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Help Me Spot Effectively At LHR  
User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 536 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4330 times:

In a couple of weeks I'll be going to London for a few days and was hoping to take one day and do some spotting at Heathrow.

I've done a fair bit of research on locations, runway schedules, etc., but I find much of the information to be dated and myself having many questions remaining as a result. I'm hoping that those familiar with LHR around here can offer some assistance.

According to the BAA website, during the week of July 20 the runway alternation schedule is as follows:

Col A (Night Alternation Period): 09R (27L)
Col B (0600 - 1500): 27R
Col C (1500 - last dep): 27L

I don't really understand column A, but according to columns B/C it looks like 27R is the morning arrival runway and 27L the afternoon arrival runway during the time I'll be there. Am I correct?

If so, looks like the famous Myrtle Avenue location is off-limits until 3PM, but I can't seem to find any consensus on where a good spot exists to spot 27R arrivals during the 0600-1500 time period with the sun at my back. Suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Also, any comments on how late the light is acceptable at Myrtle Avenue for the 1500 - end of day time period?

Of course, all of this assumes the 27s will be in use, but if I get the 9s everything changes. Suggestions are greatly appreciated for this situation in case it arises.

FYI, I am staying in a hotel in central London and will be going to LHR via the Heathrow Express train and getting around on foot. Hopefully most spots are within walking distance from transit stations.

Thanks in advance for any help that anyone provides. And finally, please feel free to nominate yourself if you think you might be available for some spotting. The more the merrier!

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAlasdair1982 From UK - Scotland, joined Mar 2008, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4320 times:

Get a free bus (number 285 and 423) from Hatton Cross bus / tube Interchange to Northrop Road which drops you off right underneath the approach for 27R

User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4316 times:

Thanks.

Does this area have any commonly-visited location by spotters, or is it just a matter of making a spot going with it? How about security?


User currently offlineMclaudio From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4311 times:

Hi.
As I went there a few weeks ago and found very little help, I'm gonna do for you what I would have enjoyed someone had done for me.
Spotting in LHR is really easy and obvious.
Before 06AM you have almost no departures and all the traffic arriving might land on the L or R runway. If you're expecting something special...better flip a coin.
After 06AM it gets easier.
If by any chance you have the 09's in use, you'll have to catch from Bath Road the bus 423 (free) or bus 81 (two quids) direction Hounslow. When the bus turns left (leaving bath road) you exit on the second stop near the white horse pub. From there you just have to walk (5-10 minutes) for the threshold of the 09. If the 09 is in use all day long it won't change at 1500.

If the 27's are in use, then until 15:00 you have to be on the Northern Perimeter road. It will be easy and rather obvious. If you are lucky and the sun is shining, then the early morning you should be near Northrop Road. There is a rental car delivery park near and it's a nice place. When the sun starts to move to the other side, then you should try a roundabout near E Church Road. Once again very easy and easy to reach walking.

At 15:00, take bus 285 to Hatton Cross (free). The bus stop is very close the flight path for the final of the 27R (you can't miss it). In Hatton Cross you just have to walk to Myrtle Avenue, but once again when the sun moves (later in the afternoon), from the Hatton Cross parking lot it's a nice spot.

The light: Well...the light is not that good in summer (perhaps better in the winter, duhh...name on place not like this...), but it can be done.
If you need any more tip, fell free to ask.

Quoting AC888YOW (Thread starter):
And finally, please feel free to nominate yourself if you think you might be available for some spotting

ahhh...I wouldn't mind it...



Proudly one of the 6 million Portuguese that support SL Benfica!! Champions 2009-2010!
User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4298 times:



Quoting Mclaudio (Reply 3):

Wow. Thank you so much for this information Mclaudio. I'm leaving work now but I will take some time to study your post and come back later with more questions if I have some.

Anyone else, please feel free to continue contributing or nominating yourself for a meeting ... as I said before, the more the merrier.


