Photos: 2.5 Hours at Anchorage

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 by Nick Benson

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N887EA, a Ravn Dash 8-100, in special colors for the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.

Mrs. JetTip and I recently made a trip to Alaska, and we carved out a morning for plane spotting at Anchorage's primary commercial airport, Ted Stevens International.

ANC is probably best known to aviation enthusiasts as being a hub for international cargo - the vast majority of air freight between Asia and North America stops there for sorting and/or re-fueling. As a result, there are more 747 arrivals/departures here than any other airport in North America (and very probably the world... I don't have global stats though, sadly).

Of course, there are lots of things beyond the heavy freighters you'll see every day at major airports in the Lower 48; I'd been hoping to catch a Dreamlifter, a Lynden C-130, or an Everts DC-6 (I managed to go 1 for 3 on that trio), but was pleasantly surprised by several airlines and aircraft that weren't on my radar.

At the time we were there, runway 15/33 was out of service, which meant all of the traffic would get funneled through a single area - it was perfect for me - nothing was going to escape unphotographed by arriving/departing on the other end of the field! Following guidance from SpotterGuide.net, we found a great spot at the north end of South Airpark Place.

We were there on September 12, 2019 from 8:45 AM to 11:15 AM, and it made for a very solid 2.5 hours of spotting; here are some highlights, in the order they were photographed. Enjoy!

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N682PA, a PenAir Saab 2000, gets photobombed by a Cathay Pacific Cargo 747-8F.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N318AS, Alaska's "Spirit of Disneyland II," is a Boeing 737-900.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

US Navy C-40 (737-700C) 696, operated by VR-56. Note Icelandair's Hekla Aurora 757-200, TF-FIU, on the left.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N356KD, a Western Global 747-400F.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N906RA, a Saab 340A(F) operated by Ryan Air.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N545LM, Super King Air operated by LifeMed Alaska.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

P4-LAS, an L-100 (civilian C-130) operated by Lynden Air Cargo... humid Hercules departures are always a treat!

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N805FX, an ATR-72F for FedEx Feeder.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N362NC, a Northern Air Cargo 737-300F.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N405LC, another Lynden Air Cargo L-100 Hercules!

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N117AX, Beech 1900C operated by Alaska Central Express - talk about sharp! Was also happy to catch one of Alaska's relatively new 737-700Fs (N625AS).

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

ANC is a crew base for UPS 747 pilots. Trivia: N578UP is one of two former passenger 747s in their fleet - note the longer, passenger-sized hump.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

A trio you'll only find at Anchorage! N454PA, a 747-400F for Polar/DHL, along with N113AX ACE Beech 1900C, and N752FX, a FedEx Feeder Super Cargomaster.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

A Kalitta Charters II 737-400F, N405CK arriving as a Ravn Dash 8-100 departs, with assorted cargo heavies in the background.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

I'd spent the morning mildly frustrated by the dozen or so F-22s and handful of C-17s that had been flying out of Elemdorf Air Force Base, which at 8 miles away, was close enough to see what was happening, but too far to photograph. Not sure what was going on exactly, but a pair of the Raptors flew an approach on 7R and gave us a great show. Kudos to Mrs. JetTip, who noticed these coming and helpfully suggested I stop staring at my phone!

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

Three aircraft operating out of three airports at Anchorage! N668CP, 737-700 for ConocoPhillips at ANC; N777T, a DHC-2 Beaver departing LHD; and an unknown F-22 at EDF... not too shabby!

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

N706CK, a Kalitta 747-400F, which fortuitously departed on 7R (everything else departed 7L), allowing it to hit this picturesque position relative to the mountains at a much closer range.

Nick Benson

Nick lives in Burnsville, MN with his wife and three children. He grooves on railroad and aviation photography, geography, weather, and LEGO. A freelance web developer, he started JetTip's smart flight alert service in 2017. He can frequently be found atop a step ladder at MSP's Aircraft Viewing Area.