Tag Archives: Aircraft

Takeoffs

A small plane disturbs a pigeon while taking off in Hawaii

The skydiving plane that operates out of Upolu Airport, has lately been making some lower level takeoffs. A couple of times I’ve been walking up from the coast, east of the runway, when the plane suddenly zoomed into view and whizzed over my head.

On the third occasion, I was ready for it and got this photo. In this case, it was the pigeon that was startled and made a sudden takeoff of its own.

Skydiver falling

Skydivers jump from a plane in Hawaii

I often see the skydivers operating out of Upolu Airport. I see the plane take off and I see the brightly colored parachutes descending. But I’ve wanted to get a photo of the skydivers jumping out of the plane for some time. This photo isn’t it, but it’s the closest I’ve come.

Here, the skydiver has just jumped, but the main chute hasn’t yet opened. They typically drop for a while before opening the main chute, as this one did a minute or so later.

A close call

A firefighting helicopter carries water to a brush fire in Hawaii
A firefighting helicopter drops water on a brush fire in Hawaii

Driving to work yesterday, after two days off, I passed a couple of fire trucks parked at the foot of the hill. I didn’t think too much about it and carried on. I didn’t notice anything else unusual until I parked my car and got out. Something smelled a bit acrid, but even then, I didn’t think too much about it.

Once I got to the office I was immediately asked if I’d noticed anything. I shook my head. A hand pointed to the window. When I turned and looked, I saw the bank of the reservoir above our location was blackened, as were the hills beyond. That explained the acrid smell; another brush fire.

I found out later that the fire department had been called to a fire in the area on Sunday evening and had put out a small fire. The next day, Monday, a second fire started in the same area. While the fire was mostly out by yesterday morning, my arrival coincided with the Fire Department’s helicopter being called to gather water from the reservoir to douse a couple of lingering hot spots.

These photos show the helicopter heading out with water, dumping it on the fire, returning to gather more water, and then heading out again. One interesting footnote is that the two fuel trucks in the photos are about 100 yards from the foot of the reservoir bank!

The bottom photo is posted for Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge. See more responses here.

Tugs, a barge, and a helicopter

A tug and barge enters Kawaihae Harbor in Hawaii
A tug enters Kawaihae Harbor in Hawaii

I spotted this scene a while back when I was down at Kawaihae. This is one of the inter-island barges entering the harbor. Often when this happens, a smaller local tug will go out to help with the business of getting the barge safely into port and alongside the jetty.

The helicopter was something I hadn’t seen before. At first, I thought it was just passing by, but then I saw it circling. Even though I couldn’t make it out, I suspect there was a photographer on board, taking photos or shooting video on behalf of the port or the company that ships freight between the islands.

A tug and barge enters Kawaihae Harbor in Hawaii

Gray days

A helicopter emerges from the clouds off the Big Island, Hawaii
Two nene feed on a rainy day

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Gray.’ See more responses here.

The top photo is finally getting scheduled after being lined up for a previous Sunday Stills challenge with the theme of ’emerging.’ I was walking along the coast on a damp, gray day, when I heard a noise out over the water. I couldn’t see anything, but the noise got louder. Finally, this helicopter emerged out of the clouds. It looked like a military helicopter, which would have been the most likely thing flying in those conditions, and which tend to be louder than the average helicopter.

In the second photo, a pair of nene chow down on a strip of grass beside Upolu airstrip’s gray tarmac under an equally gray sky.

A rainy day in North Kohala

A rainy day at Upolu Airport, Hawaii
A crab spider web in the rain

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Rainy Day.’ See more responses here.

I had just finished my walk around Upolu Airport when the weather closed in. Usually, clouds and rain are blown in by the northeast trade winds, but on this day a system was moving in from the west. I’d been watching its progress as I walked, but still got caught out as it moved faster than I expected. Still, I did make it back to the car, waiting for me in the wet parking lot, before the next deluge arrived (top photo).

The crab spiders didn’t seem to mind the weather, and the raindrops made a picture of their webs (middle photo). It also made them easier to see so that I could avoid my usual trick of blundering into them and having webs wrapped around my head.

On the drive home, after my walk, I carved an avenue of spray as I motored along the puddled road (bottom photo).

A rainy day in North Kohala, Hawaii