On Saturday 29th October 2016, made a long-awaited trip to the Queen city Charlotte, North Carolina to the major airport which is a major hub for US Airways until merged with American Airlines. This trip for some time and finally made the decision to visit this beautiful city. My main goals to were capture American Airlines A330 fleet which make trans-Atlantic journeys to Europe and domestically. I must say the drive to Charlotte is quite relaxed not much interstate drive, its mostly country roads and few inner town roads, which makes the speed limit drops from the average speed of 55 mph to around 35 mph.
Nevertheless, the journey was safe and successful one, upon arriving into Charlotte Douglas International Airport overlook which is centered between two runways 18C/36C and 18R/36L, which gives an advantage point over the center runway 18C/36C. The wind direction was very that day the winds were from the south around 18 knots but they landing from the south and departing into the north, which seems very weird, they landing in a tailwind and departing into a head wind. Monitored the ATIS frequency hoping that they change the take-off and landing directions to compensate for the wind changes.
Suddenly, there was an operations car doing a FOD check and the runway changed was approved and the ATIS was updated, reflecting the change. I was very delighted because of the fact the aircrafts would be taxiing in front of me and departing mostly on runway 18C/36C. Noticed there was a special on taxi it was the American Eagle Dash-8 painted in Piedmont Airlines livery N837EX, which is only known Dash-8 painted except the A319 painted in the American Airlines heritage fleet of aircrafts. It was mission accomplished and hope to catch the second special of the day Allegheny A319 N745VJ, even though I have captured this aircraft many times just seeing and having something different than the monogamous traffic was a delight.
One of my biggest surprises that day was I met this fellow spotter from the Charlotte area, a young guy named Charlie. We started talking, about spotting and where we have been, it was amazing because of his disability, he talked in an uplifting voice and shared his spotting stories along the east coast from JFK to ATL and the other type of photos he takes. He was very inspired and proud; I swear I never met anyone like him so passionate. I didn’t even pay attention but he gave me a gift a picture of an aircraft he took; I must say I was touch and humbled by this graceful gesture by him. I didn’t even know what to say, I was still in shocked and it touched my heart. I must say that was the first encounter I ever had and I will always cherish moment.
In all it was a successful day of spotting and heartfelt moment all experienced in one day. I am happy that was able to make it out to Charlotte, North Carolina.