User currently offlineJalap From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 355 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4286 times:

A shame A.net didn't exist back in 1996 when I made my one and only spotting trip to LHR. It turned out to be the most disastrous spotting trip I ever made!

I wasn't there just to go spotting, it was a short citytrip with friends but I planned to leave their company one day and hop to LHR. Only information I had was that there was a spectators terrace and a good spot at Hatton Cross. Problems already started the evening before. It was exactly the day the IRA decided it was time for new action and the blew up a bus within hearing distance of where we were staying. Also it was February and the weather was pretty wintery.

Anyway, I got off the tube in Hatton Cross only to find out the 09's were in use. So got on the tube again to the terminal heading for the spectators terrace which, of course, was closed as a result of the bombing the evening before  grumpy 

Out of prepared options I started wandering about, then decided to hop on a bus that might take me in the general direction of the 09 approach. Very soon this bus turned out to be going anwhere but the 09 approach I got off again and just started to walk. At this point I already had lost hours of nice sunshine and a very very rare A330 that was mean enough to show itself in a totally unshootable way. I thought about giving up, after all, I didn't even know if there was any possibility to make decent shots on the approach of 09L, the active runway.

But I was stubborn and walking, I did have control over. After several kilometers I finally got set up in a good spot  Smile

Alas, the weather was turning grumpy at that point. I did get moments of bright sunshine but also some showers of rain, hail, snow and a biting wind. Police did check on me but were friendly and didn't order me to move on.

I don't think I lasted more than 3 hours and hardly made 5 decent shots  cold 

Anyway, sorry for this rather unconstructive post but anytime I see LHR threads I am reminded of this memorable citytrip. I could go on about what happened the 2 days after this, which in the end led to my friends and me being on the news on Belgian national TV but that's a different story  Smile

For those who are wondering, this is the very very rare but mean A330 that I saw:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Bess



And this is one of the few decent shots I managed that day:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © J.Laporte



cheers  Smile


User currently offlineMclaudio From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4226 times:

Hi.

Quoting AC888YOW (Reply 4):
Thank you so much for this information Mclaudio

No big deal. Like I've said before, I'm just trying to help.
Here are a few more tips.
For the 09, the bus stop in Longford for bus 81 and 423 is : N 51º 28'48.52"
The spotting place for the 09 is in: N 51º 28'31.21"
As for the 27R, you have to start in the morning on the sidewalk of the Northern Perimeter Road, but watch out if you're walking from Bath Road you have to go to Hatton Road N and from there to the Northern Perimeter road. If you're coming by bus, exit on Harlington. You can choose the place that best fits you. I like this one : N 51º 28'46.49"
When the sun starts to move, then try this one: N 51º 28'34.04"
At 15:00 when runway in use for landings change, you've got a bus stop here: N 51º 28'37.41" and take bus 285 direction Kingston. Exit on Hatton Cross. To Myrtle Avenue I'm sure you know the way and when the sun moves again try this pedestrian bridge near the tube station: N 51º 28'03.41" or the parking lot of the tube station.
I'm quite sure this way you will get most of the traffic.
On a side note...I think the same way airliners.net has section with aircraft data, it could easily have a section with spotting guides.
Once again, if in need of any other tip, feel free to ask.



Proudly one of the 6 million Portuguese that support SL Benfica!! Champions 2009-2010!
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

Hi If you are taking photos at Mertyle Avenue and the sun has swung to far to the other side of the Landing traffic the answer is Simple.

Walk back to hatton Cross and walk up onto the Metal Road Bridge as this gives you Landing Photos of 27 Left traffic above the Lights which are strung from Long Cables down the Dual Caridge way road.

A lot of Photographers use this Bridge as the Sun in the Late Evening swings rite around behind your shoulder at this Location and Mertyle avenue becomes un usable.

