I hope, that it is ok that I post a report from the past in this forum section because I cannot find another suitable section.
As a boy and teen I spent many hours at my home airport Dusseldorf. Due to the common shortage of my pocket money I had not the possibility to shoot many photos.
After school I made a break for more than ten years before I started my hobby again in the middle of the nineties. But all the times I was a big propliner enthusiast.
In 1997 I read in the swiss spotter magazine jetstream about the summertour of a DC-4 for the old and original Swissair and that they offer sightseeingflights from Luxembourg in July that year. That was my long dreamt chance to get a ride on a real piston propliner. Swissair celebrated with that tour the 50th anniversary of transatlantic operation and leased the 1946 built DC-4 ZS-AUB (c/n 42984) from South African Historic Flight. It gained the new registration ZU-ILI. ZU stands in South Africa for experimental aircraft and ILI was chosen to remember the original HB-ILI DC-4 which served for Swissair in the fifties.
During that summertour in 1997 the plane was even allowed by the swiss authorities to carry the HB-ILI registration during domestic flight within Switzerland.
At that time I only had a small compactcamera and had never made a photoshooting at another airport before. So I borrowed an old, fixed lense fully manual SLR-Cam from my cousin and thougt, that regardless of the camera settings, the pics would come out that good I saw in the view-finder. Well, this cannot work out proper of course and so the results were quite disappointing. Besides that I didn’t think about bringing a ladder and a tripod. A fault I never made again later!
Nevertheless I will share the pics of my first spotting-trip in this forum an I hope that you enjoy it anyways.
Some first pics through the fence on the evening of July,4th 1997 after a very heavy thunderstorm.
The next morning it was dry but pretty cloudy which made it quite difficult to get good exposed photos with no experience of manual photo shooting at all.
The DC-4 arrived with a delay of app. two hours due to engine problems which had to be fixed all night long in ZRH that night before.
First view on the plane out of the departure area.
My first Icelnadair shot at all!
Finally we boarded the DC-4 which was parked side by side to another oldie!
The sound of the four piston props was great and the DC-4 drifted pretty much in the wind:
Visit in the cockpit. Look at the old fashioned steering wheel!
The cabin was equipped with quite modern seats.
Stylish doors to the restrooms.
After the landing we had the opportunity to make some shots of the DC-4 and the tarmac around :
The groundcrew inspects the uncommon historic aircraft:
Back at the fence the Aeroflot IL-76 yelled over the apron:
Shortly afterwards this DC-8 started for a testflight:
Luxairs regional fleet:
Meanwhile the DC-4 engines were started for the next sightseeing flight:
The passengers of our flight were invited to visit the maintenance facilities of Luxair:
DC-8 TR-LTZ of the Republique Gabonaise in maintenance. This particular aircraft became famous after a faulty takoff try in low visibility at Frankfurt from a short taxiway! The recovery lasted about three weeks because an interim runway had to be built to pull it out. Here a link to a photo of that incident:
Air Atlanta Icelandic B-732 TF-ABX ex LH D-ABGE
Later the DC-8 returned and we were allowed to take pics from the apron:
In late afternoon the DC-4 started its engines for the returnflight to Zurich. What a show!
Up and away in last light.
Shortly after that event I bought my first own SLR-Cam and practised a lot to improve my photo skills.