Retirement Roll

the retirement home for planes… including VH-OJA
view large and check out all those people up there!

So I thought, how a little sunday drive down to see some little plane get parked at Wollongong Airport, can't be that bad surely 😉 Well it ain't little I suppose, prolly one of the largest aircraft to drop into Illawarra Airport (also referred to as Wollongong Airport ).

So i ditched the sneaky sunday sunrise session in favour of seeing VH-OJA plonk down at Wollongong, on that note the sunrise was of course damn fine with some sweet pinks etc…Cruising down the M1 at some stupid hour it took me awhile to realise that there was a crapload of traffic.. maybe it's all those Mardi gras revelers heading home back to Wollongong I thought, surely its not people heading down to see this 747-400 take its final flight..

But, I should not be surprised.. driving past the airfield in the dark it was very apparent there were thousands of peeps out to watch this plane land – I almost kept driving down to Bombo after seeing all those people on the Northern side of the airfield, but I did have a plan to hit the southern side for that shot of the jumbo thundering down the runway on its final touchdown, so i battled on and parked around near the sports centre on the southern side, its was packed already and it was only 6:15am! and wow it only got more packed from then on.. and you know what that means.. traffic jam on the way out, thankfully I spied the coffee van and made note to hit that whilst everyone made their exodus.

I tracked down a spot on the fence line, which actually was pretty good and prepared, like many others for the wait, some had been here since 5 am when the gates opened, others from 3am up on the other side…crazy stuff..

+Flightradar24 still functioned with the 14 billion people all searching for QF7474 (VH-OJA) and we (me and the 14 billion other people with cameras to watch it) tracked its takeoff from YSSY and its very very short flight…like 17 minutes short to the northern approach of runway 16 (16/34). It was all over in the space of a few minutes and the sound of camera shutters drowned out any sound of the +Qantas 747-400 coming to a halt on the runway 😉 It did look pretty good on the runway though, the dust it kicked up and runway overhang really made for a great sight, not to mention all those people up there on the northern side… they were on buildings, trucks, hanging off the fence… everywhere man!

On an aside, the Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 is a surprisingly nice lens, very sharp for the range and nice contrast, it takes a bit to get used to the fact that the zoom ring rotates in the opposite way to most nikkors… but 🙂

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 @ 500mm (courtesy of +Rodney Campbell) Aperture: f/7.1 and Shutter Speed: 1/1000s
ISO 800
out front – 747-400, lots of people and one dinky, dirty little runway

26 thoughts on “Retirement Roll

  1. +Rodney Campbell
    I really needed 600mm like the dude next to me from the Illawarra Mercury .. he had two of them 😉
    I probably could have put the 1.4 tele on but…
    All in all its pretty sharp tho, I would consider buying one of these based purely on this usage… nothing like all the coke bottle comments I have seen in the past…

  2. +Gabriel Komarnicki
    cheers mate.. all the noise from the people in wollongoing who turned up drowned out the plane 😉
    It was pretty neat to see it barrel in nice and low with cliffs/hills in the background… as you can see in this shot the top of the frame is the hills behind the airport!

  3. hehe 🙂 +Ed Cobb I ummed and ahh'ed about it, I avoid airports usually (cause I work there), however this was something different which got me, i did not go to the Avalon Airshow and this was a much better substitute 🙂

  4. Apparently it does support teleconverters too (never tried it and I think it won't work with the Nikon one without filing that pin down on the teleconverter). You'll be shooting at f/8 tho (which will still work on the D6XX/750 with the more central AF points).

  5. Nice shot mate! You picked a great viewpoint! There sure was quite a crowd! Would have been cool to see! Robo is just up the hill! I've been out of the news loop so didn't hear about it! Don't have a tele lens tho so would havd been hard to get a shot like yours! Thanks for sharing!

  6. +Tom Testone
    cheers mate, you could have got a wideangle and sat underneath on the north side with all the other punters – i have seen some great shots of it as it came over the fence.
    I love robo to by the way, lots of nice falls very close by 🙂

  7. +Gerard Blacklock Good point! I'll have to keep my eyes and ears open in future! 😉 Yeah, used to check some of the falls out on the way home from grocery shopping! Haven't checked them out in ages & sorely miss it! I'm well overdue for some soul food methinks! I've been getting by on G+ waterfall posts for too long! Only makes me miss it even more! 🙂

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