens sometimes

Wow, This YouTube Video of a Pan Am Boeing 747 Takeoff and Landing Incident from 1971 at SFO is an Eye-Opener

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

In this case, the case of Pan Am Flight 845, registration N747PA, the cure was worse than the disease.

The disease was making mistakes on how to take off from a shortened runway while ensuring the jetwash from this jumbo didn’t affect cars driving along near SFO.

The cure was telling people to evacuate from the nose while it was rising up higher and higher.

Oh, and the emergency landing was no picnic either, giving the already-damaged landing gear an unnecessary thwack:

Check the YouTube starting at 5:30 or so.

Inside of Asiana 214, I think I’d have been all GTFO. But with PanAm 845, I would have ambled down to steerage and simply hopped onto the tarmac.

I don’t think I’d have listened to the flight crew to just drop 60 feet down, I don’t think I’d have been a player in Back Injury Theatre  is what I’m saying…

UFO Landing Pad, Mid-Market, USA

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

What else could it be?

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Courage.

San Francisco Invaded by Hovercraft and Helicopters – See and Hear the Action, Courtesy of David Cruz

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Renowned San Francisco photographer David Cruz caught the start of Fleet Week 2012 yesterday over at Ocean Beach.

Check it:

Via David Cruz

And the video:

Get To the Chopper! The West Side of San Francisco to be Invaded by the US Military this Morning

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Or so they say:

“This morning from 10-11 am a large military watercraft will arrive on Ocean Beach. This is part of an exercise and is only a drill.”

“This morning 11am-1pm there will be an exercise w/2 helicopters at Sunset Blvd & Lake Merced Blvd. Noise will be elevated. It’s only a drill”

December 3rd, 2011 was San Francisco’s DAY WITHOUT CLOUDS – A Jumbo Sky Filled with (Quiet) Jumbo Jets

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Yesterday, owing to the unusual winds what blew away* the fog, I saw jumbo jets above S.F. in places where I normally don’t, but I couldn’t really hear  them. (I guess jets have gotten a lot quieter these days.)

Like  this low-flying United Air 747-400 near the Ferry Building – you could hardly hear it:

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*I suppose – cf. yesterday’s Blue Sky Red Bridge from Burrito Justice