FlyTweed From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 84 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5571 times:
I spot at BDL all the time and there are several good locations for spotting at BDL. Here's what I know:
For arrivals on Rwy 06 (or departures on 24), you can shoot from the spectator lot right at the end of it. From I-91, take the Route 20 connector toward the airport. Once on Route 20, take the last exit before the entrance to the airport. The exit is Route 20 continuing east to East Granby. After about 1/4 mile, you'll see the spectator lot on the righthand side right next to the runway. You can also spot for this runway on the hill across the street. There is a little road there that you can pull off and park. I usually just walk up on the hill.
For Rwy 24 arrivals (or departures on 06), follow Route 75 past the airport (The airport will be on your left). If you want, you can get there from the end of 06 by driving back to the connector and following the exit to Bradley. Follow that road past the airport and you'll hit a "T" intersection with Route 75. Turn left on Route 75. Continue following Route 75 past the airport and go about 3/4 mile. The best location is the hill where Kelly Containers is located on the left. It is an active business during the week, but it is a great location to spot from on the weekends. You can get some great shots of incoming a/c less than 1000 feet above. If I go during the week, I usually just park my car on the righthand side of the road right near the farm at the base of the hill near Kelly Containers. Incoming a/c pass directly overhead here, but you can walk along the side of the road toward Kelly Containers. I would avoid parking there during business hours though. Your other option up there is to drive down perimeter road (following signs off Route 75 to the New England Air Museum). You can get some good shots on the approach and you have a nice view down 24, but you can't park along here. I've heard police can cause a problem here, so I'd advise against it.
For arrivals on Rwy 33, you can park in the Bradley Bowl parking lot on Route 75 across from the airport. Incoming a/c fly directly overhead and provide some great shots. It's quite a rush too since they're so low. Definitely check this out if they're using 33. Departures on Rwy 15 also come overhead, but they rarely use 15.
The only thing I have yet to find is a spot for departures on Rwy 33 over the trees. Rwy 33 is used often for departures, but the initial climb is over some dense woods and residential areas. I suppose you could get some shots of Rwy 33 departures from the Rwy 06 spectator lot with a 400mm+ lens, but I doubt you're going to get much. In my experience, arrivals at BDL are easier to shoot. On another note, I have had no problems with law enforcement at BDL, so you shouldn't have any problems with the locations I've given you.
Anyway, I hope that helps. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Marcus.Hanscom@gmail.com. Good luck!