KLM772ER From Germany, joined May 2006, 615 posts, RR: 16 Posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3799 times:
As the title says, what is for you the "worst" you experienced while spotting or the "worst" spotting trip you ever had!
I had a lot to do the last few month at university and in December I finally had an afternoon off again and of course I planned to get some nice shots. The weather was perfect that day, and I had to decide whether to go to CGN or DUS, and because there was nothing special planned to arrive in CGN I decided to go to DUS as there is a lot more frequent "standard" traffic than CGN.
As I was on the interstate I spotted a 742 on the approach to CGN. I decided to continue going to DUS because by the time I would have arrived in CGN it would long be at an parking place not accessible from any public spot...
Finally I arrived at DUS and it suddenly got fogged up so much I coudln't even see the rwy anymore
Downhearted I went home again without having taken a single usable shot!
And to make things worst, at home I found out that it was not a 742 landing in CGN it was a 741 (diversion from somewhere...) And to make it even more worse I later on was told that there was also an AWACS doing some touch and gos in a nice light without any fog during the time I was in DUS
TupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2210 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3782 times:
LGW's only a 20 minute train ride away, but when I paid the stupidly high fare it really was a wasted journey. The weather here at home is beautiful. The sunlight couldn't be better. I've heard there's fog in the area but that seems totally absurd.
I hop on the next train, nice weather until about two miles into the journey. Out comes the train from a tunnel and all I see is low cloud, fog, drizzle. Nevertheless I continued onto LGW only to find that 08 is in use, so everything taking off is in the cloud before it comes over your head.
Another instance at ESH. I made the mistake of being dropped off there while my friend goes into the town. I knew it was awful weather, but I still went down there. Got out the car, went round to the apron, and the only thing noteworthy was a Cessna Caravan. For the next two hours I stand in the bitterly cold wind and rain with not a single movement. In the whole day there were just two.
The things we do for aviation
Good to see a thread like this, something different from the norm!
Whisperjet From Germany, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3770 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW PHOTO SCREENER
Had too many bad spotting days to write about all of them, so just two examples :
1) I can remember a spotting trip to Venice (VCE) last summer. The flights were cheap and the weather forecast was nice. During the entire flight we had great weather and short before landing it became really foggy. When we left the aircraft it was rainforest clime, hot and high humidity. Nevertheless we tried to take some pictures. Have to emphasize the word try here because we had to walk miles until we found some kind of spotting position. A really bad one but at least some pictures were possible. Suddenly the fog disappeared and we thought that it'd become a great spotting day (the NATO AWACS 707 in special c/s was on the apron). It didn't last more than 10 minutes until some Italian ramp worker saw us and spoke in his phone. Another 10 minutes later the airport police came and told us that we have to leave the spot ?.
We had to go and as there was no other spot we walked about 3km in the rainforest clime to some kind of camping ground (still wonder who wants to spend his holiday on a camping ground which is surrounded by the runway on the one side and the highway on the other side ???. We spend the remaining time we had in Venice on this campsite and to be honest, I was happy when we departed from Venice.
To save money we booked the return flight from Venice to Berlin Schönefeld and then Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Nuremberg. The arrival was on time and we had about 3 hours to change the airport in Berlin which was more than enough time because we were already checked in for the flights from Tegel and it takes about 1 hour to get from SXF to TXL only.
Everything worked alright. We took the train from SXF to Berlin main station and decided to eat something because we had plenty of time. To continue our journey we had to take a bus. There was a bus with a TXL in big letters on display panel and we were sure that it was the right bus. After a ride of about 30 minutes we recognized that we took the bus in the opposite direction and when boarding for our flight began we were at the other end of the city ??. We left the bus and although we were sure that it was to late for our flight we ran on the street when we saw a taxi. The driver brought us to the airport as fast as possible (fortunately there were no police controls) and in the end we caught our flight.
