Adventures in Paradise
Recent photos from south florida
by andrew abshier
In February 1998, I moved to Florida for two months to work a six-week internship in Miami.  This was my first time back in Florida since 1992, and the first extended stay since 1985!  My time in Florida was very busy and the time I got to take photos at the airports could be measured in hours, not days, but when one is photographing at airports such as Miami International (MIA), Fort Lauderdale International (FLL), and Orlando International (MCO), just a few hours can be all that's needed to amass a great selection of photos!

I've started this section with some Miami photos.  MIA has undergone many changes since my last extended visit in 1985.   I visited MIA on three different weekend days, spending about 3 hours at the airport each day.  Follow this  link for my take on the photography locations I used; my report also has links to sample photos on this page, so you can see what kind of images you can make from each spot.

In addition to Miami, I also took photographs at Fort Lauderdale (FLL), West Palm Beach (PBI), and Orlando (MCO).  Like MIA, these airports have undergone many changes since I last saw them, PBI in particular.  The West Palm Beach terminal is one of the more opulent that I've seen, befitting the moneyed types that live in the area; the cafeteria in the main terminal even had a pianist to provide tasteful (of course) background music!

For spotting and photography information, with links to sample photos, click on the name of the airport of interest:
Miami (MIA)
Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) NEW!
West Palm Beach (PBI) NEW!
Orlando (MCO) and Sanford, Florida NEW!

My thanks to Bob P., webmaster of  Airliner Images , for scanning the images you see on this page.

So enough chit-chat, let's look at some airplanes!
(Note: use the "Back" button on your browser to return to this page from each image)

First group: MIA, 15 May 1998

Northwest 757-251 nears the moment of touchdown on Runway 12.
An  ACES 727-200 in the just-replaced (but very attractive) livery starts its takeoff roll on 12.
American Airlines is the largest operator at MIA.  Here's an  A300-600 just after touchdown on 12...
....another  AA A300 seen in a tight 3/4 frontal view on approach to Runway 30....
....and the same treatment is given an  AA 767-223, also approaching 30.
Aeroperu is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, so note the big "25" on this  757-200 approaching  30.
Speaking of 757s, here's an  AVIANCA 757-200, also on approach for Runway 30.
Another AVIANCA, this time an  MD-80, on takeoff roll at Runway 27L.
Air Jamaica has one of the most colorful liveries out there, as seen on this  A320 approaching 30.
Delta's new livery is seen on a  767-332 starting its takeoff roll on Runway 27L....
...then late in the afternoon that same day, I photographed a Delta  MD-80 departing MIA.
 BWIA MD-80 starts its takeoff roll on 12.
VASP is back!  Here's one of their  MD-11s on approach for 30.
Another MD-11, this time from  LTU , just after touchdown on 12.
The new U. S. Airways "blacktop" livery, seen on a  737-300 departing 27L and a  737-401 landing on 12.
A USAir Express  DHC-8 approaches 30.
ALM's  MD-80 approaches 30.
 Grupo TACA's brand-new livery is seen on the 737-200 starting its takeoff roll on 12.
One of the few approach shots I got on 27L:  Emery's DC-8-73F on short final.

