PART 2 // A Community-Made Airport Spotting Guide // A Guide for an Airport Near You


#1

[October 24, 2018: Welcome to Airport Spotting Guide PART 2! If you didn’t know about Part 1, here’s the link for it: https://community.infinite-flight.com/t/a-community-made-airport-spotting-guide-a-guide-for-an-airport-near-you/251217?u=racerclc
Part 1 reached the character limit. But now we have Part 2!

Please post any information you’re sharing with us in this topic and NOT in Part 1.

Also, please do not post a report if you already posted the exact same thing in Part 1. (If you’d like to transfer your Part 1 post into Part 2, please PM me. Thanks!)

And if you don’t see your airport on the list here in Part 2, feel free to check Part 1 to see if the airport you’re looking for can be found there. Thanks!

Here’s the topic description, copied straight from Part 1. Enjoy!]

"Notes" from Part 1:

[Notes from @racerclc on September 26, 2018:]

  • If you have questions about spotting at a particular airport, you’re welcome to post it here! Someone might be able to give you a good answer.

  • Follow @Dylan_M 's example: Feel free to edit your airport post at any time, just let me know when you do so that I can update it in the main post. Thanks!

Original topic description for Part 1:

I’m sure IFC has many wonderful aviation spotters, so if anyone is looking into airport spotting, this topic might be able to give you some insight on where/how to spot at an airport near you.

This topic is for the community to share recommendations for airport spotting.

When giving advice, please be specific about which airport you are describing and give its airport code (ICAO code is preferred). The airport you choose to write about can be in any country, but it should regularly accommodate non-GA / non-private airplanes. (Military airports are accepted.)

Suggestions for sharing: the best locations for spotting at an airport, the types of jets that appear frequently at an airport, the best time of day and/or best weather for that airport, which runways are used for take-offs and which runways are used for landings, etc.

Feel free to give information regardless of how well-known the info might already be. All I ask is that you do not repeat info that was already stated and that you know the information is true. Information that has been received from sources like the internet should not be shared. All information should come from personal experience.

And to separate personal info from internet info: If you post information that was looked up online and NOT information acquired from personal experience, please note that in your post. Thank you!

And please, no off-topic discussion. (for example: "Oh yeah, that airport has a nice restaurant next to it called…")

As info is shared, I will try my best to update the list of airports and their info below (which is in alphabetical order by ICAO code):

CYYZ // YYZ // Toronto Pearson International Airport // @xxFuryxx

@xxFuryxx

KDEN // DEN // Denver International Airport // Colorado, USA // @Joseph_Krol

@Joseph_Krol

KLGA // LGA // LaGuardia Airport // New York, USA // @Dylan_M

@Dylan_M

KPVD // PVD // T. F. Green Airport // @Pinecone

@Pinecone

YMML // MEL // Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport // @Oli_H

@Oli_H


KMSY Planespotting Information Wiki
PART 3 // Community-Made Airport Spotting Guide (Q&A and Guides!)
#2

The KCLT entries are from Part 1. No other Part 1 entries will be added. KCLT serves only as an example of what the completed entries will look like.
But if you’d like to add to the current KCLT entries, go ahead! (For example, I added on to @Pilot_urp’s KCLT post with some additional information.) This is allowed with any airport; just try not to repeat any already-stated info.


#3

KDEN/DEN
Denver International Airport:

Location I:
West Garage:
This is the top Northwest corner of the Terminal West parking garage. Good to see 34R landings, although 34L landings may be distant. Some poles may obstruct shots if not timed right. Example shots:



Location:

East Garage:
Top northeast corner of the Terminal East garage. This is good for views of 17R landings, airplanes taxiing to and from the south side of Concourse A, and airplanes exiting 17R. Poles, again, may obstruct shots. Bus traffic is frequent, which also may obstruct shots.

Example shots:



#4

Airport: LGA/KLGA - LaGuardia Airport



Location 1: Planeview Park

Recommended Camera Lens: You can use a full range of lenses here, since the aircraft come from a distance and pass close to you.

Info: This is one of the best locations to spot at KLGA. If Runway 04 is active for the day, aircraft will fly directly over you on short final. For Runway 22 takeoffs, aircraft will also fly over you. Runway 13 and 31 takeoffs and landings are more distant.

