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Spotting In MT, ID, WY, OR, WA, BC  
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3724 times:

Hey guys,

I am planning to go on a huge road trip next week to the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. It will all be covered within the time period of July 1st to July 13th.

Now some of the airports I am already pretty familiar with so I don't need alot of help getting around such as YVR, SEA.
However I would like to know how things are relating with security and spotter hassles if any in recent times.
Especially that of SEA and PDX, and of course any new or closed spotting areas.
(UAL parking accessible at SEA yet??)

Now the airports which I will need some help on are the followings.
Bozeman Gallatin field BZN, Great Falls GTF, Helena HLN, Jackson Hole JAC, Idaho Falls IDA, Boise BOI, and Portland.
Most of these with exception of PDX are smaller airports so I understand if responces to these are pretty weak as few few spotters go to those places. Which case I will have to try my best to find whatever spot I can when there.

I would also be appreciated if there were any spotting sites which might have info and diagrams that will help me get my way around these airports.

Thanks guys,

Bo


Chance favors the prepared mind.
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCO777 From South Africa, joined Apr 2000, 261 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days ago) and read 3703 times:
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Hi Bo,at PDX the parking garage is the best spot there.You can shoot there pretty much all day long depending on what pics you want to take.If you are renting a car this time of the year in the early morning theres a spot along marine drive.I have seen cars parked there.Not sure about MT,ID,and WY.
Jason Whitebird


User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9668 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3700 times:
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Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
UAL parking accessible at SEA yet??

Better bring some bail money if you shoot from there. Consider yourself warned.


User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3685 times:

Thanks Jason,
yeah I have heard of the parking garage there as one of the best spots for that airport.
I will plan to check that out too, hopefully cost to park is not too bad. I want to get the takeoff/landing shots and from the picts I seen, a 300mm range is perfect.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 2):

I take it's still off limits. Oh well I will make a visit there anyways to see what the area looks like. If it is really inaccessible then thats too bad I guess.
SEA itself is pretty tough to get around but hopefully there might be some new spots I can find. Maybe the parking structure there if its tall enough.



Chance favors the prepared mind.
User currently offlineVisityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3671 times:

Quoting BO__einG (Reply 3):
SEA itself is pretty tough to get around but hopefully there might be some new spots I can find

There used to be Seattle spotter's website with maps, but it has gone. There are only two spots which are any good since the Viewpoint was closed  brokenheart . If landings are to the S. then it's the "Water Tower" park at 24th Avenue S. and S 146th Street, if a N. flow then somewhere along 18th Avenue S. between S 200th and S 196th Streets (use google or yahoo maps/satellites). Neither spot is particularly good.

BZN is a nice little airport. There's a big parking lot to the right of the terminal, in front of the tower with a very nice scenic background. I got a few looks when I was there in 2002 (to be expected), but no hassle.

BOI has roads which go all around the airport, although most are a bit too distant for good shots. There's parking up near the USFS base for taxying shots, but advisable to go into the office to let them know what you're doing - it's a government facility after all. I did and they were friendly, if a little puzzled. I didn't stay long - you'll see why  bored  .

At HLN there's a parking lot beside the terminal. It's usually quite empty. The Tech College with the WV-2 is on the other side.

Don't skip Missoula - there are Neptune water bombers there and also a museum with a DC-3.

hth


User currently offlineHalcyon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3667 times:

Quoting Visityyj (Reply 4):

Don't skip Missoula - there are Neptune water bombers there and also a museum with a DC-3.

And you might catch some of the other neat migratory traffic. (Private jets, St. Pat's LifeFlight, etc.)

Might get a good shot from by the Minuteman hanger is no one is watching.


User currently offlineDlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 547 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3654 times:
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I wouldn't bother with SEA - Royal is right about bringing bail money.

Instead of shooting SEA, go up to BFI, RNT and PAE. All three fields have Boeing production and experimental test aircraft arriving and departing all day long, so there is lot to shoot.


User currently offlineAirfinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 667 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

If you go to PDX, the drive to McMinnville, Oregon (MMV) is also worth the trip. Gotta see Spruce Goose. McMinnville is about an hour southwest of Portland, OR. The Evergreen Aviation Museum is an excellent place.
http://www.sprucegoose.org/

Just last week, on my way back from Montana (Yellowstone area) to Chicago, I drove through Greybull, WY (GEY). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think GEY has the northernmost airplane graveyard in the US. If you're into older aircraft, its worth the visit. Greybull is an hour east of Cody, WY. There is a small aviation museum there. Not sure if they give tours or not.

