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SAN, LAX, SFO, LAS, PDX, YVR Spotting?  
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5677 times:

Hey guys,

Just wanted to know if there are any spotters out there representing these airports.
Alright, I guess I probably know the answer. Thats why I made this to lure you guys to my thread.

I just have some questions to the folks who spot at these airports as I am doing a 1 month winter travel to visit all those cities. I was going to email a few individuals who have a prominent presence at these airports but I'd be asking the same type of questions so I thought it be better to post it over here. Note I've also done a fair bit a research thru searching of past threads outlining some of these airports so spotting wise I think Im okay.
This is my itenerary:

LAX: Jan 8-Jan10
SANJan 12-Jan 15
LAS Jan 19-Jan22
SFO Jan 26-Jan27
YVR Jan 29
PDX Feb 2-Feb3

Now my questions,

Los Angeles::
I have a pretty good idea of the areas around the airport thanks to the abundance of pictures from the main spots. I will be staying at the Marriott LAX on the 15th floor so I'll be close to the airport.
1. Since I will not be renting a car, is there is bus/transit access to some of these areas such as Imperial Hill?
2. What part of the terminal can I get to where I could take those nice nightime long exposure shots of heavies?
3. Does January weather in LA have lots of sunlight or clouds? Heat hazes?
4. The runways, how do approaches and departures work? it seems one runway on North and South are for arrive and the others used for departures. So for heavies arriving, its kind of hit and miss to which rwy they'll be assigned too especially if there is a particular airline I wanted to get and Im at the Inn.N.Out, they could be cleared for the South Rwy?

San Diego:
I'll be there for 4 days and it will be mix of spot and sights.
I've looked at that thread that was made recently about one of the spots getting fence upgrades which may affect spotting. This airport though I am not too familiar and I'd like some help with spotting there.
Its approach I realize is quite dramatic as its close to downtown and terrain is all hilly before the airport.
Big question is, where can I go to get arriving shots, and departure shots?
Id like to stay South of the airport at all times on the Harbour Dr/Laurel St stretch so Im guessing there are nice areas around there.


Las Vegas:
The spots I think I have a good handle on. My friends who went there to spot have filled me in on details with spotting. I do however like to know what spot is it where I can take departure photos with the hotels in the backdrop. I think it was the rwy 1 departures to the North.
As for that spot along the 7-25, is there anything I could stand on to get a view over the fence or will I have to buy a step ladder? Worst case I will probably have to hand around the runway ends.
For this city I will try and rent a car because I also want to visit Nellis for the Red Flag and spot there as well.
If that doesnt work I will use bus and monorail to get around.
I've made a similar thread last year and remember taking to some of the local guys like Dave or Jason (one of them at least) so Im hoping you guys could be able to help me out.
Also do any of you guys have some knowledge on Red Flag events such as arrive/depart, equipments, desert spotting coverage for manuevers around Rachel, NV?

Has anybody ever walked the entire distance of the strip? Is that possible under nevada sun next month?

San Francisco:
I probably wont be spending alot of time spotting because I will be on a tighter schedule, I'll probably spot in the terminal as I get off/on my flights. I also don't have a 400mm lens to cover the distant approaches.
But anyhoo, are there any areas at SFO complex or surrounding places where there are decent spots especially for approachces over the Bayshore 101? HOw about time of day?
How long of a trip is it to downtown on that metro transit?

Portland:
I went over there in the summer and had a great time. I will spend 2 days also and since transit there is so efficient I will use that to get around town. I only wanted to see if there are anybody here who spot at PDX and maybe we can get together for a day or so.
Oo maybe one question, I notice Boeing sometimes have flights to PDX, do they still do that?
What is airline traffic and military traffic like in February?

Vancouver:
Been there done that, any spotters still out there maybe we can meet up for a morning or afternoon of spotting.
Does New Zealand fly in on Tuesdays??
What other new airlines/types been popping up in recent months?

Last question, what is Security like in all those places when it comes to dealing with plane spotters?
Seattle is the benchmark, if these airports dont come anywhere near as being uptight as SEA, then I wont worry too much.

Now based on feedback I will make neccessary adjustments to my plans and hopefully this all works out and we could be able to meet up for a day or two of spotting. This site is by far the best way to meet fellow spotters and it has certainly worked in the past. Beats facebook anyday!! Big grin


Thanks alot guys!!


Bo


Chance favors the prepared mind.
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5663 times:



Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
Las Vegas:
The spots I think I have a good handle on. My friends who went there to spot have filled me in on details with spotting. I do however like to know what spot is it where I can take departure photos with the hotels in the backdrop. I think it was the rwy 1 departures to the North.

Correct, if they are using 1s (which is rare) the parking garage is a great spot.

