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How To Determine Landing Runway At MSP?  
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 10441 times:

How do I figure out on which runway (and from which direction) planes land, so I know where to go spotting?

At MSP for example I've been taking pictures of FedEx flight 728, an MD-11 which very often comes from the south and lands on runway 17/35. I've gotten great pictures of planes landing on this runway.

(MSP runway map)

But other times when I've waited there, the plane comes from the west and lands on 12R/30L.

How do I know where to go? Flightaware.com tells me WHEN the flight arrives, but not WHERE it will land. Today for example I checked the weather forecast and it said winds from the NW, so I was quite sure the MD-11 would land on 17/35, since it would then go almost directly into the wind. But it landed on 12R/30L anyway.

Because the spotting locations for different runways are quite far apart, I would have to know 30 minutes in advance of the landing which runway will be used.

What is the proper way to do this?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

[Edited 2008-08-30 00:11:13]

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 10431 times:

Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
What is the proper way to do this?

There is no such thing as a "proper" way. Perhaps you should call MSP tower and tell them to direct aircraft your way so you can take a photo?

It's part of the game we play. Surely you've figured that out by now.

C'mon man.

User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5871 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10421 times:
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Have you tried listening to MSP ATIS on your scanner or even calling the ATIS phone service?


If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1790 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10406 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 2):
Have you tried listening to MSP ATIS on your scanner or even calling the ATIS phone service?

This. I always call ATIS before going out to Logan airport so I know the right place to go, since it can take a long amount of time to go between active spotting areas.

If you have a Smartphone like a blackberry or iPhone you can also have FlightAware loaded and watch the radar maps and see where the aircraft are heading to.

From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineSluger020889 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 456 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10402 times:

A scanner tuned to approach should narrow it down for you. But like Chris said its all part of the game.

I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
User currently offlineNWA783 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10384 times:

For me its pretty simple. When they built the new 17/35 runway, planes began flying DIRECTLY over my house in Apple Valley. I have found that when the wind is out of the north or any direction near that, Planes often land on 35, while the majority of the takeoffs occur on the 30's. If the wind is out of the South, The very large majority of takeoffs will occur off 17, except for the daily 744 and A333's will still usually use 12R.

Hope this helps

- Josh -

"I'd like to give a pilot report" " Ok go ahead sir" "Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood"
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4997 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 10351 times:

Quoting NWA783 (Reply 5):
For me its pretty simple.

Me too. Just one runway here!


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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