Editor’s note: Due to wide popular interest and numerous requests, here is the famous airplane wing photo and accompanying information from a competing site. I post it here so in the best BigBabyKenny.com tradition there can be an uncensored tracking cookie free debate on the controversy surrounding this now famous picture.
The second article is the original Keith Summers article about the “new” Suvarnabhumi Airport which started the whole debate.
It would be helpful if either side on this fight would write a short summary of exactly what is being debated because I’m certain most BigBabyKenny.com readers are scratching their heads wondering WTF?
And in the interests of fairness, I will protect the “Daffy Duck” screen name on this thread from sock puppetry so Harry Zink can present his side of the argument — if he wants to. 🙂
Realistically, that picture is really all I should need to post, as it’s all there – but that would make for a boring article.
Here it is, the picture that Keith Summers posted on his website as part of an articled named “Suvarnabhumi Airport”
It’s all there – the *clearly visible* aircraft registration ID on the dorsal (top) of the starboard (right) wing; position of sun, on the horizon as well as relative to the plane’s heading establish time of day as well as direction; position and angle of picture establishes a damn good approximation of the seat position on the plane (to within 1 row); last but not least, the EXIF information in the picture can help determine time of flight and date (note, though, that it’s dependent on the camera date/time being properly set – Summers’ seem offset by an hour):
Finally, a quick look on airliners.net (the site who’s existence Prufrock marginalizes), identifies Summers’ plane as an Embraer ERJ-145LR jet, flown by PBAir (defunct since 2009, sadly), flying on the BKK – KOP route (KOP is the designator for Nakhon Panom).
PBAir flew two flights a day between BKK and KOP, 4 times a week, as we can see from their old flight schedule, via the always helpful Internet Archive site:
The Embraer ERJ-145 Jet is a small jet plane, with barely three rows of seats across. Here’s a picture of the interior of what Summers saw when he was boarding, as he was heading towards Row 16, Seat C.
At the time, back in 2006, it was not very difficult to obtain a passenger manifest for a specific flight (it still isn’t, as a matter of fact), particular a domestic flight from a small airline – and as luck would have it there was one farang in the middle section of the plane over the right wing”
SUMMERS, KEITH MR
You don’t have to be Stickman, P.I., to leverage Summers’ repeated mistakes, and identify him – and thus, this also takes care of Prufie’s claims of “experts” assuring him there are no ID numbers on the wings of planes, and that pictures can’t be used to ascertain time of time, or heading.
(note: to give credit where credit is due, the salient details were “discovered” with the
help of some very smart and well-connected friends.)
Oh, right, Prufie , feel free to drop off payment with your good friend Graham at Big Mango Bar – though I doubt very much he’d honor his own words.
The archive of the original article is here:
Editor’s note: This is the original Keith Summers Airport Article.
I did a run down to Bangkok/Pattaya. I spent about a week down there doing what I do. I met with friends and had a little business to tend to.
I live up in the northern part of the country. When I travel I always fly. At this point in time, all air traffic is now entering the new Suvarnabhumi airport. This was my first pass through the airport and I wanted to snap a few photos and document what I could for the readers at large who want to know a little more.
Coming into the Domestic Side
The flight down there is relatively short trip but taxing in from the runways seemed to take forever. I can’t ever remember taxing for this long of a distance from any airport runway that I landed in before. Seemed like it took 5 to 10 minutes for the airplane to roll into its final position and from there we stepped off the jet just to step back onto a shuttle bus. The smaller jets don’t have the option of loading directly from a normal terminal so, there were were again taking a second ride to the actual terminal.
The domestic shuttle busses unload at a normal terminal and you have to climb stairs up into what would be a normal gantry hallway (the kind that extends out to the larger jets). From there you walk back into the boarding gate areas as if you had come off a full sized jet.
The picture to the left here is not from the domestic area of the airport. This is looking out the main terminal. Here you see the glass and steel construction. I believe you looking across the yard to the shipping and/or administrative side of the air port.
