Twin Otter - Series 400 on amphibious floats

Twin Otter – Series 400 on Amphibious Floats – check out the prop vortices!
Photo: Viking Air

You know what it’s like. You look in the closet, and see that well-worn leather jacket hanging there. It keeps you warm, you know it makes you look good, but it’s showing its age. The zipper might not work so well or a pocket lining might be a bit torn. You take care of it – it’s been repaired and cleaned many times. You’ve been thinking about getting a new one, but you can’t find one anywhere, because styles and materials have changed over the years.  So you keep wearing it and wearing it and wearing it.

AvGeeks know that there are a few airplanes that are like that. Love ‘em, can’t replace ‘em!  The venerable Douglas DC-3 is one. Never duplicated, and still flying with airlines like Buffalo Airways of “Ice Pilots NWT” fame, even though the last DC-3 rolled off the assembly line in 1947.

The deHavilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter is another. Amazing Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) capability, twin bulletproof Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprops, decent cruise speed, has 19 seats, or it can carry a whack of cargo. The final Series 300 “Twotter” was produced in 1988 at the DHC plant in Toronto. Over 800 Twin Otters were produced, and 600 are still flying on land, sea and snow, from pole-to-pole and on every continent. An amazing statistic. Operators said that the only thing that can replace an old Twin Otter is a NEW Twin Otter. But new ones weren’t available, so operators kept flying them and flying them and flying them.

AvGeeks on top of the Theme Building at LAX taking photos of a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380.

AvGeeks on top of the Theme Building at LAX taking photos of a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380.

When Singapore Airlines came to me and pitched doing something with a small group of AvGeeks at LAX to watch their Airbus A380 land and depart, I was instantly interested and with almost no details said, “yes please.”

Almost five years ago, when I started, I had a hard time defining this passion that I had for airlines and aviation. Once I gained some readers and was able to start defining who we all are (we are AvGeeks), very few airlines got it.

I don’t blame them. It is hard to get how to interact with this group of people that dedicate a large portion of their lives with airliners. Either researching, looking at photos, taking their own photos, flying on them or in my case blogging on them. But we are a force and some airlines, like Singapore, are starting to get who we are — and they like us.

Only 22 days, 4 hours, 59 minutes, 31 seconds until JFK T4 opens.... but who's counting.

Only 22 days, 4 hours, 59 minutes, 31 seconds until JFK T4 opens…. but who’s counting.

How does an airline spread the word about their new terminal opening soon? If you guessed “rent space in lower Manhattan, recreate the best features of the new terminal, and sell cheap lunches,” you are correct! If that isn’t what you guessed, let me tell you a little bit about how Delta is preparing New York for the new JFK Terminal 4.

On May 24th, Delta opens an expansion to terminal 4 at JFK, moving their operations out of terminal 3. For those of you who many not have flown Delta through JFK recently, terminal 3 has fallen on hard times, and is slated for total demolition in the near future. The experience there is anything but world class, and passengers actively avoid it. Terminal 4, on the other hand, is a 1.4 billion dollar investment at JFK, bringing high tech features, new dining and shopping options, and an overall better experience to New York.

American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER at a cloudy JFK.

American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER at a cloudy JFK.


Airline: American Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (N719AN)
Departed: John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Arrived: London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: Business Class
Seat: 9A to and 8J back
Length: About 6 hours

Cheers: Amazing new Business Class product that goes head-to-head with international carriers.
Jeers: Still some grumpy employees who need to smile more.
Overall: American is not just talking the talk; they are walking the walk — they just need to walk a bit farther.