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Spotting At IAD  
User currently offlineKaputt From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 169 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2939 times:

Good evening. I will be up in the DC area this coming weekend and will be spotting at DCA, IAD, and BWI. I know about all of the places to spot at DCA and a BWI, but for IAD the only place I know of is the parking lot of the Udvar-Hazy Center. So, I was wondering what are some other areas to spot from at IAD. Thanks in advance.

Dave


Carpe the Diem...Seize The Carp
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2930 times:

Hey Dave,

Send me an email via contact link and I will send you all the info you will ever need for spotting at IAD.

Rafal


User currently offlineKmonroe From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2898 times:

Hey,

I live about 15 minutes away from IAD and know of a few good spots.

1) on top of Daily Garage 2 - good view of the International Arrivals terminal, rwy 19R/1L
2) in the Signature Flight Support parking lot (view of 19L/1R) - take the East Service road exit (from the main access road), the building is on the left
3) take the west service road exit (from the access road), at the second traffic light turn right, follow that road and go to the stop sign directly in front of the Washington Flyer (taxi) building, turn left and go the end of the road (you'll see the old Independence Air building on the left) - this spot offers a great view of final app for 19R

I've been questioned by the police once when I was at spot #3. Someone had called them and reported suspicous activity (it was a cold day, so I was getting into and out of my car - also had my scanner - guess it could be suspicous to some people), police asked to see my pics, and then just asked me to leave for the day, no big deal. Airport Ops doesn't really like people going to #3, but I've been there over a dozen times and have only been stopped once.

Have fun, it's supposed to be real nice this weekend, 60's and 70's - spring is coming!!

-Keith


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4338 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2876 times:

I may be at DCA or BWI this sunday depending on the winds, so I'll look for you guys.

Kevin


User currently offlineKaputt From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

Thanks for the help guys.


Carpe the Diem...Seize The Carp
User currently offlineKmonroe From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

No prob, there's also a real good spot at DCA you might not know about. If you're driving north on the George Washington Parkway (turns into Washington street in Old Town), on the right hand side there's a restaurant called "Potowmac Landing." You'll see signs for it before the turn off; pull into the parking lot and walk towards the grassy area near the back side of the restaurant (behind the deck). If the tower is using the Mount Vernon Visual, you can get some good shots of the planes landing on RWY 1. Otherwise, if the river visual approach is being conducted with planes landing on RWY 19 and Gravelly Point will get you the best shots.

-Keith


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2867 times:

Quoting Kmonroe (Reply 2):
2) in the Signature Flight Support parking lot (view of 19L/1R) - take the East Service road exit (from the main access road), the building is on the left



Quoting Kmonroe (Reply 2):
3) take the west service road exit (from the access road), at the second traffic light turn right, follow that road and go to the stop sign directly in front of the Washington Flyer (taxi) building, turn left and go the end of the road (you'll see the old Independence Air building on the left) - this spot offers a great view of final app for 19R

Hi Keith,

I wouldn't recommend going to those two places for longer period of time. If you see something parked at Signature ramp or at the begining of runway 19R just take picture and move on.

Rafal


User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2851 times:

Quoting Kmonroe (Reply 2):
Airport Ops doesn't really like people going to #3, but I've been there over a dozen times and have only been stopped once.

I'm sorry, but this just about sums up the kind of attitude that spoils it for the rest. If you know Ops don't want you to go there, why hang out there. Rafal and the others have worked hard with the authorities to get them to accept spotters and photographers, why hang out where you are not welcome. If I go to IAD, I go the parking garage, call ops and let them know I'm there. That's the way ops and the police want it, why screw it up for the rest of us by just ignoring their wishes? At least if you are going to go there, adopt Rafal's policy of shoot and run.


User currently offlineMEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2848 times:

I have a small Dulles spotting page on my website here. The information is a little dated, as I haven't been around Dulles since 2002, so things have changed slightly. Rafal can give you the best info.

http://www.contrailsphotography.com/spotting.html



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineKmonroe From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2827 times:

Quote:

I'm sorry, but this just about sums up the kind of attitude that spoils it for the rest. If you know Ops don't want you to go there, why hang out there. Rafal and the others have worked hard with the authorities to get them to accept spotters and photographers, why hang out where you are not welcome. If I go to IAD, I go the parking garage, call ops and let them know I'm there. That's the way ops and the police want it, why screw it up for the rest of us by just ignoring their wishes? At least if you are going to go there, adopt Rafal's policy of shoot and run.

Before you tell me I'm spoiling it for the rest, know the facts. I've called Airport Ops before and they've allowed me to stay at spot #3. The day the police pulled up, I called airport operations and they said it was OK for me to be there. The officer just wanted me to leave so the person who called wouldn't feel uneasy about me being there. It is sometimes hit or miss though, it really depends on who answers the phone as to whether or not they'll allow you to shoot there.

