What do pilots think when they see planespotters taking video and pictures?

I have this question I’ve always wanted to ask,
What do Pilots think of us when they see us with our cameras to take pictures of the airplane you’re Piloting?

I always wonder this when I go to spot at any airport I visit. What do you think about us plane spotters?

Asking those who are Real Pilots in this community.


@IFATC_Andrew can answer that for the fixed wing side

On the Rotor Wing side - We love it, specially the few gigs I do at work, we typically share spotter’s pictures on our social media outlets


I don’t mind it. I love getting pictures of us flying becuase I get things like these



I have a whole thread where I repost spotter’s pictures and some I take.

I’m friends with a lot of CLT spotters and we always chat in a big group message


Ah. I wondered what you guys think when you see a camera pointed your way. You guys never get nervous?

Meanwhile I’m too nervous to even take photos


Some pilots wave at you and say hello because they are happy that their smooth landing is being recorded😮

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I think they think it’s great. Until you see some kids throwing rocks onto a taxiway. 😐


As a student Pilot, seeing people taking picture of small aircraft just a normal thing.

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Did that really happen? That causes FOD, and can obviously damage a jet engine

Nervous? No. We’re just doing our thing and honestly we’re so focused and in the zone we don’t really notice.

The take off/landing portion is our busiest workload time. Flows, checklists, flying the plane, talking to atc etc

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Do you sometimes wave to the spotters? Does it feel like a nice gesture or is it just you guys saying hello?

Combination of both. If I get a “line up and wait” in CLT by the airport overview and I see someone looking I always try to wave just to say hi.

It’s the little things that people don’t realize. A simple wave could have a huge impact on someone, especially if they’re interested in this career.

I’ve gone out of airport security multiple times during ground sits between flights to meet some spotters. Even went to the overlook once in uniform with one when I had a 4 hour sit. It’s a great chance to network! Networking is key! I might be able to help this person later in their career get a job with a referral or something. You never know!


I always try and talk (or socialize) with pilots before a flight. I want to network with Pilots, because someday, you never know what they can offer you with :).

I hope to meet you here in Manchester some day. Let me know when you’re coming along to MHT, and I can show you around the best spots we use to see planes come in and land :)

Yes. Some idiot kids in Ireland threw rocks onto an active taxiway while plane spotting

Wow. I hope they got caught. It makes us look bad.

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Yes. They have been reported to the proper authorities. It does make us look bad. It could ruin plane spotting spots for others.

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I can never be out there when you fly lol

Reus Airport, rocks never made it onto the taxiway, fines could run up to $250k I heard but I don’t believe that will happen.

Literally any Monday-Thursday 😂

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