Getting into spotting

Hey all,

Recently i have got into spottin5g and my local airports are Doncaster Sheffield and east midlands!

I have all the equipment (camera, tripod), have a live departure board on my phone and have some spare time but, i really like seeing the unusual stuff so i was wondering if there was a website or app or something which tells you when there is an unscheduled aircraft coming in for example a canadian C-17 landed yesterday at Doncaster but i really want a few days prior warnibg but dont know how!

Anyway i would appreciate any help and feel free to add some top tips for me when spotting below as i am just starting out and any help would be greatfully appreciated!

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I’d suggest you take a look at this post:


Doncaster is a great airport for unusual traffic. FR24 will sometimes show the more interesting traffic on the arrival/departure boards and will give you a days warning, although most of the time it will only show the commercial services.

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Could you suggest any other way of getting more advance warning?

Spotting is fun!
Check this out for military aircraft:
(Scroll to the bottom for radar)
ADS-B Exchange


Good luck with spotting! If you ever need assistance, PM me or @JRRaviation, or anyone else who spots on the community, we will be glad to help!

I’d take a look at these 2 topics. Good luck again!


Well for starters it us hard to know about milatary up untill you see them visualy, or hear on a scanner. Byond that, check the arival/departures bord in FR24, and esspecialy check images. Special liveries are a great thing that can be planned ahead, but also be an awsome unique photo. Also keep track of aircraft you realy like to see, like at KPIT I always know that every other day at 5:30ish is good becuais the wow plane lands. Or evry 4th day at about 8:30 the Qatar Cargo 77. Another great reasourse is tp check the page about your local airport (may or may not be ine for your airport this is based off of my experience at KPIT) and see if it lists “Destinations” here atleast for my airport it shows frequencies/times of alot of flights. This is great esspecialy for seasonal flights to find a start/end date. For example I found that Condor starts seasonaly this Thursday two months ago and have had the date on my calendar since…

Hope this helps, KPIT


FlightAware is a great tool since you mentioned you want to know of aircraft more in advance. The only problem with FlightAware is that some cool aircraft (military, exotic business jets, etc) may be blocked and untrackabke on the website.

FR24 is more of a live view option which can also be useful in most situations.


Make sure you have a long lens! Also, find out the best spotting locations around the airport. If there’s security, listen to what they say. I’d recommend using manual mode for taking pictures.

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