2) Last summer I've been to Paris for the air show. Weather was quite nice the days before I went to Paris and even when I was there it was only partly cloudy. I spend a day in CDG and went to LBG on the second day. There were some huge, dark clouds but also sun. Suddenly it started to rain cats and dogs and I was miles away from any shelter. I was soaked to the skin but I was happy that my camera equipment survived. I decided that it's not worth staying in LBG because the clouds did not seem to disappear and my clothes were awfully wet and it was quite cold. I took the next bus to the railway station in Le Bourget but after 20 minutes I found myself on some kind of car park far away from the railway station. I took the wrong bus (again ). I took the next bus back to LBG and took another bus to the railway station. While we were in a traffic jam for more than 1 hour the sun came out and the A380 and other nice planes from the airshow were flying in sight of the bus. I took the wrong train, bought the wrong ticket and finally I was in CDG again. I dried my shoes in one of CDG's bathrooms and after everything was more or less dry again I went to the Lufthansa check in. The self-check-in machines of course didn't work so that I had queue up. After 2 hours of waiting (1) I could finally check in. I hurried to MCD to buy something to eat and went to the satellite then. There wasn't much time left before my departure but when I was at the gate the staff announced a delay of 2 hours for my flight. In the end we had more than 3 hours delay because we missed our slot and 2 minutes before 11 pm (the airport closes at 11pm) we finally landed in DUS.
Oly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 7113 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3752 times:
Worst (and it wasn't too bad) was at Savannah GA in 1993. Because I didn't have my binoculars with me I was looking through the fence with my camera with 400mm lens attached. Unfortunately this was on the same side of the field as the ANG base and they had some visiting aircraft that were en route to the breaking up Yugoslavia and so tensions were probably a bit higher than they'd otherwise be. Anyway this military vehicle appeared and the driver asked what I was doing then I had to go and see the base intelligence officer (who had spent some time at Lakenheath and was used to these weirdos on the other side of the fence who look at planes) and had a quick interview about what I was upto. The upshot was that I was asked to "voluntarily surrender" the film in my camera that only had photos of Fort Pulaski and a boat trip I'd been on. I wasn't really willing to discover what involuntarily surrendering the film involved.
Mhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3733 times:
Worst day was Manchester in March 2004. It was about 4 degrees centigrade; and I got to MAN and realised I had forgotten my jacket. I was wearing just a t-shirt on top; and absolutely froze! I was shivering all the way home even though I had my car heater on full!
I did get 24 photos from that day accepted though, so it wasn't all bad
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
ShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3726 times:
I can't remember the date, but there was one day I went out to to ABQ the weather was really nasty. Light rain, low clouds, poor visibility (just above the minimums for the ILS approaches). I would have had an excellent opportunity to photograph an NKC-135 departing runway 26, had it not gone into the clouds just as it got to my position.
Ptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 4213 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3705 times:
During my last trip in Indonesia I took a bus from Solo to the town of Ambarawa to find a P-51 Mustang that was supposedly in a railway museum. Devote a whole day to take a photo of one Mustang? Well, yes and no, it's often more about the journey than about the destination for me - although in this case, the journey was quite uncomfortable.
The museum at an old Dutch railway station was easily found, close to the town's bus station, and the old steam engines and turntable entertained me for a few minutes. But there was no sign of a P-51, so I talked to the old guy who was selling the tickets. I know an handful of Indonesian words including 'terbang', airplane, and by imitating a plane with my arms I think I made pretty clear what I wanted. But he had absolutely no clue.
Some people back in Holland had told me this P-51 was actually in a museum in the city of Semarang, perhaps 25 km away on the coast, so I asked the guy 'Semarang? Terbang Mustang in Semarang?' and of course he nodded. So I jumped on a bus to Semarang, where, to make a long story short, I didn't find it either. I did find a beautifully preserved Mil Mi-4 at a military police station, but unfortunately, the guard refused to let me take a picture of it. (Did he want a bribe? I didn't think of that).
I found a hotel and an internet cafe and found out, thanks to unsurpassed Marco Pennings of scramble.nl, that the P-51 was really supposed to be in Ambarawa, but not in the railway museum. Ambarawa was on the road to my next destination, so I decided to try again after checking out Semarang's old town the next morning (advertised as a 'tropical Amsterdam', but really a dilapidated and stinking dump - dear people of Indonesia, clean up your country).
