Spring Spotting in California | SFO & SAN


I don’t make too many spotting topics, but as we’re entering April, I figured I’d share some of my favorite pictures from the first quarter of 2021! Earlier this week I took a short trip down to San Diego so some of these shots are from there, and some will be from San Francisco

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite pictures!

British Airways 777-200 | SFO

British Airways is currently flying a 3x weekly passenger service and 4x cargo service to San Francisco, and sometimes they’ll randomly sub a 772 to fly extra cargo. Here’s G-YMMH departing back to Heathrow relatively empty!

United Airlines 787-8 | SFO

Since the Papeete and Chengdu to San Francisco routes were suspended, United 788s haven’t been too common here anymore so it’s always a treat to see one. Here’s N29907 departing to Frankfurt with some nice clouds in the background!

FedEx 757-200F | SAN

After some light rain, the sun decided to show up and made for some nice contrast! Here’s FX69 on final after a flight from Tijuana, an 18-mile route flown almost daily by FedEx.

Alaska Air “More to Love” 737-900 | SFO

With Alaska adding more flights to the Bay Area as demand for travel slowly rises, they’ve been sending special liveries more often and they’re always great to see. Here’s the More to Love 737 taxiing out for a quick hop up the coast to Seattle!

Private Gulfstream G500 | SAN

Private jets aren’t really my thing but G500s look really cool so I thought I’d include it as well. Here’s one arriving from Mexico in the late afternoon!

Prime Air “Coming 2 America” 767-300F | SFO

One of the coolest liveries out there, here’s Prime Air’s Coming2America 763 taxiing out to runway 1R for a flight to Chicago! This aircraft exited the runway too early for me to get a good shot of its arrival, so I stayed for the departure and was pretty happy with how it turned out

China Eastern “Preighter” A330-200 | SFO

Since the beginning of the pandemic, multiple Chinese carriers have been flying to SFO with cargo onboard (generally equipment such as PPE), and returning back empty! While this aircraft looks identical to a normal A332 from the outside, the inside has been temporarily converted to fly cargo and has been dubbed a “preighter,” or passenger freighter.

United Airlines 777-200 | SFO

This isn’t the best picture, but I thought it’d be worth including since this aircraft was involved in the UA328, Denver to Honolulu, incident in February! Here N772UA is seen slowing down on 28L from Hawaii

FedEx 767-300F | SAN

Because lighting at SAN is best in winter, it is usually front-lit during golden hour in March. I decided I’d take the opportunity to practice some pans, and was pretty happy with the results! Here’s one of FedEx’s 763s arriving from Indianapolis after a 2-hour delay

United Airlines “Star Wars” 737-800 | SAN

An aircraft I’ve been waiting to get a good picture of for the longest time, here’s N36272 on final for runway 27 from Denver! Despite SFO being one of my home airports, I’ve missed getting a good shot of this aircraft almost every time due to weather or delays. After seeing this on Monday and getting a good shot, I decided to risk it and attempted a pan. Very happy with how this turned out!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and viewing my pictures! Hope you liked them!

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Nice shots! Where did you spot from at SFO? The garage?

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Wow, I love the shot of the Star Wars United.

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Love the two FedEx shots. Nice work!

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I had no clue that this existed


Awesome pictures!!

On april 4th I am doing SFO - SBA and then on the 7th SBA - SFO and then 2 hrs later SFO - SAN and then on the 9th SAN - SFO. If you want to come spot me any of those days!

Keep up the pics, there dope! Send them to the SFO insta they will repost.

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Usually it’s the airtrain stations, primarily terminal 2 as there’s a good view of heavies rotating off of the 28s as well as aircraft taxiing to/departing 1s, but terminal 1 as well sometimes just for a cool background.

Thank you! One of my favorite shots


It was unveiled pretty recently in February, so a lot of people don’t know about it yet

Thanks! I can check if I can make it those dates but I’m not too sure yet, I’ll let you know (:

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Awesome shots! What lens did you use?

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Thank you! I use a canon 55-250

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A topic from Mr. Global Fryer?

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How original…

We need more

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i didn’t know that SFO had BA 772 now. It used to be just 787-9s when the Covid-19 restrictions started. wow

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Yes. Original 😏

It’s back to 789s now, the B772 just came for a few weeks.

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They came back for a while, 772s were flying only cargo though

Wow! Lots of stunning pictures, very well captured in great light conditions!
The side perspective on the departures is looking really good and it’s great to have three colourful special liveries being featured as well. Really well done, thanks for sharing!

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Thank you! I was lucky to have good weather each time I went

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SFO gets it all.