Friday July 31 was supposed to be the day we witness something rarely seen: a “blue” moon. Sadly. heavy cloud cover prevented many of us from seeing the rare event.
However, another rare occurrence took place on Friday July 31 in south Florida. According to FlightAware.com a Boeing 747-400 Freighter left Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport at mid-day headed for Miami International. Apparently due to heavy thunderstorms in the Miami area, the Atlas Air jumbo jet was diverted to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International. It landed shortly after 2:30 pm. The freighter emptied its cargo and took off from the airport today Saturday August 1.
I discovered this “unexpected” treat while checking on a flight heading for Caracas Venezuela around 12:30 pm. That flight was delayed and left around 1:10 pm. The Atlas Air Boeing 747 was also delayed and left at 1:34 pm.
Although the redesigned 8000 feet south runway is capable of handling jumbo jets in emergencies, the chance of you seeing an Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-400 using it is very slim. Jumbo jets usually land at MIA where there is a 13,00 feet runway.
I was curious to see how much of the runway would be used for takeoff. Amazingly, the Boeing 747-400 got airborne sooner than the smaller Airbus A320 or Boeing 737. It is safe to assume that the reduced weight after unloading and less fuel than normal, made the short takeoff possible. Less than 15 minutes later the jet landed at Miami International.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is undergoing major renovation and expansion. The renovation of the south runway was completed in September 2014. Shortly a new concourse will be open to the public.
Construction will continue to 2018. However the airport is still open for business and planes continue to land and takeoff dispite the mess.
The Airport Greenbelt Park on the south side of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was opened in 1991. At that time visitors could watch small commercial and private planes like Cessnas and Falcons take off and land on the south runway. That runway was not long enough for larger planes made by Boeing, Airbus and Embraer.
In September 2014 the expansion of the south runway was completed as part of the airport expansion and renovation project. Plane spotters and photographers can now get close-up views of Airbus A319/A320/A321, Boeing 737s and Embraer 175/190.
Here is an American Eagle airliner (Embraer 175) before and during takeoff on the south runway.
Looking for a new place to spend a few minutes with friends, family or by yourself?
First, here are a few things to know about this little-known place. It is a park that covers about 30 acres. It has a well maintained grassy area and tress under which you can sit to have lunch. It also has a walking trail, a small lake/pond, and a viewing area from which you can watch planes takeoff and land.
The park is in the city of Dania Beach on the south side of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. It’s official name is Airport Greenbelt Park. You can enter the park off Griffin Road at 10th Avenue between I-95 and U.S Hwy 1.
One great feature of the park is its elevation. The park was originally build to act as a sound barrier between the airport and the residents on the south side of Griffin Road nearby. There are lots of trees to help buffer the noise from the planes especially on takeoffs. The view of the planes from the elevated viewing area or from the walking trail is better than the views at most airports.
Here are some of the images taken from the viewing area at the park.