LHR - LAX - LHR

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 1,029

Following my pics on the LAX thread I though it might be a good idea to do a brief report of the whole trip. Saturday 3rd November. Left home to collect mate and drove to LHR to catch VS007 to LAX. Had used online check the previous day but it still took longer to drop the bags off than it did to drive to LHR (I live 55 miles away) Through the chaos that is security and boarded A340-600 G-VSHY at about 11am for an 11.30am scheduled departure. Things then went a little pear shaped as the plane had a tech problem (blocked toilets on rhs) and this took some 2 hours or so to sort out. Crew kept us informed and did bring round drinks / snacks during the delay. Eventually departed at 2pm with a route that took us over Scotland / Iceland / Greenland / Canada and over Las Vegas to a landing on 25L at LAX. Meal on board was not bad with a choice of 3 main dishes. Vport IFE system was very good with a lot to keep people amused. Virgin use Terminal 2 here and it is a standard procedure to be towned onto stand - unfortuanately the towbar had been taken elsewhere and took about 30 mins to get it back. Crew were very apologetic about this but it was not their fault at all (lousy groundhanding company) Long queue to get through immigration etc (about 90mins) and still had to wait a bit for the bags. Finally got them and escaped to the hotel (LAX Radisson) for some sleep. Sunday 4th November Awake early - is n't jet lag wonderful - so breakfast at 6am then off to the Tom Bradley Terminal to see what was around before collecting a hire car for the 3 days. Used Dollar for this and ended up with a new PT Cruiser. We also paid extra to have a gps system which was to prove very useful. First stop was Torrance airport which is about 15 miles south of LAX and quite easy to find. The reason for the visit was the opening of the Western Museum of Flight which had recently completed a move from Hawthorn (Northrop field) We asked at one of the FBO's and were allowed onto the ramp to ake a few pics (I will post some in another thread when processed) but were mainly GA. Moved the car to the show parking area and paid $5 to go in. Show are was cramped with aircraft tightly packed but it did include a couple of DC3's, 3 no L29's, T28's B26, P51, 2xSkyraider's (will post some later) Left here mid pm to find Hawthorn which we did but very few aircraft here as the runway is being repaired. Returned to LAX and stayed at Imperial Hill until it got too dark to photograph. Monday 5th November Again up early for breakfast - first stop was Santa Monica - lots of GA stuff present but wx was foggy so pics were a non started. Spent about 90mins here outside the fence trying to see biz etc. Van Nuys was next - a well know biz jet field which does have a viewing area (Woodley / Waterman next to fire station) but it was still foggy. Drove round the extensive perimeter and managed to find 2x CL415 & a couple of Erikson Skycranes lleft over from the recent fires. Eventually found the viewing area but this does have a high fence so it does make photography tricky but it can be done. Left here around 2pm and after checking the GPS found an airfield called Whiteman - lots here but no ramp access allowed. Only spent 30 mins here as a result then off to Burbank - top level of car park ($2 / hour) gives a good view of the ramps + runways but only 1 SW 737 + several biz present. Returned to LAX to the other well know spot (in-and-out burger) Tuesday 6th November Up early to check out of hotel then a quick visit to Compton - another small GA field nearby. A few interesting things here including an S55 / Hs125 and several 'distressed' airframes (T38 / UH1 etc) Back to LAX by 9am and spent until 1.30pm at Imperial Hill (see pics) before returning the car and heading back to T2 for the flight home. Flight was on time this way so boarded G-VFOX and left about 6pm. Food onboard was very average compared to the outbound leg but was still ok (just) I will add some of the other pics when processed but it was a very enjoyable few days.
Original post