Pros:

  • Great view of arrivals
  • View into Airport

Cons:

  • Fences, Trees, Poles are obstructions
  • Noise from nearby highway

Planeview Park Photo Example



Location 2: World’s Fair Marina Boardwalk

Recommended Camera Lens: If you walk to the small dock at the eastern end of the Boardwalk, you can get nice pictures of aircraft banking on the Expressway Visual approach. A lens that covers 70-100mm is great for this location. If you would like to get runway 4 departures in the same shot, at least 400mm should be good.

Info: This too is a great location. Shall Runway 31 be active, aircraft may still be in the left bank following the Expressway Visual. Aircraft will be at around 300-400 feet, as the runway is still across the Flushing Bay. On some days though, aircraft will not follow the Expressway Visual and will pass directly over the buildings in Flushing. If you get lucky and have a long camera lens, you might get the privilege to catch a shot with an arriving aircraft (Runway 31) and a departing aircraft (Runway 04) in the same shot!

Pros:

  • Possibility to catch arrivals in the sharp left bank
  • Distant view of departures

Cons:

  • Overpasses can block your view
  • Lots of Garbage

World’s Fair Marina Boardwalk Photo Example:



Location 3: Herman A. Macneil Park

Recommended Camera Lens: At least 300mm is substantial for this location. In order to get a picture with the NYC skyline in the background, it is good to have a 400mm lens.

Info: This park is great for plane spotting. I recommend coming here if Runway 22 is the active runway for landings. The aircraft will pass next to you at about 400-500 feet. After entering the park, I strongly suggest you walk up the hill and to the water at the edge of the park. Look left, and there is the airport! As of Nov 2018, a fence is blocking a walkway that could help your shots to get exceptionally good. The park is undergoing a small renovation, so if you stop by here, make sure that you have a long lens. For now, I do not have any example photos.

Pros:

  • Beautiful views
  • Arrivals to rwy 22 pass right next to you
  • Plenty of space

Cons:

  • Trees, fences, etc are obstructions


What aircraft will I see?: KLGA is a small airport, nearby KJFK and KEWR handle all the international flights. You should see many Delta, American, Southwest, Spirit, Air Canada, Westjet, and occasional F9 aircraft. Every once in a while, you may see a small GA aircraft or private jet. All in all KLGA is a great spotting airport, but not a good airport in general haha.



Aircraft Size Range: The aircraft you shall see might range from the smallest of GA Aircraft to a Boeing 767-300(very rare though).


#5

Hey, is this the same one as Part 1?


#6

Yeah, I copied and pasted.


#7

Oh sorry I don’t read the part where it said: no other Part 1 entries will be added.


#8

Yeah, just after you did that, I added a part saying don’t post it if you already posted that same report in Part 1.
Would you like to move your KLGA post from Part 1 to Part 2?


#9

Sure, you can do that.


#10

How many locations am I allowed to post? I have about five for one airport


#11

Good question, you’re allowed to post as much information as you want for any airport(s).
So five locations for one airport would be great! The more information, the better. :)


#12

Ok, Here goes nothing…


Airport: Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport (ICAO YMML, IATA MEL)

Location 1 - Operations Road I

Melb1


Best time to shoot - Sunrise to Late morning

Recommended focal length - 70-100mm

General Information - A good location to make the most of the morning light, use only when the runway 34 approach is in use

How to get there from Melbourne - Travel northbound on the Western Ring Rd until you reach the Airport Drive turnoff, turn left and travel northbound on that until you reach Link Rd, turn left and continue straight until you reach South Center Road, turn right, and then left on to Operations road, continue until you reach the Qantas Maintenance base, choose any spot you feel comfortable with from there

Photo example

Location 2 - Operations Road II

MEL2


Best time to shoot - Early afternoon to dusk

Recommended focal length - 85-130mm

General information - A very popular spot with so-called “green boxes” which you can climb on to get above the otherwise obstructing perimeter fence. Great spot for all runway 34 movements and runway 16 departures

How to get there from Melbourne - After following the previous instructions, follow Operations Rd along past the golf course. You will see a car park just after a slight left turn in the road which is usually busy on weekends.

Photo Example

Location 3 - The Church

MEL3


Best time to shoot - Early afternoon to Dusk

Recommended focal length - 90-125mm

General info - A great spot that makes the most of the afternoon light, not usually busy and only recommended when the runway 16 approach is in use.

How to get there from the airport - Look for the right turn into Uniting Road after you pass the turnoff for the designated viewing area.

