I want to thank everyone who came out to LAX yesterday for what was officially the 11th Cranky Dorkfest at LAX. A lot of you asked me when it started, and I couldn’t remember. But now I’ve looked it up and it was indeed 2011. We’ve only missed on year of being able to watch airplanes together… 2020, of course. It was great to be back in the full swing of things again this year with such a big crowd.
As always, the focus of the event was on watching airplanes, talking shop, and eating burgers, but this year we were able to add a little bit more to the mix. A huge thanks goes to LA World Airports for not only bringing DJ Lela B out to play music but also having her pipe in live air traffic control on top of it. Her speakers also doubled as a sound system I could use, which was a huge improvement for this year’s giveaways. Oh, and they even donated an actual airfield light as part of the giveaway, which was a very unique idea.
Where are all the pictures? Well, there were around 400 of you there — our biggest year yet — and I did not have time to bother taking photos. You can see plenty of photos that others took on Twitter. I was too busy hanging out. But LAWA also brought in this cool contraption which took slo-mo shots of people in front of the airplanes as they flew overhead.
The weather was perfect, and there was some great spotting. I want to thank the crew of Air New Zealand flight 6 in particular for executing a VERY late missed approach after already having the rear gear on the ground. I’m sure they did that just to show off for us. And then right after that airplane landed, United Express 5517 up to Medford departed on aircraft N925EV… only to fly around and come back 40 minutes later due to mechanical issues. There was plenty of speculation on that one, but I think my favorite was that the captain got offered a mainline job right on takeoff and didn’t want to wait.
But seriously, I do want to thank those working the tower yesterday. As we were listening to the ATC feed, we heard a controller giving a shoutout to those at Cranky Dorkfest, flashing a light at us from the tower to say hello. They also gave us a couple of hats to add to the swag bags from LAWA in the giveway.
I know for some, the giveaways were the highlights, and this year did not disappoint. Spirit came out with an army of yellow bags and sunglasses that quickly were seen dotting the crowd. They also gave away tickets and a model in the raffle. Alaska also showed up big, having people take quizzes in the crowd with winners getting Q400 safety cards. Oh, and did I mention they raffled off a pair of seats on the final Q400 flight early next year as well as a framed piece of Alaska’s famed bulkhead carpet? United came to play with a trip to the Denver flight training center which may — though it can’t be guaranteed — include some sim time.
American brought a limited edition model of the Flagship Valor aircraft while Southwest had an enormous Louisiana One model along with a whole bunch of now-discontinued sunglasses alongside pens and gift cards. Delta also joined the model game. There were free tickets from Avelo and JetBlue along with a ton of miles from Breeze and Hawaiian in the mix. We had subscriptions to Flightradar24, JetTip.net, and The Air Current. And Boom came out with a couple of swag-filled backpacks, including a lego-style model of the XB-1 in each.
It was a great day, and if you missed it, don’t make that same mistake next year. I’ll be working with the NYCAviation team to once again have Cranky Dorkfest the same weekend as their SpotLAX event. We’ll have dates hopefully by the end of the year. The earlier we can try and set the dates, the easier we know it is for you to make it. Once again, thank you to everyone for making this such a great day.