Air New Zealand – The Hobbit Plane – LAX

…a funny thing happened to me yesterday – December 9, 2012. – I was out and about and discovered that El Segundo was having their Christmas Parade that afternoon. OK, fine…I got camera and decided to stay around to get some parade shots…turns out El Segundo put on a pretty substantial parade…
As I moved around from positions I saw of course the planes departing from LAX and wouldn’t you know, I happened to look up to see Air New Zealand’s Hobbit plane, ZK-OKP, so I fired off a shot just for the heck of it (proof).

Later that afternoon I went to do what I had planned to do – go to some spot along Vista del Mar (north of Imperial and south of Napoleon for you google map streetview mavens) to sit and read some material I had kept for such an occasion.
…so I sit about right where the departing planes fly over…and I don’t bother too much with it.

But after a while I did hear a somewhat louder plane and decided to stretch my legs and check what it might be – and it was a “WTF” moment – it was an Air New Zealand (Boeing triple seven) departing – SPORTING THE HOBBIT LIVERY!!

…I just stared at it slowly disappearing…how could this be…? – I had heard that a second “Hobbit plane” would be forthcoming, but so soon…? – …had the first one I did snap a shot of returned for some reason…to make a second departure…? – …did I hallucinate…?

…no, I did not hallucinate…it was Air New Zealand with a full body length illustration type livery…(but I was out of memory in my cam – no proof)

Due to the parade, the usual gang of plane spotters were not at the Imperial overlook, so fewer people than usual would probably be observing…still, some would see and notice…got info…?

You were lucky enough to see it, but most likely moving onto their flight path or go around. Possible the second Hobbit livery, check here … etStatus=1 to see what special colors are in service. :slight_smile:

…thanks for reply! – …I hadn’t checked planespotters’ list of planes but had that in mind – so thanks for providing direct link.

Well, the first “Hobbit” plane departed around two-ish, but this New Zealand triple seven departed at around 4:20 or so, regular time…so it had to be another plane – unless the “known” Hobbit plane had returned and stayed for a while…but that doesn’t seem likely…? – I wish I could have fired away a shot just for the record, but conditions were not great and I wasn’t planning on taking any shots…but camera was in car…

…so…mystery remains unsolved…

Planespotters show only one “Hobbit” plane in use…

On Monday (yesterday) I also missed first Lufthansa 747-8 visit to LAX…got a mail about it…will look for that too now… : )

Thanks for taking the time to wright that, are you sure the hobbit 777W wasn’t moving from TBIT to another gate? It be obvious if it was departing. Hope you get the DLH 748 I have many of CPA’s 747-800s. Lufthansa will be switching our 744 to a 748 next summer here in Denver, best of luck to getting this mystery solved. :smiley:

…naah…from my position in El Segundo, it seems the first (and verified) Hobbit plane actually departed from the southern runways…if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to see it (from my location on Main Street)

…but when I sat on Vista del Mar after 4pm, the departure was the “normal” from the northern fields…Air New Zealand typically uses the northern side both for arrivals and departures, but, they may use both as the situation may require… : )

…I’m wondering, shouldn’t it be possible to back-check here at FlightAware…? – …I’m not that good at that…I have one website that shows (most) arrivals and departures for LAX, but they don’t show plane identification numbers, so it’s a bit difficult to match them up, but may be possible by more skilled people…! – …there are only so many flights each day and now we’re only two days late…

According to both ANZ special liveries (OKP and OKQ) were in LAX on 12/9. Perhaps you mistook the “All Blacks” for the “Hobbit”?

…well…that would be highly, highly unlikely, since I’m so familiar with that plane – the “All Black” – for that plane I was actually alerted ahead of time the first time it was to arrive in LA and also took pictures of it at that occasion…(it was not the greatest day, but I got a “record” of the event…)
And one of my pictures of the plane is used by FlightAware if you use the “tracker” and type in “ZK-OKQ”…the two planes are very different – and I would have enjoyed seeing the “All Black” departing, but…it wasn’t it…and I was much, much closer to this second plane, than I was when I “accidentally” spotted “The Hobbit” plane earlier…MUCH closer… : )

Then it’s a mystery.

…I agree…wonder if I could call Air New Zealand’s PR department here in LA and ask…

Doesn’t hurt to try! :slight_smile:

I think the most likely answer is, as suggested above, a simple go-around on 25L.

Nobody at ANZ except the crew would know about that. There are some “live” LAX ATC sites but I don’t know if they have history that far back.

ZK-OKP had a go around arriving LAX around 2pm, which you can see on the map … /NZAA/KLAX
Thats what you saw for your “first departure around two-ish”

It departed 2.5 hours later around 4:20p … /KLAX/EGLL

Good Catch.

One of my guesses were right. :laughing: go around would seem obvious, ( see it land on final approach)( then take off from missed approach.)

…alright then! – Thank you mduell for providing this information that solved this “mystery”…

…when I witnessed the plane the first time, it didn’t really look like a “go-around” but rather like a normal departure from the southern fields – which is why I assumed that’s what it was (I live just north of LAX and see every now and then aborted approaches and typically they just look like planes are passing in a more or less “level” fashion, but of course it various…)

…so when I then later saw the plane making its “real” departure…I had my “WTF” moment… : )

Thanks again – very cool and thanks everybody for taking an interest in this observation, December 9, 2012…

ok guys,i might sound stupid here,as i am very new to this aviation game what is a hobbit plane please :confused: :confused:

ANZ 777W … 6%29-L.jpg