Photo example

Location 4 - Sunbury Road Viewing Area


Best time to shoot - Anytime when there is sunlight, although all photos you take will be toplit

Recommended focal length - 50-110mm

General Info - While not the best spot for photographs, this spot is great for families trying to get up close and personal with the big jets as the come in low over your head on the Runway 16 approach. You can also get some great 34 climb-out shots

How to get there from the airport - There are signs along Sunbury Road showing
directions to the viewing area. You turn right at the Oaklands Road
Intersection and then immediately left.

Photo Example

Location 5 - T4 carpark


Best time to shoot - Early Morning to Noon, and Night

Recommended focal length - 130-400mm

General info - Although this requires a small fee to be paid, and is far away from the runway, the T4 carpark can provide some spectacular lighting for the morning rush. It also can be used for night photography as well, if you have a lens with an aperture of f/3.5 or less.

How to get there from the airport - need I say more than “Terminal 4”?

Photo example

Like the photos you see? Make sure to follow me on Instagram for more! @hairysaviation


#13

Nice shots of the China Airlines A350 and the Malaysian A330! Also good review!


#14

Airport: KPVD
PVD has some great spots. The one I sometimes go to is called Winslow Park. It has great views of RWY 23 and some views of RWY 34. Also, you can spot at the end of RWY 23, but I have never done that.


2 Bad shots of an American CRJ-200.


#15

Airport: Toronto Pearson (YYZ/CYYZ)

Locations
Location One: Airport Road

Spotting Areas are circled in black, Parking in blue.

Brief Description: Most popular and basic spotting area at YYZ (Runway 23)

What you can see: Arrivals on 23, Departures off 05, Departures off 23 (Taxi shots)

Facilities: All provided within walking distance (food, gas, restrooms).

Parking: Either in the Wendy’s lot (back only, so they don’t suspect anything because it is customer only but I’ve never had issues), the large abandoned parking lot next to that, or the other lot next to the abandoned one (see map).

Focal Length: Literally any works, you just have to walk up and down the street to fit your focal length

Time of Day: Anytime as you can walk along the road and switch sides so you won’t be backlit

Alternative Locations Nearby: The parking garage, which is to the North side of the runway and about 200 feet back off the road. Elevates you above poles and allows for side shots.

Sample Shot:

This is a taxi shot (obviously). I don’t have any arrival shots right now, but they look very standard.

Location Two: Dixie Road

Spotting Areas are circled in black, Parking in blue.

Brief Description: Airport Road’s less exciting twin (Runway 05)

What you can see: Arrivals on 05, Departures off 23, Departures off 05 (Line Up). Note: Line ups are about 1,800 feet or half a kilometer from the road, so you need a pretty long lens.

Facilities: Car Recommended. Nearest is the Tim Hortons / Wendy’s combo on the intersection of Dixie and Midway, or the Petro Canada on the intersection of Dixie and Derry. It’s at least 0.2 miles from the spotting areas to either facility and that can take longer to walk then you want when spotting. Quick tip: If you park in Director Gate (more on that below) and point your car to face Dixie, you can simply drive forward and turn right onto Dixie and follow to the Tim Hortens, then use the back exit and take the back roads in a nice rectangle back to Director.

Parking: Director Gate (see map). Don’t try the Tim Hortons, it’s very busy and customer parking only.

Focal Length: Any lens you come with will work.

Time of Day: Any time works, just switch sides so you’re not backlit.

Alternative Locations Nearby: Director Gate, the parking location, is a pretty sweet spot. Free of obstruction, it’s like the Garage of 05

Sample Shot:

Location Three: FedEx Crash Gate

Spotting Areas are circled in black, Parking in blue.

Brief Description: A unique location that allows you to shoot different angles.

What you can see: Arrivals on 23, Departures off 23, Arrivals on 05, Departures off 05, Taxiing Aircraft on Taxiway H and GA on Taxiway J, the aircraft on the FedEx Ramp. Be aware you will be shooting through a fence (Don’t even think of a ladder - easiest way to get kicked out and that fence is 12 feet tall anyways).

Facilities: Car absolutely needed, the nearest buildings are 0.5 km away but I don’t even know if you can use their restrooms and there’s definitely not a quick snack. I just go back to the Petro Canada if I absolutely need to - it’s like a 6 minute drive either way so try not to.

Parking: Very convenient and simple. Just park along the side of Bramalea Road. When you drive in, only on the right side. It’s illegal on the left.

