A Visit to Boston’s Logan International Airport in July, 2020

By: Category: AirlinersAirlinesAirports Around the WorldSpotting

It took only 45 minutes on a Saturday evening in July to “get my groove back” again! The COVID-19 pandemic had grounded me as far as aviation photography was concerned, with no air shows to travel to, and during late winter and springtime of 2020, hardly any airliner traffic to capture too. 

The weather had been spectacular all day, and a particular aircraft – a British Airways Airbus A-350-1000 – was substituting for larger aircraft during the month of July on a particular flight between London’s Heathrow airport and Boston’s Logan facility. I was ready to see my first example of the new Airbus, and to test out a camera body I had just acquired. With local travel restrictions and warnings recently rescinded, I checked the active runway at Logan on Flightaware. The airport was operating on a Runway 22L/22R configuration, and I quickly remembered how to get to Constitution Beach, a favorite spot for photography. 

After an hour’s drive, I arrived at the beach’s parking lot, around 6:30 PM. Armed with a face mask and my new (to me) Nikon D-7200 with a 18-300mm lens, I was ready. The temperature was ideal… a bit cooler by the bay than it was inland, and the beach and park weren’t crowded at all. Just a slight breeze didn’t seem to annoy anyone either.

Airline traffic has been curtailed hugely by reactions to COVID-19 this summer, and Saturday evening is traditionally a quiet period for air travel through Boston. There was still a handful of arrivals and departures scheduled around the 7:05PM arrival time of the Speedbird flight, so I figured I could get some practice with different modes on my new camera body/lens combination too. Additionally, the sweet light that occurs about an hour before sunset would be an added feature that I seldom get to use.

I began taking pictures the photos you see here at 6:35 PM, and caught the Speedbird A-350-1000 just a few moments after its ETA that I saw before I left my home, at 07:09 PM. Although I had expected to leave for my home immediately after its arrival (to lessen my exposure to other people), there were very few people around me, and an Air France B-787-9 taxied past the A-350 going into its gate. I hadn’t photographed one of these either, so I waited a bit for it to depart for Paris, and ended up walking back to my car around 7:20 PM… 45 minutes of aviation photography that filled my need to enjoy watching and taking images of a few aircraft that I hadn’t seen before.

All told, I photographed twenty-three arrivals and departures, with another seven aircraft that I didn’t catch as I was either fine tuning the camera settings for autofocus, or the aircraft were too small to capture with the lens I had (two Cape Air Cessna 402s and a Boutique Air Pilatus PC-12).

With great weather, a good place to photograph from, and a fine collection of arrivals and departures for three quarters of an hour, the dust was shaken off of me and my equipment, and I’m ready for more, if and when the opportunity arises!

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