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User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Posted (15 years 3 months 9 hours ago) and read 2540 times:

What do you carry with you when you go spotting?

Here's what I have, on a regular basis:

1. Scanner (with preprogrammed ATIS, Tower, Approaches, and Ground)
2. Binoculars
3. Timetables
4. Two ID books
5. Log book with airport diagrams and freq info
6. Headphones (in case I get tired of the chatter around me at my spot)
7. OFF (CLE is built on top of a swamp, so the skeeters get really bad!)

Anyone else care to add?


Up, up and away!
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 3 months 8 hours ago) and read 2384 times:

I take my scanner usually. Binoculars I take as room permits (when I'm traveling). I carry a small mini-notepad and pen to write them down then check them off in JP Airline Fleets later on (usually on board the airplane or at home if local).

How often do you spot? I fly several times a week general aviation out of OMA, so I jot them down as I see them on my kneeboard if time permits during taxying. I swing by the terminal usually after I fly. I also fly commercially often and spot during layovers, taxying, etc. I keep track of the aircraft I fly on and the route I flew on it (in JP Airline Fleets). Additionally I keep a record by airline in a binder to make transferring to the new JP editions easy as they come out.

Jason Seiple

User currently offlineTheFlyingDream From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 2376 times:

I take my EOS 3000

User currently offlineFinnair MD-11 From Finland, joined Dec 1999, 158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2365 times:


This is what I carry with me:

-JP Airline Fleets
-Camera + 2 lenses
-My notebook + pen  


F I N N A I R md-11

User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

Do you all carry airline timetables (which could take up a lot of room) or an airport timetable? I make one for Omaha every other month using current airline schedules and keep that with me, listing in order flights from Omaha's 18 commercial airlines. I wish I could find times on our cargo flights, but that information isn't readily available.

Because I get questions about it, I'll post a little information about OMA. I have people from this forum asking me about the size of the airport often. A lot of people have the impression it's a "dinky hick airport". Omaha has 20 jetways, 1 commuter gate. Another 10 jetway gates are being built starting late this year/early next. Recently a second parking garage was added, a third cargo ramp is under final stages of construction now, a new control tower is in the works, one runway extension has happened, and another runway extension is being done in a year. Omaha is served by 18 different scheduled airlines: America West (PHX, LAS), Continental (IAH), Continental Express (IAH, CLE), United (ORD, DEN), Air Wisconsin (DEN), Delta (ATL), Comair (CVG), Skywest (SLC), Southwest (LAS, MDW, PHX, STL), US Airways Express (MCI), Northwest (MSP, MEM), Mesaba (MSP), TWA (STL), Frontier (DEN), American (DFW), American Eagle (ORD), Midwest Express (MKE, EWR, DCA, LAX, MCO), Skyway (MKE, MCI). Casino Express makes charters as well. Cargo carriers include Suburban Air Freight (feeds FedEx with Caravans, B1900, B99, Aero Commanders), FedEx, UPS, Emery, Ryan Intl (USPS Planes), Airborne Express, BAX (haven't seen their planes recently though).

Lincoln is 50 miles down I-80... It has 4 jetway gates, two commuter gates and is served by United (DEN), TWA (STL), Mesaba (MSP), US Airways Express (MCI). I occasionally drive down there... during one of the few times a week when there is more than one airliner there at a time.

Jason Seiple

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 5, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2352 times:

I would take a camera with me except that I don't own a decent one. I borrow a digital camera from my library when I can (I work there) but otherwise I generally use disposable cameras (Kodak, Fuji). The advantage of the digital camera is that I can download directly to a computer disk, and the camera also has a "lock-on" mechanism.

I actually carry the airline timetables. It's much easier for me to look up the flight numbers that way. Since CLE has high density periods with only two runways, it would be much too confusing to go by "wheels up" time anyway. Planes quite often hold for others to pass, so watching the queue doesn't work, either (especially when it's always 737, 737, 737, ERJ, ERJ, BCH, ERJ, BCH, 737, 737...)

Lately I haven't been using my binoculars very much. With the scanner I have a good idea of what's coming and going. Once I figured out Continental's flight number scheme, I pretty much know if it's going to be a commuter or a large aircraft, and sometimes I can even distinguish among those before I see the lights. Once I see the lights I'm usually dead-on to the type of aircraft.

Anyone interested in reading my tips on light patterns?


Up, up and away!
User currently offlinePete From United States of America, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2344 times:

How do you get the information for all of the frequencies for all of the different settings? (ie) approach, departure, etc. Is there a publication? I have a few for PBI near where I live, and I would like to know the exact frequencies for different airports. Any information would be greatly appreciated.



User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 7, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

http://www.airnav.com/ is a great place to start. AirNav may not have all of the frequencies, but it has the major ones.

So when I got my scanner, the first thing I did was program in the major frequencies in the first bank. That way all I have to do is hit PROG1 and I get tower, PROG2 and I get ground, etc.


Up, up and away!
User currently offlinePolaris From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (15 years 2 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2318 times:

I have my
1 - scanner (pre-programmed)
2 - binoculars
3 - timetables (Air Canada and some US carriers)
4 - Toronto timetable that I put together myself
5 - log book with airport diagrams & frequencies
6 - muffin & beverage

User currently offlineFlyAirtran From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

1. Telescope For Contrails
2. Notebook For Notes/Records
3. Binoculars
4. Timetables (Airtran,Delta, Southwest)
5. Backpack
6. Hard Crackers/ Biscoff Cookies
I spot in the field here. We live 30 miles from the nearest Airport, so I spot Contrails. I can see Delta 757's most of the time.

User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8988 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (15 years 2 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

I just bring my camera. Heck, making a timetable for BOS, JFK, LHR would be a pain in the neck. For MHT though, I print out their timetable. I just bring my camera, then try and do research on the flight that day.


User currently offlinePlanespotter From Germany, joined Jul 2000, 106 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (15 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2294 times:

I get all the frequencies I need from a small green book, called
"DOD - Flight Information Publication - Enroute" Its a military book,
issued every month and the ENAME-Edition is perfect for Europe. The
only problem is to get this book, because as I already said its
military and not sold anywhere.


User currently offlineL15PA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (15 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2271 times:

I've got my:
1. Canon EOS 300
2. Objectives- 75/300mm and 28/80mm
3. some FUJI sensia films
4. Binoculars
5. Scanner
6. FRANKFURT timetable( we have so much airlines here, it would be hard to take my whole timetables with me!!!)
7. Notepad and pen
8. My Coca-Cola box with Coke Cans and Sandwitches and cockies!!!
9. my JP airline fleets
10.... I think that's all!!!!

User currently offlinePolaris From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (15 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2268 times:

DeltAirlines: Yes, it's a bit of work to put together my Toronto timetable. A co-worker put together a computer program for me to enter my data. Makes it much easier.

User currently offlineJoge From Finland, joined Feb 2000, 1444 posts, RR: 36
Reply 14, posted (15 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2273 times:

I take with me mainly just the camera equipment and noteboook (for the reg. numbers, of course).

More about my camera stuff at:


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