Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cityscapes From the Air

We recently flew out to Los Angeles to visit friends and family, and due to a ridiculous fare sale on Southwest, decided to fly with them even though that would mean a couple of extra stops en-route.  Due to the beautiful weather both en route and back, I was able to get some really nice photos of several city skylines on the way.  I've gotten many photos of skylines over the years, but mainly from the ground or the top of a hill; it's a much different perspective when you do a close fly-by from a plane, which also provides views of the surrounding landscape.  Enjoy views of Dallas, El Paso, Phoenix, Ontario (California), and San Antonio after the jump.


Dallas has a truly stunning skyline, especially at night, but it's hard to get a good shot of it flying out of D/FW unless you happen to be departing to/approaching from the east.  It's much easier to do out of Love Field, which is only about 3 miles from downtown.  During climb-out, we were afforded a view first of the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Trinity River floodplain, and then the downtown skyline.

We then briefly passed due south of D/FW Airport, affording a full view of the airfield.

El Paso

The El Paso airport is east of town, so there's not much to see when you're arriving from that direction.  Leaving town, though, you get a view of either downtown and the Rio Grande River on one side, or the Franklin Mountains on the other.  We were sitting on the right side of the plane, which meant a view of the Franklin Mountains, which rather abruptly cut the city in two.


We had a rare treat landing in Phoenix - because prevailing winds required landing to the east both coming and going, we were afforded fly-bys of downtown both times.  On the first approach, we were afforded views of Squaw Peak, the Sky Harbor airfield, and a somewhat distant glimpse of the city center.

Then as we took off for Ontario, another fly-by of downtown, and a view of the western Valley of the Sun.

On the flight back from Ontario to Phoenix, more great views of the western valley and downtown, then a great shot of the red rocks of Scottsdale.  I found the arrow-straight rows of city blocks particularly interesting from up high.


Ontario itself doesn't have a skyline (it's a pretty small city), but you do enjoy a nice view first of the San Bernardino Mountains and Cajon Pass past Devore, then Mount Baldy to the north.

San Antonio

We had seats on the wrong side of the plane to see the city itself, but we did get a view of the Texas Hill Country to the northwest of the airport, along with an awesome photo of our plane's shadow!

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