A Look Back at 2016

Whew!  It has been a busy final quarter of 2016.  In October, I flew on Singapore Airlines’ inaugural non-stop flight from San Francisco to Singapore, on board my first A350 (Trip Report).

Two weeks after near the Equator in Singapore, I found myself crossing the Arctic Circle in the Yukon.  I flew in an Air North Hawker Siddeley HS 748 before they to retire from scheduled passenger service in early 2017.  It was also my first flight on the HS 748 (and very well be my only/last flight).

Which leads into my final video trip report for the year.  The story to go with it was published in the April 2017 issue of Airways magazine.

Two weeks after the Great White North, I was back in the Tropics.  This time on a real vacation in Maui.

All that travel in five weeks!  (26,326 total miles)

I certainly had a productive year in 2016.  Looking back at some highlights:

In January, I had a closeup look of the fire-damaged Dynamic Air 767-200 on the Florida Aviation Photography tour at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL).

In February, I took my first trip on VIA Rail in Canada, on board the classic streamliner train Canadian with the Moonlighters.

In March, I flew in an United 747-400 on a domestic flight:  seat 1A on the way out and upper deck on the return.

In May, I experienced the world-famous beach landing at Barra, Scotland.  It was also my first Twin Otter flight.  A story in Airways is to come.

In June, I went on my first “big assignment" for Airways for an exclusive story about Southwest Airlines’ new “Heart” cabin.  I also got a cool behind-the-scenes tour at SWA Headquarters.  I am proud to say that it was the 9th most read article on the Airways website in 2016!

A few days later, I had a fun time with my spotter buddies on board Southwest Airlines’ inaugural flight to and from Long Beach (LGB).

Speaking of inaugurals, it was a banner year at my home airport, Mineta San Jose International (SJC).  I had the pleasure of covering the following inaugural events, watching my airport coming to its own against San Francisco (SFO).

British Airways to London Heathrow (LHR) in May.  I flew on this flight, my first -9 series of the 787 Dreamliner.

Lufthansa to Frankfurt (FRA) in July.

Air China to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) in September.

Why does an airline like KLM need a Pop-Up Store?  For brand awareness.  It is hard for me to fathom how can anyone not know a major international airline like KLM.  But as I learned, most people don’t.

Finally, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America formally completed their merger in December.  It was a crazy day covering the event, but now, there is “More to Love”.

Here is to a more productive 2017!

2016 Flight Maps

2016 Flights - U.S. Domestic

2016 Flights - International


  1. Awesome, Ben! Wishing you more fun travels in 2017!


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