However, I took a wrong city bus and ended up near the Mi-4 again, which I took as a sign that I must take a picture of it despite the opposition, so using my best infantry tactics I crawled to a bush within the police station grounds and got a backlit picture of the chopper - a.net was understanding enough to accept it
Marky From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3681 times:
I once had a couple of days planned in Vegas while on holiday in the US.
I arrived there late in the evening, saw ramps full of biz jets from the hotel and got up early the next morning to have a look round the biz areas and there was lots to see, although there didn't seem to be too many movements for such a busy airport, but it was early. After a couple of hours I went back to the hotel for some breakfast before I went to find a good position to take some shots, only to see on TV that the camera wouldn't be used that day - this was September 11, 2001.
I was due to fly out from LAS on September 12th and go on to Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington but was stuck where I was for five days and didn't take another shot on the trip.
IngemarE From Sweden, joined Mar 2005, 285 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3647 times:
Bad spotting days?!
In Gothenburg, pretty much every spotting-day is a bad spotting-day.
So my list would be rather long. Can't separate them from eachother anymore, actually!
That's why I stopped going to the airports around here.
Not at all because my wife has tightened the leish! Oh nooooo....
Upcfordcruiser From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3584 times:
Ditto for 2H4's post. Except my local airport is too small and spotting is out of the question. I once asked one of the managers if it was permissable and he looked confused, and asked why anyone would want to take pictures of planes. So I drive 90 miles to IAH in a truck that gets 14 mpg.
Metroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1082 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3520 times:
This thread is heart-rending!
I've nothing as horrifying to contribute, though I did once go al the way to Amsterdam from North London only for it to be rained off... and it was 3 days before the Kaagbaan spot closed. So I walked all the way there, drenched, and got a couple of bad, blurry shots in the dark cloudy light and then walked back again.
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3515 times:
My worst spotting experience? MAN on Tuesday.....
Joking aside, most of my bad experiences come from MAN. With 23L/05R being shut between 12:00 and 15:00, anything with a scheduled departure/arrival time of, say, 11:50 is going to give you trouble if it's not spot on time. Also, my luck standing beside the new runway in the evenings waiting for something tasty to arrive/depart has never been good. Every time I stand in that spot the plane I want evades me!
I suppose my very worst must have been SZG in Jan 2006. I went for five days and got thick fog on every single one. We couldn't even see the hotel next door!!
Barbro From Finland, joined Jun 2005, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3485 times:
Hehe this is a nice thread...
There are many bad ones, but lately there was this one only a couple of weeks back..
There had been an interesting B757 on ad-hoc for Air Finland the previous day, which I missed. When I went to the airport, I saw the B757 standing on the apron, unreachable by camera. My hopes went up. I tried to see if there was any movement around it, but nothing. I tried to see if any info would be available by cell-phone from the net, but there was a glitch in the pages, so nothing could be seen. OK, no worries, I still had my radio. Until the battery went dead... Now my schedules started to press me, and I decided to leave the spot (good for departure-pics) to shoot a cargo A300 before I go home, and call a friend to ask for verification that there was no info available of the B757. But my friend's work-line was busy. OK another friend. But he was in a place where he couldn't check the computer immediately. Well anyways, I go and get the A300 (sitting on the other side of the airport) and leaving for home, my friend calls me. Well, it was about to leave at that very moment!!! Oh my God, I rush back to the original place, the plane has disappeared from the stand, and is nowhere to be seen!!!! S***, I left the place just in time to miss it!
Man, was I pissed off then, and immediately decided to invest on new gear to make monitoring easier!
Later, I learnt that the plane actually hadn't left, but was towed away to wait for slot/de-icing, and finally left totally outside my "window of opportunity" for spotting that day...
N440ER From Poland, joined Jan 2006, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3449 times:
In Warsaw there is a tradition...whenever something interesting comes in, that's when the storm or some other weather condition arrives.