As for the 7/25 spot that is the viewing area on sunset without a big ladder or truck you have to shoot through the fence, it's hard but not impossible. I am out here for the winter now so I should be there shooting when you are in town in Jan. There is the also the King of LAS Dave Budd who I am shooting with tomorrow who is always around as well. So hope to see you then.


User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5854 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

19-22 in Vegas is when I'm there, well the 20th is when I arrive...I hear sunman will be there too? Whitebird did you get time off yet?

Nick, what's the go with IGM? easy shooting? ladder needed or will a car do?



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5643 times:



Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 2):
Nick, what's the go with IGM? easy shooting? ladder needed or will a car do?

IGM is real easy, last I checked a fence was put up so walking all the way around to the DHL 72s is out but everything else is very accessible. Low fence but a ladder is needed. I don't stand on my car. but a rent a wreck will be fine. Though I like to walk with the ladder.

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 2):
I hear sunman will be there too? Whitebird did you get time off yet?

Rumors are flying he transfered to OAK. Though it's not like he will non-rev probably every day to shoot at LAS.


User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5854 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5642 times:

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
Rumors are flying he transfered to OAK. Though it's not like he will non-rev probably every day to shoot at LAS.

rumour is true...I've still got his sunglasses here but I guess he won't be needing him with the weather he brings!

car it is for IGM....

how long do you need for IGM shooting and what's the best time of day for light?

[Edited 2007-12-15 16:01:53]

[Edited 2007-12-15 16:02:16]


a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineMattbna From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 316 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5625 times:



Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
The spots I think I have a good handle on. My friends who went there to spot have filled me in on details with spotting.

There are probably more places to spot in Vegas than there are to take photos from... I've only been to the major photography locations over the last 4 years or so and haven't ever run into any true spotters out there - only photographers.

I don't go to Vegas to take photos at the airport (massive waste of money to cross the country only for photos of aircraft!), but do try to get at least a few hours in once or twice on each trip. I've got to remember to rent an SUV on my trips out there this upcoming year and remove the ladder from the equation!  Smile

We have had a few groups of actual spotters from Europe come to our observation area at BNA over the past year with their logbooks and binoculars... Those guys are always entertaining!

We've only got one spotter on our mailing list of about 40 people but I couldn't even tell you what web sites he hangs out on or anything.

Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
I probably wont be spending alot of time spotting because I will be on a tighter schedule, I'll probably spot in the terminal as I get off/on my flights. I also don't have a 400mm lens to cover the distant approaches.

Spotting from a terminal is easy - you don't need binoculars to see the tail numbers when the aircraft are at the gates / on the ramp!  Smile



Matt

--



Canon EOS 7D & 40D -- 100-400mm L IS -- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II -- 28-135mm IS -- 10-22mm -- 18-55mm EF-S
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5609 times:



Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 4):
how long do you need for IGM shooting and what's the best time of day for light?

Well mostly afternoon. You used to be able to walk all the way around the fenceline past the second TW Tristar and get close to the DHL 72s but a fence and no trespass sign are up so that's dead now. Mostly let the sun cross over and you can shoot everything from the other side. There is also a care with great food in the terminal with great old pictures and stuff so I always make a day out of it.


User currently offlineScooter From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 854 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5576 times:

I can't comment on everything, but here are two points about LAX:

Heat haze is prevalent during the day, no matter what the temperature is or how the winds are blowing. When I’m up on Imperial Hill, I never shoot anything on the ground before about 3pm – anything before then will be ruined by heat haze. But lift-off and climb-out shots are ok.

There are two sets of runways, all running parallel. 24 left and right are on the north side of the complex, and 25 left and right are on the south. The Asian and European heavies normally use the 24’s, while DL, UA, AA, and cargo airlines use the 25’s. That’s just a general rule of thumb, but there are exceptions. You never really know what is going to come in where, but there’s a good chance that the big and interesting stuff will come in on the 24’s. The thing that’s really frustrating about that is that there aren’t any really good wintertime photo spots for the 24’s. But imperial hill rocks in the winter…the light is spectacular in the late afternoon.

[Edited 2007-12-16 08:03:11]

User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5561 times:



Quoting Scooter (Reply 7):
Heat haze is prevalent during the day, no matter what the temperature is or how the winds are blowing. When I’m up on Imperial Hill, I never shoot anything on the ground before about 3pm – anything before then will be ruined by heat haze. But lift-off and climb-out shots are ok.

Absolutely false. Although heat haze can be a factor, in the winter it is possible to shoot all day without heat haze.

Quoting Scooter (Reply 7):
The Asian and European heavies normally use the 24’s

All aircraft use all runways, it depends on the flow of traffic.

Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
2. What part of the terminal can I get to where I could take those nice nightime long exposure shots of heavies?

Those shots are not from the terminal. You need to go on top of the various parking garages around LAX. Most of the heavy shots are from the garages close to TBIT.

Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
3. Does January weather in LA have lots of sunlight or clouds? Heat hazes?

Weather can be a mixed bag. Sometimes it can rain and be cloudy for a few days, other times it is sunny for a few weeks at a time.

-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlineScooter From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 854 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5550 times:



Quoting WakeTurbulence (Reply 8):
Absolutely false. Although heat haze can be a factor, in the winter it is possible to shoot all day without heat haze.

Yeah, but it's rare. 9 times out of 10, a shot of an aircraft on the ground from Imperial Hill at 12 noon will most likely have heat haze.

Quoting WakeTurbulence (Reply 8):
All aircraft use all runways, it depends on the flow of traffic.

Yes, I said that there were exceptions. But anyone who has spent a good amount of time at LAX will agree that there are "patterns".


User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3192 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5537 times:

Also at LAX, arrivals tend to use the outer runways (24R and 25L) while departures tend to use the inner runways (24L and 25R), but for departures from Imperial Hill, with a decent lens the only aircraft that might give you some issues are RJs and turboprops.

I haven't been down to check out the situation with the fence changes at SAN yet. But I think I'll be available the 12th and/or 13th if you want to meet up down there. The main place is that little lot on the corner of Laurel and Harbor Dr. It's good for arrivals and departures taxiing out and starting their takeoff roll. There isn't much of anything on the departure end.


User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5510 times:

Great stuff guys,

Thanks alot, I am still not quite done yet as Im compiling a few more list of questions for these airports.
I guess the Parking deck at LAX was what I really meant when I was asking.
Also, Ive even had emails from outside of the forum thread so people who arent members of the forum are still contacting me by reading thru this thread. Great stuff.
My life just gets easier because of you guys.

Now for my trip, I definetly wont be bringing my step ladder with me as I used to carry it as oversized checked baggage. Lol you wouldnt believe the looks I got at the airport when everybody is picking up their baggage on the carousel while I am getting my ladder. Big grin Big grin

Great times to have all eyes on me.

Possibility also exists that I might buy one for places like Vegas or buy one of those foldable bar stools which I hope will be high enough to get me lens over the fenceline.

Also do you guys know of any websites which has a extensive breakdown on spotting locations for San Diego and San Francisco? there is a site called contrailsphotography.com which I got digs on the other airports except the two.



Chance favors the prepared mind.
User currently offlineLindy Field From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 3116 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5510 times:
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Hi Bo,

Check out spotterswiki.com for its listings on SAN and SFO. For SAN, you should contact Matthew Lyons (Mongorat) and convince him to meet you at the Harbor Drive spot in his big truck so you won't need a ladder. He's a good guy.

Cheers,

Edward


User currently offlineGuamVICE From Guam, joined Jun 2005, 151 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5479 times:

This is how we do it in LAS!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v193/dave_budd/over_the_fence_gang.jpg

6-7 ft. ladder to clear the fence at LAS or Mr. Budd's truck! Thanks Dave for the photo. Had a great time today with all of you!



The two most engaging powers of a photographer are to make new things familiar and to make familiar things new. ~Thacker
User currently offlineCO777 From South Africa, joined Apr 2000, 261 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5465 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

It will be raining in Vegas when Monty comes to town.
Sunman


User currently offlineDbudd From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 228 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5462 times:

I hear fog is coming to OAK...WX for the bay area just got worst for the next three months. Sun was out all day long here in Vegas. Everyone is planning a trip out to LAS now that Jason had departed for colder climates...

Even Shane came out today. There was seven of us out. Had a baby DC-9 and a private 767. What did you get in OAK SW after SW!!

Dave
LAS


User currently offlineF9Widebody From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5463 times:



Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
How long of a trip is it to downtown on that metro transit?

30-40 mins.

www.bart.gov



YES URLS in signature!!!
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5441 times:



Quoting GuamVICE (Reply 13):
6-7 ft. ladder to clear the fence at LAS or Mr. Budd's truck! Thanks Dave for the photo. Had a great time today with all of you!



Quoting Dbudd (Reply 15):
I hear fog is coming to OAK...WX for the bay area just got worst for the next three months. Sun was out all day long here in Vegas. Everyone is planning a trip out to LAS now that Jason had departed for colder climates...

Yes Brandon the day was quite typical LAS. Perfect. It was good seeing you. Jason has left and with him went the clouds!


User currently offlineCO777 From South Africa, joined Apr 2000, 261 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 5432 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Dont worry guys this next storm is comeing your way Big grin Let the rain in Vegas begin.
Jason Whitebird


User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5854 posts, RR: 40
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5418 times:



Quoting CO777 (Reply 14):
It will be raining in Vegas when Monty comes to town.

you know that means it will be fine....right?

