Anchorage-MD11 Heaven-Trip Report July 2006.
I achieved a life long ambition recently by getting myself to Anchorage. When i heard about it some years ago when my interest in aviation started i thought it was somewhere i'd like to go. I enjoy most forms of civil aviation but in particular business jets and cargo planes. Also, after doing a little research it looked like a good place to go for MD11's. I hadn't seen all the MD11's built either so it was a good chance to chalk quiet a few off too hopefully.
Myself and friend John Bothwell set off in June and after spending several days in Canada, we made it to Anchorage on July 4th, arriving around 2100 local time after a very uncomfortable 5 hr flight from Denver on a United A319.
After landing i could see MD11's from UPS, Fedex and World at different points. We checked out, got our luggage and rental car and decided to have a tour around to see the best place to go for the next few days. From the previous research, i wanted to get somewhere on Point Woronzof Drive which looked to have views of the UPS and Fedex ramps plus the International ramps too.
The following morning with eager anticipation we were down the airport around 9 am. We first saw the airport police and checked out with them we were okay to spend the days spotting and photographing. (Their office is well sign posted). They were very helpfull and appreciated us going to them first. We missed a few MD11's already by the time we got round onto Pt Woronzof Drive but we got there. All the pictures are taken at various points along the road.
Being early July, it didn't get dark properly at all, only twilight around 1 am for 2 hours so you could spot all day and night in effect. Point Woronzof Drive has a security gate on it that is locked between 2300 and 0700 anyway. We were out mainly 0800-2000 most days.
Fedex are the most common MD11 operator into ANC with flights coming in 2 waves. The first around 9 am departing around 12 noon, the second around 1400 and out 16-1700 and thankfully thye have no night flights through ANC either. All flights were MD11 operated except for 2 DC10's daily. Over the 3 days the following MD11's were noted (quite a few repeats as well);
UPS are probably the next busiest with probably around 8-10 MD11 flights arrivals daily. They also have a couple of B767's and a B747 daily as well. The UPS flights are more spread out then Fedex. We logged the following MD11's;
N250/251/252/256/270/271/272/273/276/278/280/281/283/284UP. (N256/293&284UP are all white)
Eva are also frequent visitors into ANC. They only stop for fuel/crew purposes, stopping for around an hour. Flights vary day to day but averages around 6 MD11's a day plus some through the night too as well as 1 B747. The Following EVA MD11'S were noted over the 3 days;
B-16101/102/105/106/107/110/112/113 (105 is N105EV)
World are regular visitors too, again stopping for crew/fuel purposes. They have 3 MD11's operating for Air Canada which fly Toronto-Anchorage-Shanghai and vv. We also saw other World MD11F's as well each day. MD11's noted were;
China Cargo seemed to have 1 flight a day, arriving around 1900 and stopping only for crew/fuel. I assume the return flights were during the night. MD11's noted were;
B-2174/2175+ we missed another one.
Transmile were in ANC on the second day (Thursday) of our visit and twice on the Friday, all different aircraft and during the day. MD11's noted were;
All i can say is if you love MD11's and other cargo aircraft then get yourself to ANC. Its not the easiest or cheapest place to go but i guarentee you won't regret it!