The first thing you notice about the port is it’s highly steel and glass design. It’s very modular. I like the design. The large glass walls are a beautiful design.
After entering the domestic boarding gate, you’ll make a turn and head down a long hallway back to main terminal and the baggage handling system. The pathway is well marked and were are several moving sidewalk conveyer belts to help you get there without much walking. You will have to take an up escalator or glass elevator to finally reach the large baggage handling room.
The picture to the right here is the large baggage handling room. I believe this area was for domestic only because I only saw signs in that area for domestic destinations. It is one very large area and there must have been 8 to 10 very large stainless steel conveyers.
I Made a Mistake
When you first come to the area, your instinct it walk right over the baggage handlers and look for the name of the town you originated from. However, in my case, the signs at the actual hander area were not reading the correct names, OR there may have been more than one flight being off-loaded in a single hander. See the name to the right here is Krabi. In my case, by departure city’s name did not show.
The answer is simple. When you first arrive at the baggage room, please go directly to the flight arrival electronic board. This located right at the entrance. It’s written in both English and Thai. Just breeze right down the list until you see your flight and then look for the handler number on the right (in red). From there you can confidently walk right to the correct conveyer area and get ready to speed through the pick up. Security is a bit light in this area. I would not be surprised if they began to have people loose bags to thieves here. I hope that doesn’t happen. Typically in the west, your baggage claim ticket is checked against the bag by light security at the baggage handling areas. I didn’t see any checking going on when I passed through this point.
Exiting the baggage area is easy. The flow is directly away from the entrance. That part is intuitive. Taxis are located on the ground floor and you’ll be directed that way as you exit in most cases. You’ll need to find an escalator or elevator down. It’s fairly easy to do. One of the pathways that can take you between floor is a flat escalator. This looks like a metal floor but I could not directly tell just what the linked foot pads were made from. It leans down level to smoothly take you between floors. It’s quite unique
I did use the taxi service supplied by the airport. I made my way to the Sukhumvit area in Bangkok and my total fare was about 300 baht. I paid highway fees to expedite the trip. Those fees were 65 baht I believe. I was told by some taxi drivers that going to the airport was no good because the traffic was controlled there by (in his words) mafia. I don’t know if this is true. I didn’t notice anything unusual. Although, I think I forget to pay my driver the extra 50 baht for the airport taxi queue service. I tipped him but probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 or 40 baht (rounded up the fair to 300 from about 270 I believe). I’m not sure why he didn’t remind me of the 50 baht fee (as was normal at the old airport). Are they suppose to pull that fee out of their fares now? I don’t think so. Oops. Mistake #2, Ahhhg.
Getting out of the airport was my prime concern on arrival. There is not much reason to hang around on in-bound trips. Overall, the airport was working as I would expect. No complaints on domestic arrival services.
My Return Trip, Time on my Hands.
I knew that I would be back to the Suvarnabhumi airport on my return flight. I had plans to photograph the entire port but regulations would not allow me into the International side of the departure areas. You just can’t go there until you are headed out of the country, and clearly that is not my home front. So, sorry we don’t have any really nice shots of the Thai figures and art and architecture is located on the International side of the airport. Nothing like this is on the domestic side.
The customer departure drop off point is all in one location for both domestic and internationals flights. The first two stations (which I believe are numbered 3 and 4) are for domestic ticketing and check in. The following four or five stations are for international business.
The picture to the left if the drop off area for all flights and the tower on the right I believe this their largest control towers. I believe I read somewhere this was currently the largest control tower in service in the world.
My first order of business is to check in and make sure my flight arrangements are in order. You can not check-in before 2 hours prior to departure. The ticket counters and check-in counted seem pretty clearly marked. I didn’t notice any problem except for the check in girl was a trainee and I believe she kept my plane ticket. I had the boarding pass and that was all I need to move forward.
