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Spotting At Austin Bergstrom Airport  
User currently offlineKlm744 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 112 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4175 times:

I know only few if any of you will know what I am talking about but here goes nothing. I have been spotting at Austin Bergstrom airport for a while now and have been going to the official spotters area next to the runway. It offers some great views but due to the fact that about 98% of the traffic it gets are 737s, I want some more variety. Now to my question. I have seen pictures on Airliners.net taken from the other runway, which sees a larger variety of planes. Does anyone know how to get near this runway to take pictures or spot. Thanks for the help.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3140 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4135 times:
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Hi Klm744, I've only tried this area too, with another disadvantage of facing the sun in the afternoon. Some photography is possible from the terminal. I'm curious too what the other spots are. I hope Jason Knudsen will reply to this.

Konstantin



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineAus_spotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 286 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4131 times:

Spotting on the West runway (17-R/35-L) is possible but isn't very exciting in my opinion. From the official viewing area you can see aircraft arrive and depart on the East runway as well as aircraft on the West runway (although far away, you can still tell what they are). You also can see aircraft taxi and all the aircraft at the gates.

On the North end of the West runway (17-R) you will see planes approaching that runway and that is it.... no touchdowns no taxiing and no departures.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Knutson



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Knutson



On the South end of the West runway (35-L) you will see planes approach, touchdown and depart. I've only actually spotted at this location once due to the fact that it isn't very safe due to it's close location to a very busy road (Burleson Road).

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Knutson



Okay...on to the locations.

The spot at the North end of the West runway is a cemetary. This isn't a very obvious spot and I didn't know about it till a friend showed it to me. If you take Hwy 71 West towards Austin from the airport, exit on 183 South and immediately get into the left lane. Take the first cross over you come to and go across the Northbound lanes. A single lane road will lead between 2 fences and into a cemetary which is at the end of the runway. I'd suggest having a scanner or something to listen to here as it is pretty boring when there are no aircraft coming. If airplanes are landing from the South (common during the winter) don't even bother with this spot as the only thing you will see are airplanes flying over you at about 1000'.

To view from the South end (only good when planes are landing from the South). Continue South on 183 and take a left on Burleson Road (I think there is a sign that points to the General Aviation area just before this intersection). Not too far down Burleson you will see the end of the runway. I pulled off into the grass and sat for a while but didn't feel safe with all the traffic zooming by so I left and haven't gone back since.

The spot I use the most is the official spotting area as it has the most action. My second choice is the cemetary spot, especially when I'm trying to get photos of a cargo plane.

There are other areas where I've sat and watched planes for a while and all I'm going to say is to explore the airport. Go in the GA entrance and drive around. As long as you don't go behind a gate with the red warning sign on it, no one will say anything. I've been in places where I didn't see another car the entire time I was there and Aviation police would see me with my camera and wave as they drove by.

I think this post makes sense....if it doesn't, email me or post it here. I've been at work all night so I'm rather tired.

Jason Knutson - Austin, TX


User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3140 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4123 times:
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Thanks also from my side, Jason. It might be useful for me too as I have plans for December to visit my former host family in Bastrop where I stayed in 1988/9.

I should add AUS is a really nice airport (the new terminal I mean), just like the city itself.

Konstantin



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineKlm744 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 112 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4117 times:

Thanks for the help jason, I had always been wondering where you got some of your shots from. Also, today at the family viewing area I got couple of rare treats. The AA 757 departed from that runway. That was the first time I had ever seen that as it usually goes to the runway on the opposite side of the airport. Also I got to see a transmeridian 727 depart. I have never heard of transmeridian airlines, and another thing that was strange was that it was parked at the end of the runway next to all of the lear jets. All in all a good day for spotting.  Smile

User currently offlineAirbus380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

KLM744 do you live in AUS? There are only 3 members here that I know of (Me, AUS_Spotter, and Boeing747-400) Anyway, I have spotted from a cemetary before. You can see great approaches to 17L and R. I don't know great directions though. Maybe AUS_Spotter can help you out on that one. By the way I am respecting you now.  Smile

Airbus380


User currently offlineKlm744 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 112 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4107 times:

Yep, I live Austin. I bounce between here and Houston. Thanks for adding me to the respected list. By the way, do any of you know when the cargo Md-11 or 707 depart or arrive, it seems like those things are permenant decorations in the cargo area, i've never seen them budge.  Smile

User currently offlineAus_Spotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 286 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4105 times:

While it is a rare occurance, I have seen AA 757's arrive and depart on 17-L/35-R by the spotting area on several occasions.

Any out of the ordinary aircraft parked at Austin Aero or Signature (by all the Lear jets) are usually private charters or company charters. From time to time you may also see military aircraft there. Planes I've seen parked down there include Miami Air 727's, an unmarked 737, a USAF C-32, a WC-130 (hurricane hunter) and several military training jets (T-37, T-38).

As far as the cargo planes. Just taking a guess I'll say that you are inquiring about the FedEx MD-10/DC-10 and the Emery, Airborne or BAX DC-8. These planes usually arrive early in the morning and leave in the late evening. This is why it would seem they are always there. FedEx has 2 DC-10 (or MD-10) flights per day except on Monday and Sunday on which there is only one flight. For the last 2 weeks the Emery DC-8 has been a decoration on the maintenance ramp due to the FAA ordering Emery to stop flying.

Maybe we could meet up sometime out at the spotting area.

Jason


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