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Top 5 US Airports for Spotting/Photography

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  • #16
    DFW is nice. They actually have a place for spotters/photographers to go (Founders' Plaza). I was there this past Saturday and really enjoyed myself. The only drawbacks are an over abundance of American MD-80’s and you can only see aircraft that are using 2 or 3 runways. If you’re lucky, they’ll be landing in front of you instead of taking off like they were when I was there.

    DFW seems to be one of the few U.S. airports that isn't run by the Gestapo.


    • #17
      I'm heading to DFW for Xmas/New Years to visit my mother and also plan on spending a day or two at the airport. I've been to DFW numerous times but actually never been spotting there. Does Founder's Plaza requires a stepladder? and I heard it's only good in the morning times, am i correct? Where is a good place to shoot in the afternoon/evening?

      Thanks for the info, hopefully will meet some of the DFW regulars there.



      • #18
        Erie and Pittsburgh have some great places to spot!!

        Pittsburgh gets the mainline traffic..mostly Airbus and Boeing narrowbodies, and that one beautiful A330-300. We also get a few 767s.

        Erie for me is paradise, since you can get real close to the aircraft...they taxy right by you...kinda like Manchester UK. Only regionals and props here people, but to me this is paradise, as I am a huge RJ fan!!!

        Now Franklin and DuBois, PA...they have some great spots to photograph too! But the only scheduled traffic is US Airways B1900Ds. Although, at DUJ at night is a hotspot of activity, because US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines maintains a maintanence hangar here, so the B1900Ds come in for checks and regualr maintanence! I need to get some pics of that!!! Just haven't had the time.

        Pete Ganabathi
        Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

        Fly Frontier Airlines - A Whole Different Animal


        • #19
          Unless you're really short, you shouldn't need anything in order to see the aircraft from Founders' Plaza. You can always stand on the picnic tables if necessary. I stayed out there all day but around noon it got cloudy so it kinda sucked. (I still managed to get a nasty sunburn though.) We also had the aircraft taking off toward us instead of landing in front of us. The closest views were aircraft taxing after landing on one of the smaller runways. It was either 13L/31R or 13R/31L. I can't remember which.

          I'm sure some of our members that live in DFW can explain it better than I can.


          • #20
            airports for spotting

            MCO used to be good for spotting until they fenced in all the good areas. There is still a place you can go to spot but it is on the ninth floor of the parking garage
            "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
            "Don't try to re-invent the wheel"


            • #21
              I second that FEDEXL1011. I was hoping the fences would come down like how they have reopened FLL but I guess no such luck

              Spotting from the 9th floor is no fun...


              • #22
                My top five, not necessarily in order -

                BFI - you just never know what'll show up here - the worst that can happen is that you'll get a couple of new Boeing movements in an afternoon.

                YVR - reasonable variety and some great shooting spots - also the best fish-n-chips in the continent nearby!

                ANC - propliners, cargo jets, military, floatplanes... the variety is endless and the photography spots are good.

                LAX - what can I say that hasn't already been said? I really must try that new Imperial Hill spot when I get don there next.

                PHX - the variety could be better but the shooting spots can't be beat!

                Honorable mentions - DCA - (can you say "Gravelly Park?"), TUS - (much like Boeing Field but with a better climate), SAN - (Gotta love that parking garage!)



                • #23
                  I don't really conisder my self a spotter, as I've never really been on a "spotting trip"

                  But, through spending scores or hours surfing through and, I guess i can throw in my two cents on the best spotting places in the USA

                  In no particular order:

                  1. NewYork-JFK (Good Variety)
                  2. Miami- MIA (Good Variety)
                  3. Los Angeles- LAX (Good Variety)
                  4. Seattle Boeing Field (Always something interesting flying outta there!)
                  5. Atlanta- ATL (Because you can never get enough DELTA JETS!)



                  • #24
                    JFK!!! there are many places on streets surrounding the airport to take photos. Also, if your camera has good zoom, you can visit Mt. Mitchell across the bay from JFK in NJ and take photos of planes landing (planes about 3000 ft.)

                    What about MDW??


                    • #25
                      DFW Spotting

                      Founders Plaza at DFW can enable some good shots, especially if you have a telephoto as the planes come over the hill from the far runway. The taxiway is about 50 feet in front of you at Founders.

                      I know some people go to the parking areas by West Cargo and I as an employee at the airport get into the north employee lot and can get some real close ups on the eastern runways by the AA hangar. The problem is my camera is not very good.

                      Greg Gayden