Exciting spotting session at Zurich Airport (ZRH/LSZH)

Hello everyone :)
A few weeks ago, I spontaneously decided to go spotting with a friend after an intense school week. The weather wasn’t great at all, but it surprisingly turned out to be one of my favorite spotting sessions ever. Here is my story.

As we arrived at Zurich Airport after a 30 minute long train ride, we immediately headed out of the airport railway station to go to runway 28. We arrived there pretty quickly as it was a short 1.5 km walk. As expected, the runway was used for all departures. The winds were pretty calm at the time. I haven’t been there before, but it is a really nice spot. Suddenly, we saw a gigantic black cloud coming straight towards us from the west. It rapidly became really windy. To give you an idea how strong it was, this was the METAR:

LSZH 081650Z 24024G34KT 9999 TS FEW065CB FEW080 BKN150 21/14 Q1018 TEMPO 4000 TSRA


Qatar Airways Airbus A350 taking off runway 28 with heavy winds.

At this point, we already saw several aircrafts going around from runway 14 (which was used for arrivals). We were also listening to the live feed of the tower using LiveATC. We heard alot of wind checks from several pilots.

Two Helvetic Airways Fokker 100 taxiing on runway 28.

All of a sudden, we see two aircrafts lined up on the runway, which is a quite unusual sight.
We quickly understood what was going on as the first aircraft vacated the runway and we heard the ATC communications.

Here is a short extract of the ATC saying they’ll change departure runways.

If anyone wants to listen more, I have downloaded 30 minutes of the live feed from the LiveATC archives.

Inbound traffic was also placed in holds to allow the long departure line to cross runway 28 to join runway 32. Here is a FlightRadar24 screenshot of the flightpath of a few inbound aircrafts.



Here are some pictures I made in addition to the one I’ve included above. Those aren’t the best pictures I made, but I think it is still worth including some.

An Austrian Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 (in the Star Alliance livery) fighting against the winds.

A Helvetic Airways Fokker 100 lining up runway 28 after an Adria Airways Bombardier CRJ-900LR took off.

Lufthansa Airbus A319

A Lufthansa Airbus A319 landing into the sunset.

Bonus: download this wallpaper!

You can download a wallpaper of a Swiss A320 and an Austrian Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 (in the Star Alliance livery) by clicking here.

Wallpaper preview

iPhone SE


That’s it for this topic. The pictures weren’t as good as usual, but I thought it was still worth sharing this spotting experience with you guys. I hope you enjoyed this topic.

Let me know what you think below! I’d also love to hear from your spotting experiences.

Cheers! :)

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Wow, excellent spotting topic ! Just love that Qatar A350.
I’d love to see more spotting topics of you :)

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Wow! This is probably the most detailed and informative spotting topic I’ve ever read. Sounds like you had a blast at Zurich Airport on that stormy afternoon – it was definitely crazy.

I love all of your spotting topics and I hope to see more, like this one, from you in the future. Thanks for the cool wallpaper too! ;)

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I LOVE these shots! Have you been to Innsbruck airport by any chance? I went there and to Zurich a few years ago but forgot about what it looked like :(

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Those runway “bumps” from that angle though. Also the lights. Love the Qatar A350.
Also love he detail that you put to it! Sounds like an interesting day you had!

You seriously are one of the best spotters on this forum. I adore these pics. I wish there was a love button on the forum as well as a like one

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Hey I started living in zurich a while ago but the only spotting stop i know is the observation deck. Do you have any tips for me?

Thanks for the kind words everyone - glad you like it! :)


Nope, sadly not…

Welcome to Zurich!
As I began with spotting, I found three really useful websites. They both have maps of all spotting locations with detailled informations. Check it out:


http://www.zrh-spotter.ch/zrh-spotting-guide.html
https://www.spotterswiki.com/index.php/Zurich_Airport

If you still have any questions, feel free to PM me and I’d be happy to help you! :)

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Your pictures are always exciting to see. Zürich is one of my favorite airports because of the observation decks that gives a one-of-a-kind experience to see the planes up close. I love going to airports in Europe, because unlike the U.S. lots of the big airports have observation decks inside of them. The approach into and out-of Zürich as well as the views behind the airport are truly amazing.

You are very lucky to live in Switzerland, and have done an amazing job sharing your photos spotting at Zürich.

Some of my pictures

Click for full resolution


You can barely see the gorgeous Alps in the background




I’m still at a loss for words of the landscape I was able to see while descending into Zürich, as well as the lovely view of Lake Zürich while getting closer to the airport.

Have a great day, and keep taking more photos :-)
-Moosehead

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This is hands-down the best spotting topic i’ve seen! Great photos, lots of information and some cool other stuff. Amazing

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A lot of effort put into this topic, well done!

Bad weather always makes spotting interesting. Always nice to watch pilots show off their skill and fight the wind.

Thanks for the nice comment! :)

I’m very greatful to ZRH for being such a spotter-friendly airport. The observation desks are fantastic and really easy to access.
The Swiss landscape is really nice indeed, especially from the air. The approach to runway 34 is my favorite one in my opinion. On the left, you have Lake Zürich and on the right, the smaller Greifensee. It surely is a unique approach. :)

Thanks for sharing your pictures! I’ll surely continue to spot there.
Have a great day too!


Thanks for your comments! It was alot of work, especially since I had some issues while trying to compress the pictures to upload them here.


Totally agree haha! Challenging weather conditions definetly makes it more interesting!

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How lucky! Very clear photos and cool ATC recordings!

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nice shot adrien! i too like to do some planespotting in zurich 🙂 got that all year access to zuschauerterrasse b

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Full credit goes to LiveATC haha! Glad you liked it!


Thanks Yna! Nice to see some other ZRH spotters on the community. :)

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Lol that is certainly true!

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Really nice, clean pictures. Thanks for sharing! That A350 is just so pretty. 😍

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Alright shots but I just like the A350 because it’s one of the best a long with the other Airbus aircraft posted

Nice. I live in switzerland too !