 Wink

Quoting Dbudd (Reply 15):
What did you get in OAK SW after SW!!

and fog...  Smile



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineSesd97 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 116 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5372 times:

Hey Bo,

eMail me about SAN. Either Matt, Ryan or myself can get you started so to speak with all the info you need. One of us will most surely be able to meet you to say hi ....

thx, Shaun


User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5349 times:

No probs, expect an email later this week.
I am also going to start compiling a list of people to contact for some of the other cities too, mainly spotting/getting around related questions which I will kinda need.



Chance favors the prepared mind.
User currently offlineGuamVICE From Guam, joined Jun 2005, 151 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5347 times:



Quoting BO__einG (Reply 21):
I am also going to start compiling a list of people to contact for some of the other cities too

Yep, send us an e-mail when you're here  Smile.



The two most engaging powers of a photographer are to make new things familiar and to make familiar things new. ~Thacker
User currently offlineLASOctoberB6 From Japan, joined Nov 2006, 2380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5331 times:



Quoting Dbudd (Reply 15):
Sun was out all day long here in Vegas. Everyone is planning a trip out to LAS now that Jason had departed for colder climates...

The sun wasn't out today, that's for sure! And hereI was wondering why I wasn't seein Jason out here lately... NIKV, I missed you on 12/16.. I did see VS depart and Philli A340..

Quoting CO777 (Reply 18):
Let the rain in Vegas begin.

Its a very good thing winter break starts after school on Friday...



[NOT IN SERVICE] {WEStJet}
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5295 times:

Update, I have contacted like only 2 people so far but I hope to email more folks around the weekend time.
This week has been pretty busy on my work schedule so all this planning had to be put aside.

One of the big things is that I'd certainly like to meet up with any of the locals to do some shooting together so I can get a feel for the spotter community at a particular airport, especially busy places like LAX. That city probably has hundreds of spotters all over the place writing down reggies, spotting thru binocs or shooting to get stuff in sites like this.



Chance favors the prepared mind.
25 Post contains images BO__einG : Okay I am going to bump this thread up as my first trip is only coming up soon. I have finally gotten around to contacting a number of people and I wi
26 AnonymousInSAN : Hey Bo, As to SAN spotting...I like the corner of India Street & Ivy Street for arrivals. It's a few blocks up the hill from Lindbergh (still on the s
27 Apollo13 : BART takes about 40 minutes to Get from SFO to downtown SF. Very easy and efficient about 90% of the time. I use that route about twice a week (to mil
28 Silver1SWA : Are you still planning for SAN on January 12? I can probably meet that weekend.
29 Post contains images BO__einG : ^ Yes, Jan 12th will be when I will be arriving in SAN and will stay 4 days before departing back on the 15th. Looking forward to the window view of t
30 Hawaiian717 : This time of year, In-n-Out at LAX is no good for photos since the sun stays south of the field so you'd be shooting into the sun. You can spend all d
31 AnonymousInSAN : Hawaiian717, None of my posted photos were taken from Liberty Station...I did shoot there in the past but I think my 70-200mm lens didn't get close en
32 BO__einG : I wanted to say thanks to all those who replied to my emails, I will try to have em all responded by tomorrow. So far San Diego and Las Vegas seem to
33 Post contains links and images KPDX : Yep quite constantly now. Everything from a EK 773, to a 747LCF Dreamlifter sometimes. Airline traffic can be sparse some parts of the day, but for t
34 RodNav : Hey mate, Let me know if you're interested in coming to MMTJ (Tijuana Intl) to shoot a different variety of airlines from the Mexican repertoire. MMTJ
35 LASOctoberB6 : I wonder how many of us here besides us two are filmers rather than photographers..
36 GOCAPS16 : I'll be in SFO on Jan 25-27. No spotting trip but i'm doing some Northern California sightseeing with my mistress. I'm on the redeye flight to Newark
37 Post contains images BO__einG : ^ I am always up for some spotting action whenever I got some extra time, I hope SFO might do that but so far it is looking 50-50. Perhaps the best ti
38 727LOVER : Parking Lot C works well for wintertime arrivals on 24R[Edited 2008-01-08 05:10:07]
39 Dbudd : The parking lot at the Burger King also worked for me!! Just park in the back and stay in your car between shots. Dave
40 BO__einG : Update, I am back in Calgary now and boy L.A. was amazing! It was almost overwhelming to have so many goodies all at one time. That airport is incredi
41 Post contains images BO__einG : Update: Game is now on for Round 2.. San Diego, For those who I have been in contact with, I will be out on a weekend and a weekday as well. Now I thi
42 Silver1SWA : Let me know if you head to SAN Tuesday. I start work at 2:30pm so I can meet mid morning/noon until I have to head over to the terminal.
43 BO__einG : UPdate: I am now gearing up for round 3: Las Vegas. To Dave, Brandon, and any other LAS folks out there I will be planning to do all day spotting on S
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