Focal Length: 100-200mm, you want a decent focal length here as you will be shooting aircraft on 05/23 from about 1,000 feet away, and ones on Taxiway H about 1,800 feet away. Be aware of heat haze. If you have a 18-55mm kit lens, I wouldn’t even consider this spot because you’ll get a ton of fence in your shot and you won’t have the sharpness needed. On an 18-105mm, you could give it a shot. Everything bigger should work up to about a 150-600mm, in which case you’re gonna need some quick reactions and good panning skills.

Time of Day: Depends seasonally. It’s generally 4:00 PM to Sunset, just sunset comes way earlier in some seasons than others. Don’t give up on the spot just because it’s a small time frame-these are the most unique angles at YYZ.

Alternative Locations Nearby: It’s not really permanent, but every once in a while the crash gate may be damaged and you can move forward for some slick approach shots (second sample below).

Sample Shots:



Location Four: Convair Drive

Spotting Areas are circled in black, Parking in blue.

Brief Description: A far different type of location that sports a variety of angles. The main location is located on a grass hill - from parking, walk to the beginning of the metal guardrail, and look for an obscure path leading up onto a hill that hugs the fence there. Walk through that path around 50-100 feet and you can adjust based on what angles you want.

What you can see: Arrivals on 06L and 06R, Departures off 24L and 24R, taxi shots on Taxiway D, 33L arrivals (maybe, never tried).

Facilities: Car needed, the closest facilities are almost a 10 minute drive away (go to the Burger King on Dixie).

Parking: On the right side of Convair right before the large concrete patch on the left side. You’ll generally always see a line of cars out there.

Focal Length: This is a toss up. You could go with as small as an 18-55mm kit lens to a 150-600mm or more. It all depends on what you want to shoot. For normal people purposes, a 70-300mm or 55-250mm should work for ever possible scenario here (unless you’re trying to shoot 15R departures, in which case, there are much better spots).

Time of Day: You can make do with all day, but taxi shots are only possible after 4:00 PM and the main spot is only usable after 4:00. Although as the light levels fall you can get some shots with beautiful lighting.

Alternative Locations Nearby: You can go to that big concrete patch I was talking about earlier, and shoot through the fence for a lower perspective.

Sample Shots:



Lighting

YYZ is a little finicky with it’s lighting. Between early October and late February, most of daylight will be “morning side”, which is not ideal as the best spots are generally “afternoon side”. However, in other months it’s more evenly split. During the middle of the day year round, however, is a period of terrible lighting which spotters refer to as “top-lighting”. It’s when the sun is so far overhead that it doesn’t matter where you’re standing (unless you’re over the plane), you will be backlit. There really aren’t definite solutions to this, but you can combat it by either moving back so it’s more of a side shot rather than overhead, or go get some food. FedEx does a decent job as well, although it still doesn’t look amazing.

Aircraft

Now, any FR24 search could tell you, but I will make it simple for you. Here is a list of arrivals and departures you may want to catch. Format: Arrival time, departure time. These are off the top of my head and not exact.

Emirates A380: 9:30 AM, 2:50 PM
Ethiopian B788: 8:25 AM, 10:10 AM
EgyptAir B77W: 7:25 AM, 12:50 PM
Etihad B77W: 3:30 PM, 10:30 PM (Winter Schedule: Summer - 8:50 AM, 2:25 PM)
Korean Air B789: 8:20 AM, 12:50 PM
British Airways B772/B789: 4:15 PM, 6:40 PM
KLM B744/B772/B789/A333 (It’s complex): 11:45 AM, 5:15 PM
Lufthansa B744: 4:45 PM, 6:40 PM
Lufthansa A333: 6:10 PM, 8:00 PM (Soon to be A359)
Air France B772/B77W/B789: 4:35 PM, 6:45 PM
Aer Lingus A332: 4:20 PM, 6:00 PM
Brussels Airlines A333: 1:20 PM, 6:00 PM

Numerous WestJet, Air Canada, and Air Transat will drop by including New Livery Air Transats and New Livery WJAs.


#16

So… you also have a CYYZ post on Part 1.
Would you like me to get rid of CYYZ on Part 1 and post this on Part 2,
Or would you like me to delete what’s currently on Part 1 and replace it with this?


#17

Just don’t mind the one on part one, just put this one in part 2


#18

@racerclc, I have decided to edit my post again. I have added a third location: Herman A. Macneil Park.


#19

It’s perfectly fine! Thanks for adding the info.


#20

No problem! I am always finding more and more info each time I go plane spotting.