I remember in June when we were getting an L1011 from Globejet operating charters to the Mediterranean. Was supposed to come in at around 7 am one morning, weather was nice, so I drove out early to catch the arrival. I arrive and find out from Jan Ostrowski that the arrival is now scheduled for around 10 am. Great...no point in going home now, so I go and shoot some departures, and what happens? It comes in one hour early. The turnaround time is supposed to be around 2 hours, so I make my way back to a departure spot on the other side of the airport. It is already about 30 minutes late when it pushes, and weather starts moving in. Storms and rain showers on the western side of the airport, and as the L1011 holds short of 29, winds just reverse all of a sudden. Planes start using 15 for departure, and the L1011 just holds for about 15 minutes. meanwhile, we start seeing this literal wall of water moving in from the west. It reaches us quickly and there we are, getting soaked in cold rain and high wind. Finally the tower clears it off 29, and as it departs, the sun pops out of the clouds, leaving a rainy-looking, but incredibly sharp and sunny picture.
Good end result and it was worth it, but as far as spotting days go, haven't yet had one that's much more aggravating than that. One of those planes that just doesn't want to be photographed.
"You know, back in my day, sex was safe and flying was dangerous." - Gallup
Maiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 44
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3445 times:
Definitely not a spotting trip but a photography trip instead. Got up at 300am to goto Nellis in 2005, drove 5 hours, F-15 goes down in the desert around the time I arrive, event was canceled for the day, drove 5 hours back home immediately.
Jetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3078 posts, RR: 30
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3437 times:
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Let me add some background, I'm 14, and don't have access to the airport that much, maybe once a month someone might take me for 15-20 minutes.
This time, my aunt offers to take me for a few hours, I'm very excited about that, so an hour before she comes to pick me up, I wake up look outside, and see a dull, overcast, low ceiling. Disappointed, I get dressed and get all my equipment, scanner, and reg logbook together. 15 minutes before she picks me up, I see in the direction toward the airport a large break in the clouds, like it would be sunny the rest of the day, I get my stuff and wait outside for her so I can leave ASAP, well, the sun stayed out long enough, that right when I got to the airport, another cloud bank was rolling in, I hear on my scanner "American 567 cleared for takeoff 35L", I get out of the car, turn my camera on, and now the cloud bank has overtaken the entire airport, I see the AA MD82, start climbing, I start snapping away, and I'm satisfied for the moment as I looked on the LCD and saw a decent picture, also some got some FAA flights, and JPATS (Justice Prisoner and ALien Transport System, a.k.a. ConAir) flights.
When I download the pics to my PC, I see blurry, dark, shots one after the other. It seems the only time someone will take me to the airport is on dull, overcast days.
If I could ride my bike the 4 miles to the airport, plus riding from spot to spot, I would every sunny day, but I can't do 10+ miles in a day.
6YJJK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3409 times:
My grandparents came to visit us while we were living in Jamaica, and we took them to Montego Bay for the day. Now, this just happened to be during that happy time when a BA Concorde (in Landor livery!) showed up at MBJ every week, and sure enough, this was one of the days. So, after picking up all the beach stuff, we all piled into the car and headed round to the airport fence for the appointed time, and waited for her to get her shapely ass off the stand.
Now, I was fine with that. My little brother was fine with that. Dad was fine with that. Grandad was totally fine with that (he had to have been one of the coolest grandads you could wish for). Even Mum was fine with that - she grew up watching the prototype flying around. Grandma? Whine, whine, whine. Whine whine. It quickly became apparent that the situation was growing intolerable and, sure enough, Grandma won.
"We'll just go off and look at [some stupid garden or other nearby] - there's no sign of any movement anyway, we'll be back before it goes." Sure we will. I knew there was no way on earth Dad would let me, a scrawny white kid, hang around there on my own, so didn't even try.
Not ten minutes later (which isn't very far on those roads), and - naturally - under a full canopy of trees, we heard the earth-shattering roar we'd been waiting for.
Even after driving myself to LHR every Saturday, most Sundays and quite a few weekdays for the last six months of Concorde operations, I never forgave my grandmother for that.
Jalap From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3383 times:
Firstly, my very worst day was when I witnessed the Ramstein crash in 1988 at the age of 12. Until that day I loved military jets and fighters but I completely lost my taste for them after that disastrous day. Even today they still give me the creeps. On the bright side, after a year I found something new and far more interesting to spot: Airliners!