-Keith


User currently offlineKmonroe From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2826 times:

Quote:

I wouldn't recommend going to those two places for longer period of time. If you see something parked at Signature ramp or at the begining of runway 19R just take picture and move on.

I've actually never taken pictures in the Signature parking lot before. The fence is too high to get any good pictures of planes on the ramp, and now with the construction of the new hanger going on behind 19R it's hard to get a decent picture of the German AF planes that come and go. The only good time to go to Signature is when they're departing 1R.

If you know of any other spots at Dulles, Rafal, let me know. I'd definitely like to try out some new locations. I know of the spot off Route 28 near Guard House #4, but didn't know how to give directions to it.


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2814 times:

Hi All - I didn't post my pictures here for hits. You don't have to click on thumbnail for larger view. I posted them to give you idea about IAD shooting.

Quoting Kmonroe (Reply 9):
Before you tell me I'm spoiling it for the rest, know the facts. I've called Airport Ops before and they've allowed me to stay at spot #3. The day the police pulled up, I called airport operations and they said it was OK for me to be there. The officer just wanted me to leave so the person who called wouldn't feel uneasy about me being there.

Keith,

Officer wanted you to move because somebody has called you in (probably cab driver). If they will get more calls like that we may loose that spot permanently.

This shot was taken from that location #3.

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Photo © Rafal Szczypek


To take this picture I had to stand on the roof of my car. I took the picture and drove away. Anyway, that spot is only good in the morning. And even with Southern winds IAD tower likes to use runway 1L/R for arrivals in the morning and runway 30 for departures. So in the morning top of the parking garage number 2 is much better because airplanes rotate in front of you and you are above them.
Here is example from the parking garage, morning departure, and evening departure:

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Photo © Rafal Szczypek
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Photo © Rafal Szczypek


Here are some shots taken in the morning from parking garage. As you can see, you can't get this kind of shots from spot #3.

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Photo © Rafal Szczypek
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Photo © Rafal Szczypek



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Photo © Rafal Szczypek
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Photo © Rafal Szczypek



Regarding Signature prking lot. That place is not good for departures from 1R. Unless you like belly shots. You are too close to runway and airplanes are high. You may consider top of parking garage number 1. From there you are on the same level as departing airplanes.


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Photo © Rafal Szczypek
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Photo © Rafal Szczypek


Here are pictures taken from Signature parking lot (departures 1R)

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Photo © Michal Kuklinski
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Photo © Michal Kuklinski



Here are pictures from Signature lot (thru the fence + shoot and run)

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Photo © Rafal Szczypek
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Photo © Rafal Szczypek



And here are shots of arrivals on runway 19L from parking garage number 1.

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Photo © Rafal Szczypek
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Photo © Rafal Szczypek



Now you have some idea about best spots around IAD.

Send me an email (using contact link in my profile) and I'll be glad to send you detailed info with map for IAD.

Rafal


User currently offlineJran225 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 308 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 3):
I may be at DCA or BWI this sunday depending on the winds, so I'll look for you guys.

Kevin

Hey Kevin,

I might be picknicking with a friend at Gravelly Point on Sunday, so if I do end up going, I'll keep an eye out for you....winds are showing WSW right now, so they should be flying into 19. Weather looks awesome too!  Smile

Regards,
-Omar S.



Never tell your girlfriend about all the 'action' you're getting at the airport - only photogs understand that.
User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2800 times:

Hey Rafal,

Nice shot of the grey VC-10. I've never actually seen one in those colors before!

Mark


User currently offlineKmonroe From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2795 times:

Quote:

Officer wanted you to move because somebody has called you in (probably cab driver). If they will get more calls like that we may loose that spot permanently.

Yeah, I'm definitely going to be more careful. I haven't been to that spot since the incident. I'd like to go to ops in person to get a letter stating I'm allowed to be there in case something like that ever happens again. And those shots are amazing, they've given me a lot of inspiration!

-Keith


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4338 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2792 times:

Quoting Jran225 (Reply 12):
I might be picknicking with a friend at Gravelly Point on Sunday, so if I do end up going, I'll keep an eye out for you....winds are showing WSW right now, so they should be flying into 19. Weather looks awesome too!

Yea, the weather is gonna be sweet this weekend. I'm driving up Saturday morning and get to DC in the afternoon. I'll probably be with my dad at Gravelly on Sunday afternoon.

Rafal, sweet shots. I may have to check out the Parking garage 1 on Saturday afternoon at Dulles. Haven't done any shooting at Dulles since my flight from IAD-LAX few months ago.

Kevin


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2758 times:

If the weather is nice on Sunday I'll should be at DCA around 1pm.

rafal


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