Jackson (JAC) is a pretty cool airport too, not so much as the aircraft but for the scenery. To see a 757 turn finals in front of the Grand Tetons is a memory I'll never forget. I was there prior to 9/11, so I don't know much about security now. IIRC, I was spotting about a mile north of the airport on a side road and had a pretty good view of the airport.

Having just put nearly 5,000 miles on my car touring the states of MT, WY and SD, I'm quite jealous. If you need any advice for places to stay near Yellowstone or Glacier N.P.'s, let me know. And have a great trip!



ORD,MDW,IND,ARB,AMS,AUS,ANQ,DTW,DEN,PHL,PIT,MIA,GPT,SAN,PHX,LAX,SFO,OAK,SEA,LAS,SLC,SMF,ATL,MEM,BOS,MHT,JFK,EWR,LGA,NASâ
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3630 times:

Thank you guys so much for the pointers.
I got a map of PDX and its spots from one of that city's prominent photographers which helped out alot. I will use that on my trip.
Also guys, google maps with the sattelite images are just awesome!
Many of these unfamiliar airports I am starting to learn how it looks like and what roads access into it including possible areas of spottings, access to terminals and layout of the airfield in a fairly recent image to use.

I went to Missoula 2 years ago and that little red brick airport isn't that bad as you say. I did see the oldies sitting out for the day with some Big Sky and a NW traffic there. I will return there someday again, flathead county is a long drive from canada.

As for SEA, yes I plan to spend as minimal time spotting there as I already have its other airports higher up on my priority especially PAE. My interests in SEA is of course to get the heavies that come in and out. When I last went there it seemed that early morning and mid afternoon (3-5pm) seemed to have good traffic so I will probably stick with that plan.
Evenings after 7pm I will go to BFI for all them cargos, especially if the DC8s are still flying around.

Last thing, I do plan to buy a step ladder once I hit Montana and stop at the first major city of Great Falls as bringing my own across the border seemed to raise some eyebrows.  Smile
Why an asian guy bringing a ladder to the border is beyond me.. This way, it makes it easier.



Chance favors the prepared mind.
User currently offlineVisityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3591 times:

Quoting Dlednicer (Reply 6):
Instead of shooting SEA, go up to BFI, RNT and PAE. All three fields have Boeing production and experimental test aircraft arriving and departing all day long, so there is lot to shoot.

BFI for sure (weekdays) and PAE perhaps, although "all day long" is a bit optimistic for there - it's very hit-and-miss. RNT is dead most of the time, unless you can find out in advance when something is scheduled to leave, and I doubt that info is easy to obtain. Pretty much a drive-in drive-out kind of place.


User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 4 days ago) and read 3564 times:

Okay I finally have a map pointing out my routes and stops along the way.
Montana will probably be a quickie and Idaho as well.
I will spend most of my time in Oregon, Washington and of course BC.
<http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v98/bokimon/map1.jpg>



Chance favors the prepared mind.
User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3509 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3532 times:

Quoting BO__einG (Reply 3):
I take it's still off limits. Oh well I will make a visit there anyways to see what the area looks like. If it is really inaccessible then thats too bad I guess.
SEA itself is pretty tough to get around but hopefully there might be some new spots I can find. Maybe the parking structure there if its tall enough.



Quoting Dlednicer (Reply 6):
I wouldn't bother with SEA - Royal is right about bringing bail money.

I'll third this for good measure. Stay away from any part of that airport perimeter that isn't the park by the water tower at the north end of the field. It's really a shame that the SEA police are so restrictive, there's a lot of nice metal coming into the airport that isn't in the database because shooting they make shooting there such a nightmare (I don't shoot myself, but I've been chased off plenty of times just spotting...I can't imagine what they do when you start taking pictures).

I've never been bothered at BFI, PAE or RNT. The Museum of Flight parking lot is generally safe for spotting, as is the parking lot just off Rainier Ave. overlooking RNT from the southwest corner of the field. PAE has several good locations...I used to frequent the one at the end of 100th St. SW (by the tower, near the Everett CC AMT facilities).

Have a great trip!



Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3520 times:

Thanks ^^
I think I will rethink my plans for SEA. I know of the water tower place which is above that Boeing parking lot or whatever.
And I am fairly familiar with the location on the opposite end near the golf course. But I will be careful and spend minimal time there, and probably stay at one of the two spots during my visit. I will still drive around though to see what nooks and crannies this airport has for parking aprons and such especially the cargo ones.

BFI is another story thankfully..
24hrs to go.



Chance favors the prepared mind.
User currently offlineToiletboy99999 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Quoting Visityyj (Reply 9):
RNT is dead most of the time, unless you can find out in advance when something is scheduled to leave, and I doubt that info is easy to obtain

I have "sources" which can find out when each plane is coming off the line.


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