Photo Report 2 – Some More Uneventful Spotting At Pleso

By me
All photos me too, copyrighted

Deciding to forsake the wonderful world of aircraft instrumentation for some sun, fresh air and photography, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by giving spotting at Pleso another shot, after the previous week’s somewhat disappointing results. Now that the sterling work of my colleagues at the Croatian Aviation Forum was beginning to pay dividends in spotter-security relationships, a friend from the said Forum and I made arrangements to camp out unstressed under the RWY 05 approach path and see if something unusual – something not on the timetables – might show up. A recent visit by an Omani C-130 Hercules tanker – and a Qatari A340 and Jordanian A310 before it – kept our spirits up, so we set out to see whether our luck was to be match as our optimism… 😀

Whopee, a Dash... (irony + sarcasm) 😀 Part of a steady stream of Dash 8s and A320s, Croatia Airlines' newest Dash 8 - the aforementioned 9A-CQF - might have gone unnoticed had I not checked the reg after taking the shot. Its unusual "Croatia 7F" callsign could indicate that this was either a training or shakedown flight (normally, callsigns are the same as the flight number, which is made up of three digits if the flight is scheduled, or four if it's a charter - which is standard practice at carriers around the world. However, to avoid confusion between similar callsigns, or denote special flights, these can be modified into various alphanumeric forms)

Our own Lučko resident, 9A-DZD was one of the just three GA movements in the three hours we were there

Somebody wash me! Looking a bit worn out, the Faculty of Transport Sciences Seminole trainer was out bashing the circuit for an hour or so. If all goes well, that should be me up there in a couple of months 🙂

An unidentified Croatia Airlines Dash 8 (could be 9A-CQC) just crossing the middle marker, while high above an Emirates 777 zips to the Middle East. As is always the case, the upper flight levels are more interesting than the Zagreb approach, with heavies of all sorts a regular occurence (on some days you can see an Emirates A380 followed a bit later by two company 777s in trail 🙂 )

The only genuinely interesting movement of the day - and that says much about our expectations 😀 - was another very handsome Budapest Aircraft Service EMB-120 Brasilia on the daily flight from Budapest. A very rare - and very welcome - aircraft in this part of Europe... (and Europe in general)

A splash of colour on approach. Anybody see a pattern with my previous post? Dash 8, EMB-120, Wizz A320... 🙂

Finally got N50DD in flight! 😀 The country's only Cessna P210N Centurion (and one of only three Centurions of any mark), N50DD is - despite the reg - permanently based at either Pleso or Lučko, depending on the weather. This is the first time in quite awhile that I've seen it in flight. Not the characteristic Cessna piston single rearward-retracting main gear and the strutless wing (in the Cessna singles lineup seen only on the 177 and 210)

And finally an increasingly rare Fokker 70, operated by Austrian Airlines. Note the type's powerful clamshell airbrakes, first seen on the Fokker F-28 Fellowship from which the 70 was developed. These, coupled with very powerful wheel brakes and thrust reversers, mean the 70 (and the bigger 100) can stop in ridiculously short distances for an airliner - another throwback to the F-28's incredible STOL performance. This same airbrake concept would find its way onto the Avro/BAe 146 regional quad 20 years later

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