So in 1989 my dad and I started spotting in Brussels and wanted to try a trip to Amsterdam. I was looking forward to doing that very much and during the christmas holiday the weather was quite ok, the forecasts were good as well so my dad and I drove to AMS for a day's spotting. When we got up, very very early in the morning the weather was misty. Quite normal for the time of year so off we went, spirit high. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in AMS weather was still misty and too dark for photography. So we waited and waited, hoping for the weather to clear. Noon came, still misty and dark. Afternoon... still misty and dark. And that was it then.
Although I did try to shoot some slides it was the worst spotting trip I ever did. To give you an idea, here's one of the best shots I made that day: PIA 747 AP-BAT
Despite the weather, I was not bored at all that day, we saw many planes that never ever visited Brussels and the lack of succes making photos in fact made me more hungry to do it again. In better conditions. That day possibly made me a real spotter!
LH526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2425 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3314 times:
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Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 18): If I could ride my bike the 4 miles to the airport, plus riding from spot to spot, I would every sunny day, but I can't do 10+ miles in a day.
That's exactly what me and my best mate back in the days did when we were 15-16: riding 21km (13 miles) to and from the airport (total ride for the day: 26 miles) to the airport.
Fully equipped with Rimowa alloy bags andto protect our cameras we biked the woodways along a man railway track in a beautiful sunday summer dawn light. I happened to be the day of so called Castor rail transports (Toxic atomic waste from Atomic power plants transported by train to it's final secure resting place 60 feet under) Many demonstrators were expected, so tow guys riding their bikes next to the railtracks were quite suspicious on that morning .. we were searched, screaned whil being superwatched by guys with MPs .... 30 minutes passed after we were free to go ....
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
Dvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1797 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3299 times:
I think the most irritating thing that ever happened to me is that back when NW 97 (BDL to AMS) first started back in July, I wanted to get a photo of it taking off from runway 24 at BDL. I was there on Space and Aviation day (I had seen the flight come in, but I really wanted to get it taking off in the evening light). I waited... waited... waited... turns out the flight was delayed for tech reasons. That's OK, I can wait. I check the flight status on my phone and keep listening to the radio... hours pas... finally, I hear the OK for pushback and taxi. Great.
I'm now trying to avoid the police as the hills around rwy 24 are patrolled fairly well and you will get a ticket if you stop with your car for an appreciable length of time. So I was trying to stop, get out, get the picture, and run. So I was listening... listening... listening for the taxi instructions on the ground radio and never hear it. I'm driving around the perimeter road, killing time... as I'm turning around to go back towards my spotting area, I hear "Northwest 98 you are cleared for takeoff." I gun it and drive down the road as fast as I could only to see it had already started its takeoff roll and was off the ground by the time I got there. Real bummer.
I eventually got the shot I was angling for two months later so in the end it wasn't a big deal. It was just annoying at the time.
YYZflyer From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3297 times:
My worst was in May 2007 at YYZ. I was watching arrivals come in on runway 23 at Wendy's. The weather was beautiful..........but we only had a plane taking off or landing minimum every 15 mins. This lasted for like 2 hours. Seriously, WTF??? I've never experienced this at YYZ before. Then every other time I'm at YYZ, the LH plane never comes to the runway I'm at. I've seen them take off from where I'm at but never land. I wanna see the A346 fly over me.
Jetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3078 posts, RR: 30
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3276 times:
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Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 23): but we only had a plane taking off or landing minimum every 15 mins.
Don't come to OKC then, I normally wait 20-30 minutes in between departures, and about 15-25 minutes between arrivals. At rush hour times (Dep rush 6-7AM) departures are about 10 minutes between, then the arrival rush at noon with arrivals are about 5 minutes inbetween for about an hour then the mid-day dep rush at 3-4PM where deps are 10 minutes between, at 8-9PM is the nighttime arrival rush.
Most spotters wouldn't last long here.
: It gets like that sometimes at BDL. Sometimes it's OK to not be in a rush.
: 10 miles in a day should be a doddle, or don't you have a very well geared bike? I'll go out and do that (since I was about your age) in well under a
: I think I could do it, but I'm not the best biker, I get tired very easy, must be all this sitting around on A.net. I have a nice bike, 21 gears IIRC