Two friends had travelled down on the Tuesday and were staying in the same Hotel as us so we met up with them and planned to leave at 5-30am in the morning to make our way to where we were wanting to view from before the traffic built up.

We had decided that the Trafford Park viewing facility definately wasn't the place to be with the sun in front until well after midday making photos very difficult and anyway it was expected that huge numbers of people would be piling into it making even getting to the fence a struggle.

Our decision was to all go in the one car to the South side and use a back lane to make our way to the place for liftoff shots as the runway in use was still 24L for departures, this proved to be the right choice as when we passed the entry to the viewing park it was completely blocked with cars and this was before 6am when it was due to open.

There was hundreds of yards of cars on the other side of the road all just sitting there with some of the drivers standing outside frustrated at no movement in the queue and it took us a little bit of time to get past a few on our side of the road and on our way to the South side, I heard later that people were standing 6 deep at the fence struggling to use their cameras so I'm glad that I wasn't standing in that.

We got to the viewing spot just before 7am and could see a few Charters had already landed bringing in the fans of AC Milan and Juventus, the weather was rather dull though and light not good but it was early in the morning yet and the weather forecast was expected to be very good later with sun and tempertures of about 25 degrees so it was a matter of being patient for better conditions and some of the Charters already in to leave and go back to Italy for a second load of supporters.

The tricky thing here was to try and anticipate where the aircraft would lift off and with the Charters going back to Italy empty for more fans there were big variations and I got it wrong a few times particularly with the East African 767 that rocketed up like an Embraer.

Looking away in the distance to the official viewing park it was wall to wall people and it must have been a nightmare trying to take photos in their, also in late morning the skies began to clear and the sun was out so from that side it was right in front of them making it a real problem. I reckon that it was a good move not to go there until much later on.

Further up on our side I could see a good crowd at the place for lineup shots on 24L but I preferred to be where we were for action shots and there was only a handful of us so no hassles with people getting in our way.

As the Airport was expected to handle up to 50,000 Football fans this day they decided that runway 24/06 was to be used for parking so we stayed at the bottom end until the first MD80's were towed onto this runway so at 1pm it was time to move up to the lineup spot for some photos of the parked aircraft and of movements on the far runway.


D-AGER 737
Hapag Lloyd Express
(Manchester 28-5-03).

I-EEZE A320
Eurofly
(Manchester 28-5-03).

OH-LMW MD80
Finnair
(Manchester 28-5-03).

G-WWBM A330
BMi
(Manchester 28-5-03).

I-PEKN A321
Volare
(Manchester 28-5-03).

EI-CRF 767
Alitalia
(Manchester 28-5-03).

N394DL 767
Delta Airlines
(Manchester 28-5-03).

B-KAA 747
Dragonair Cargo
(Manchester 28-5-03).

I-NEOU 737
Neos
(Manchester 28-5-03).

AP-BAK 747
PIA
(Manchester 28-5-03).

EC-INP 737
Futura
(Manchester 28-5-03).

A7-ABX A300
Qatar Airlines
(Manchester 28-5-03).

5Y-QQQ 767
East African Airlines
(Manchester 28-5-03).

A good collection of MD80's were parked on the new runway including this Air Adriatic one below and another of new Swedish airline Viking while the far runway 24R was being used for arrivals and departures, a good long lense comes in handy for anything landing or taking off on this more distant runway.

The Air Jamaica A340 shot below taken just after landing was the equivalent on a normal SLR of about 280mm and you can see a large crowd of people in the Viewing park behind it.

In mid afternoon the sun becomes overhead and there is not a lot you can do with top lit aircraft so we all headed back to the Hotel about 4pm for a brief break and something to eat and drink while downloading the days photos and getting ready for a trip to the Viewing park for more shots of the action.


9A-CBD MD80
Air Adriatic
(Manchester 28-5-03).

OY-VKH A330
Premiair
(Manchester 28-5-03).

G-OBYB 767
Corsair
(Manchester 28-5-03).

I-NEOT 737
Neos
(Manchester 28-5-03).

6Y-JMP A330
Air Jamaica
(Manchester 28-5-03).

The Official Viewing park gives excellent views but the problem is that it is only in summer that the sun goes behind you and that doesn't happen until late afternoon so I have not spent much time here on visits since discovering much better views on the far side, it is ideal though from about 5-00pm onwards on a good summers day.

In the park there are two raised mounds to stand on (see viewing map) but these are a struggle being are not quite high enough to avoid the fence in shot when aircraft axi by you close in so I don't like using them that much, I've tried balancing on the wooden slats to get more height but it's too much hassle as lots of people use these two places and kids run about so instead I either shot through the fence wire which is fairly tight or stood at a slightly raised spot that wasn't there the last time that I visited.

I used my 75-300mm lense to shoot through the fence and this one has a filter size of 58mm but as the Canon D60 has a cropping factor of 1.6x it meant that the camera in effect was only seeing 38mm of the lense so I rarely got fence wire in them unless shooting at an angle to the fence, anyway it's Digital so easy to touch up any effected parts of the photo with only a very occasional dark corner showing.

I found this new place very handy with the ground raised a bit, tarmac laid down and a wooden fence so as I had brought my small flat steps as usual I stood on those and got enough height to avoid the fence for most taxiers coming off of the runway except for larger aircraft.

All in all I was very pleased with the views here and as we didn't come here until 5-45pm it was now much quieter and no prolem to get to the fence with my camera unlike when the massive crowd that was in earlier in the day.

Football Charters and bizjets were still arriving rather tight for time now with an Alitalia DC10 at 6-05pm and 767 at 6-20pm plus lots of bizjet's and props right up until kickoff time and a little later, after all of them were on the ground it was a good oppertunity for a group shot and I have included two of them below.

We went over to the South side for another look to see if there were any spotlights set up giving the possibility of some night shots as this happened at Glasgow in 2002 but there wasn't any so at 8-45pm it was time to leave and head back to the Hotel to download and re-charge the camera batteries again.

So that was Champions League Finals day over, excellent warm and sunny weather from midday onwards and just over 1000 Digital shots taken with one more day still to go tomorrow before heading back home in the evening.

On reaching the Hotel again the Football match had a couple of minutes to go before going into extra time, I was glad not to have sat through it from the start it was a dire defensive game.


I-DUPD MD11
Alitalia
(Manchester 28-5-03).

C-GJTK Global Express

(Manchester 28-5-03).

I-BCOM Piaggio Avanti

(Manchester 28-5-03).

I-NEOU 737
Neos
(Manchester 28-5-03).

5Y-QQQ 767
East African
(Manchester 28-5-03).

Various Bizjet

(Manchester 28-5-03).

Various Bizjet

(Manchester 28-5-03).

B-18708 747
China Airlines Cargo
(Manchester 28-5-03).



Page 1 (Monday 26th May 2003 (11 photo).
Page 2 (Tuesday 27th May 2003 (4 photos).
Page 4 (Thursday 29th May 2003 (11 photos).
Page 5 (Manchester Viewing Map) (12 photos).

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