Before the salt in evaporating sea water turns white, it goes through stages of color that range from jade green to brick red, with variations of orange, yellow and other colors. From above the salt ponds around San Francisco Bay look like giant panes of stained glass. The shot above is from my latest set, shot on approach to SFO last week.
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That’s almost as far as it got.
FLIGHTAWARE BREAKING NEWS
US Airways flight #1549 (an Airbus A320) from New York, NY (LGA) to Charlotte, NC (CLT) crashed into the Hudson River today (January 15, 2009) around 3:30pm EST, less than six minutes after takeoff. The maximum altitude was 3200 feet before the aircraft began a descent into the water.
Plane appears intact. Helicopters and ferries responding. FAA is reporting all passengers are out of the plane, and a secondary search is underway.
Early unconfirmed reports are that the aircraft hit a flock of geese. CNN reports that a pilot of the airliner reported a bird strike to air traffic control after takeoff.
FlightAware Discussion Forums: Airliner Down
If FlightAware calls the flight USA1549, that’s how I’m going to call and tag it.
More as I can write about it, sitting here at a pharmacy in Cambridge. As of now, it appears that all passengers and crew got out alive. Amazing. Some great piloting there. And a sobering lesson in listening to pre-flight safety pitches.
Reallhy helps that the plane stayed intact (from what we can see). Amazing job landing — actually, ditching — the thing. Wow.
5pm, on FlightAware:
|Aircraft||Airbus A320 (twin-jet) (A320/Q)|
|Origin||La Guardia (KLGA)|
|Destination||Charlotte/Douglas Intl (KCLT)|
|Other flights between these airports|
|Route||BIGGY J75 GVE LYH SUDSY3 (Decode)|
|Date||Thursday, Jan 15, 2009|
|Duration||1 hours 44 minutes|
11 minutes left
1 hour 32 minutes
|Status||En Route (No recent position)|
|Departure||03:04PM EST||03:26PM EST|
|Arrival||04:38PM EST||05:10PM EST|
|Speed||455 kts||153 kts|
|Altitude||36000 feet||300 feet|
Want to get that down before it scrolls away.
How long before video of the plane landing, shot from a ferry or shore, shows up on the tubes?
From a FlightAware post, ship number 106 (N106US, Airbus A320-214, delivered August 2, 1999)
Jumping in the subway now. More later.
These are a few among the many salt ponds that ring the south end of San Francisco Bay. Once considered and agricultural innovation and an economic boom, the practice of “reclaiming” wild wetlands for industrial purposes is now considered ecologically awful by environmentalists, especially here on the West Coast of the U.S., which has precious few wetlands in any case. Many environmentalists have been working to get Cargill to close the ponds and return the Bay to its more natural state. Cargill hasn’t budged. In fact, <a href=”http://www.cargill.com/sf_bay/saltpond_ecosystem.htm”>Cargill has its own views</a> on the matter, plus some interesting facts about the ponds themselves.
It’s worth pointing out that the Bay is actually one of the youngest features on the California landscape, having flooded within only in the last couple thousand years, as sea levels rose. (Global warming has been happening, in fact, since the last ice age.)
I took this shot two days ago on approach to San Francisco on a flight from Boston. Here’s a set of all the photos I’ve taken of salt ponds, both here and in the desert. And here is the whole set of shots I took from coast to coast. Most were at the ends of the flight, since the sky was undercast most of the way.