Well, the A380 has now arrived at LAX and I’ve got the video to prove it. I went out to the airport this morning to watch it arrive. When I got there at just after 8a, there were already a good number of people waiting, as you can see down below.
In ‘n Out decided to open at 8a, 2 1/2 hours earlier than normal to help feed the crowd. They even put out a big tank of water for everyone to keep hydrated. They can now add “airline dork-friendly” to their title as the greatest burger place around.
At about 845a, the area really started to fill up, but there weren’t as many people as I expected. A lot of people were listening to the tower frequency and they said the controller told an arriving aircraft that the A380 would be landing around 910a. Of course, that got everyone up looking around but there was nothing to be seen. I moved out to the corner of Sepulveda and Lincoln becasue
By 915a, many more people had arrived (including a friend of mine who just flew in from San Francisco) but again, still not as packed as I would have guessed. Lincoln was closed by the police and you can see that people started trickling into the road. There were people standing on the roof of a rental car shop on Sepulveda as well as people standing on top of a bus. The police were out in force but they weren’t hassling anyone. Everyone was in a great mood.
As the time approached, you could feel the buzz building. Thanks to a relatively low marine layer, the arriving aircraft blended in to the clouds until they were a couple minutes out. People were just waiting anxiously with one hand on their cameras. Finally, we saw a four engine aircraft approach in the distance. As it got closer, we realized it was a United 747-400. At first, everyone was disappointed, but I realized later that it would provide great perspective for the A380 which approached right after. So, I took video of the United 747 arriving. Here it is:
And don’t get angry, United fans. The “Stupid, United” comment was only because it wasn’t the A380. I always like watching a 747 land. So then right after that, we saw what had to be the A380 lining up. It’s definitely not the best looking plane around, but man is it big. Here’s the video you’ve been waiting for:
So there it is. The plane was surprisingly quiet, but it’s size was incredible. It’s probably tough to get that feeling from the video, but when you’re right underneath it, it’s pretty cool.
I’ll be at the special event tonight for invited guests only, so hopefully I’ll get some great still shots out of that one.
Nice, I’ve been waiting for this all day. Can’t make it to ORD tomorrow so I am living vicariously through you at LAX ;)
Great! Thanks man!
Thanks for the footage. Way cool!
I just watched the video of the LAX A380 arriving on CNN – it was shot from a helicopter. About 3 seconds after the main gear touched down, it swerved pretty hard to the right – it looked like the pilot had to make full left rudder deflection to correct. It didn’t look very pretty!
Interesting. The LA Times alluded to a nose-wheel shimmy, but the plane swerved before the nose wheel even made contact with the runway. Airbus and the FAA say the landing was “normal” ;)
I have been following the Q400 accidents that occurred in Denmark and Lithuania very closely and consider these accidents to be very critical situations. These failures are giving the aircraft industry a subtle, but urgent warning that must be addressed. I found a report, dated September 15,2007 online re – Preliminary Report on Danish SAS Q400 accident that included a very useful drawing in analyzing the failure mode. It would also be very useful to review a drawing or sketch of the main landing gear retract/extend actuator, manufactured by the Goodrich Corp. in Tullahoma, Tennessee to confirm my analysis of these failures. Please note that a nose gear incident occurred in Japan in March, 2007, and I suspect that it probably contains a similar actuator design as the main landing gear system. If this is true, it would be very important to inspect the nose landing gear actuator as well as the main landing gear actuator. In my study of the main landing gear reports, they discuss the fact that the jam nut backed off and the lockwire was missing. Most of the hydraulic actuators used in the aircraft industry contain a locking device to prevent rotation of the actuator piston and are secured by a jam nut, and lockwired to prevent the jam nut and the locking device from backing off. This condition could eventually cause a disconnection of the rod end, which was actually stated in preliminary reports. This scenario may have actually occurred after 10,000 cycles and severe impact upon landing. I was surprised that no mention was made of the use of a locking device in the design of the main landing gear actuator.