I wanted to try out the food at what seems to be the primary restaurant in the main terminal. You’ll see this establishment on the upper floor in side the large atrium. The name of the this particular place is the Sky loft. They have a nice variety if dishes and deserts up there. What you do is stop in at the cashier and you pay for either a 500 or 1000 baht electronic card. As you go around, vendors in each area who serve up the food (main dish, beverage, and desert), take money off that card electronically. As you check out, the cashier will return to you the portion of money that is left over in the card.
I ordered phad-thai coon. This a very basic dish that is very popular in Thailand. The noodles were of the correct type and the shrimp were a very nice size. I paid 120 baht for that. The food was very good but they did make a small mistake. They placed my food on a very heavy porcelain plate that was cold. It wasn’t refrigerator cold is was A/C cold. That heavy plate really drained the heat right out of my phad-thai. The food was excellent in quality. Price of phad-thai was 120 baht (about 3.25 USD). The coke in a can, well, that set me back a whole 2.70 USD (100 baht). That same coke up country costs only 35 cents (13 baht). I also indulged myself in somewhat rare blueberry cheesecake at 160 baht (4.38 USD). That was also a very good quality product. I would buy that again. The only weakness in the system that I noticed is that someone foolishly purchased receipt printers that are too damn slow for business. They won’t be able to handle a rush of customers and they know it. Each receipt at different counters takes about 8 seconds to print. That would be a real bottleneck in delivery if there were customers standing around hustling through the restaurant. I was the only guy at the desert counter at the time and it looked like the worker was stuck there waiting for the receipt to print out. Over all, the food was very good. The view is excellent. It’s a great place to kick back and relax before your flight out. Also, I don’t know if they had wireless connectivity up there or not, but if they did, all the better.
Short Walk About
I tried my best to get into the International side of the port, but those rough and tough security girls weren’t hav’n it. They looked very serious with those communication devices in hand. I think if Austin Powers were with me, together we could sufficiently distracted these lovely ladies to slip in there, but as luck would have it, I was alone. So, I was limited to wondering around in the massive ticking and check-in area.
The entry ways to all the departure/arrival gates are on the opposite side of the arrival drop off points just as you would expect. The flow of traffic would be correct. You are nearly always moving in an a s
You still have to pay the 500 departure fee. There are a number of booths just outside the international gate areas. In my wandering around I noted a promotion of the Rolles Bentley cars. There are about 5 or 6 of them on display. Nice vehicles if you can handle the fairy-tail price tag. I think they call this the Continental GT. The price on the web is 160,000 USD. I’m car buff so I like to take a peek when I can.
If you look around the mammoth ticket and check-in and look skyward, you’ll notice an interior roof line that must be 5 stories tall. Noticeably missing on the common air ducts for air conditioning and heating. These are cleverly concealed in floor channeling unit that you see in this picture to the right. These look like stainless steel units. I noticed a few workers parking themselves between the these metal “pillars” trying to cool off. As you walk by these, you’re feel the unmistakable cold air rolling from them. The air is not under much pressure. It seems to ooze forward like a heavy cloud. On this next picture of the ticking area, you can look over to the left and see some Thai architecture over in the International gate areas. This is the most you’ll see on this side of the frosted white glass partitions. Click on the picture for a closer look.
Departure Time Arrives
My time ran short and I have to make my way to the domestic side of the airport arrival/departure gates. That walk is long and there are a couple of “people mover” conveyers to speed you on your way. Both of these pictures below are on the domestic side of the arrival and departure gates. The boarding of one of the smaller jets essentially the same procedure as the arrive but in reverse. We walked out the normal loading gantries and down steps to the ground. From there a shuttle bus took us to the awaiting jet. Departure was uneventful. No problems on departure. Again a long taxi and a we had queue of about 4 jets waiting on the tarmac to use the runway that we had been assigned to.
Thanks for joining us. I took a lot of pictures for this article. I figure, that reduces my grammar and spell checking (which as you know I’m not keen on). You can’t adequately describe in words the new Suvarnabhumi airport. There is a lot to see and I’m sure so much more on the International side.
Maybe you’ll be coming over to take a look at this port first hand. Don’t forget your camera.