Second group, MIA: 5 June 1998

An  AVIATECA Guatemala 737-200 starts its takeoff run on Runway 12.
One of  COPA Panama's 737-200s turns onto Runway 12.
No less than five Iberia DC-9-30s of various marks, including this  DC-9-33RC on approach for Runway 30, fly
    to Miami to feed the daily IB 747 for Madrid...
....while, on a different day, an  Iberia 747-200 arrives on 12, completing the daily flight from Madrid to "feed the
The AVIANCA Colombia  livery seems to work better on larger aircraft, such as this 767-200.
On approach to Runway 30, this  Servivensa 727-200 shows off the carriers way cool retro-Pan Am '50s look.
Air Canada is part of the Star Alliance along with United, SAS, Varig, Thai, and Lufthansa, and that star is
    visible on the forward fuselage of this  747-133 taxiing out for 9L.
Bahamasair's  737-200s get plenty of cycles in their career.  Here's one starting its run on 12.
Martinair is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, as noted on the fuselage of one of their  767-300s
    taxiing out for 9L.
AeroPeru is also celebrating an anniversary, as noted by the big "25" on this arriving  727-264.
Cayman Airway's rather blah livery (the gray belly doesn't help) is seen on a  737-200 on approach for 30.
South African Airways 747-400 taxies out for Runway 9L, leading off the afternoon cavalcade of heavies
    at MIA.
One of two daily  British Airways 747-200 flights arrives on 12, this particular aircraft painted in the old
....while a  747-400 of archrival Virgin Atlantic turns onto Runway 9L, showing the "NO WAY BA/AA" sticker.
A smartly painted  Southern Air Transport 747-200F turns onto Runway 9L, late in the day.
Logojets didn't die with Western Pacific Airlines.  This stunning  Alitalia 747-200 is painted to advertise Bulgari

Third group, 20 June 1998:

Orlando (MCO):

Delta's new colors are filtering down to their divisions.  Here's a  Delta Express 737-232 on approach for
    Runway 35....
....followed shortly thereafter by another 737-232, this one in the  old Delta Express color scheme.
Delta's side of the house at MCO wasn't particularly busy, but it did offer gems like this  Virgin Atlantic 747-400 on approach.
AirTran Airlines (not to be confused with AirTran Airways...?) calls Orlando home.  This  737-200 in their
    original color scheme was caught moments from touchdown on Runway 36L.
 A Continental 757-200, looking fine in the morning light, nears touchdown on 36L.
Orlando is an extremely popular charter destination.  Some examples of visitors are the  Sun Country DC-10    in the line's new colors, and a Sierra Pacific 737-200.  NEW!
Speaking of charter visitors, I photographed three American Trans Air (ATA) 727-200s: one in the old colors, one in the new colors, and ATA's stunning  25th anniversary 727-200!  NEW!

Fort Lauderdale (FLL):

FLL has always attracted new entrant carriers.  One of the more colorful ones is Eastwind; here's a  737-200     on approach for 27R.
Seen on approach to 27L, this  Northwest 727-200 has a Transpacific 50th anniversary sticker.
The cargo presence at FLL has become considerable.  One example of the many freighters calling at FLL is
    this  Emery DC-8-63, with no tail logo, taxiing out for departure on 9L.
The new Delta Express colors look great on this  737-232 taxiing out for 9L.
One of the new Midway's stalwart  Fokker 100s  is seen on final for 9L.
FLL is also a favorite with charter carriers.  This all-white  Sun Pacific 727-200  was caught just before
    touchdown on 27L...
.....while American International Airlines/Kalitta's only  passenger L-1011-1  was photographed (on another
    day) on final for 9R.
This Laker Airlines 727-200 is painted with  Princess Vacations  titles, and is seen taxiing onto 27L.
Finally, an "art shot" of a  Southwest 737-3H4  juxtaposed (now there's a $10 word) against a palm tree.

West Palm Beach (PBI)

During "the season", the south side of PBI is covered in bizjets, some of airliner size.  Donald Trump's
    personal  727-100  shows his new "very classy, the best" (perhaps his words) color scheme.
Another  727-100  photographed on the south side (admittedly not a great shot) was painted with the titles of
    a cable network, Pax Net.
This  747SP  operates for Star Atlanta, and was based at PBI during the two months I lived in Florida.
Air Transat was operating charters into PBI, and one of them, an ex-Virgin Express  737-400,  was
    photographed on a cloudy day from the east long term parking lot.
In most places the poor people take the bus; in Palm Beach, the poor people take scheduled airlines!  A small
    selection of them follow:
Air Tran Airways  DC-9-30  taxies away from Concourse C.
PBI has a surprising amount of international activity.  Besides Air Transat, Air Canada calls on weekends with
Another shot from PBI's "back door": a  USAir 737-401  in the old colors (and name).

If you would like to see more images from MIA and south Florida, visit  Kev Cook's Aviation Photos On the Net, a fine site with many images including some rarities.

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