If you will be in London for 3 days consider buying an OYSTER CARD for traveling as using an OYSTER CARD on Buses cuts the fare from £2 Pounds to £1 Pound. which saves you Money.  airplane 


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4197 times:

The 27R roundabout used to be accessible via the maintenance area from Mrytle Avenue, however this is now closed off and you therefore have to go around maintenance. Just navigate the roads around the large hangers, etc. and head towards the arriving aircraft (it's pretty easy). Should be about a thirty-minute walk.

The light at Mrytle is OK until about 17:00, when you get a dead few hours until it swings around in favour of the opposite spot, mentioned above.

If the 09s are in use, there's an evening spot (also a roundabout but with other places beyond) which can be reached by simply following the dual carriageway from the morning spot past T5.

Karl


User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4188 times:

Thanks a lot everyone for the replies. There's a lot of information to study here so forgive me for not singling out and thanking your individual suggestions. I now need to grab my map and do some plotting!

If I have additional questions I will come back to this thread or contact directly. Thanks again.


User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4122 times:

Quite simply put, if 09L is the landing rwy all you need to worry about is how to get there and where to get off. I'd take one of the free buses either to Longford or T5. The field from where most pictures are taken is a short walk from either stops.

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Photo © Spencer Wilmot


If 27L is the landing rwy, for mornings you need to be at either the Myrtle area or you could even walk further up towards T4, where there's a hill you can get pretty decent shots from. It's quite distant so 400mm is the preferred choice.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Spencer Wilmot


As the light starts to turn, make you way to the bridge mentioned above, near Hatton Cross tube.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Spencer Wilmot


For 27R, arrivals, there's the roundabout, also mentioned above.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Spencer Wilmot


This is only good for the mornings and in the afternoon I'd make my way towards the bend in the road on the other side of the approach. There's a slight hill there on the grass verge and personally I think this spot is quite nice.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Spencer Wilmot


There's slight variations on all the above and once you're there you'll see what I mean. There's a good chance the police will approach you and take your details, but they won't ask you to stop spotting. They've never done it in my case anyway.
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineTomMoloney From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4096 times:

Hi all.

Could anyone familiar with LHR ops confirm whether A380 arrivals conform to the normal 27L/27R patterns. I seem to recall a posting which said that the A380 tends to use 27L even if 27R is the landing runway in use.

What about 09 arrivals, does the 380 always use 09L?

Many thanks in advance for any assistance.

Tom.


User currently offlineMclaudio From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4075 times:

Hi Tom.
I'm not familiar with LHR daily ops, but in two days I got 9V-SKF and A6-EDC on the 27R, the 9V-SKD and SKE on the 27L and A6-EDA on the 09L. The first SIA that arrives damn early I got it on the 27R.
Not sure if it helps or if it makes you more confuse, but that was what I say last June.
(edited for spelling)

[Edited 2009-07-11 09:50:57]

[Edited 2009-07-11 09:51:28]


Proudly one of the 6 million Portuguese that support SL Benfica!! Champions 2009-2010!
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4058 times:

Away from Heathrow / Hatton Cross is another Spot for Photos of Aircraft Leaving using 09Right.

From Hatton Cross Tube you can walk or take the Bus to the Tesco Store which is Near Hatton Cross this allows Banking Shots when 09 Right is being used.

Basicaly cross the Main ROAD at The Lights and Walk up Faggs road Past the Green Man Pub and keep going till you reach the Junction then turn right and walk past the Fire Station and the Tescos is on the Right Hand Side.  alert 


User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4049 times:

Just a quick note off topic:

Peter will you be transiting thru FRA this year again?

V.


User currently offlineTomMoloney From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3989 times:

Thanks very much Mclaudio.

User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Thanks to everyone for the additional replies over the weekend. I'm now confident that I won't be stuck scrambling when I get to LHR next week. Hopefully I will bump into some of you during my visit.

Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 14):
Just a quick note off topic:

Peter will you be transiting thru FRA this year again?

V.

As a matter of fact I will, Vasco, and I was absolutely going to email you in hope that we might be able to meet up again. I will contact you directly with the details and hopefully we can arrange something.


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