alphaman From UK - England, joined Jul 2010, 3 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2131 times:
I'm a newbie here so please be gentle.
I'm planning a trip to BHX within the coming week, and would appreciate advice from veteren BHX spotters.
From my information gathering, Sheldon Park and the Long Stay Carpark are the best places for photography, is this correct? Up-to-date information is greatly appreciated.
This will be my first spotting trip, and as I don't drive, I'll be arriving at any spotting location by train and the two things attached to the bottom of my legs. My initial thoughts are, to take the train to Marston Green Station (where there is also photo opportunities from the bridge over the station, so I've read), and walk through to Sheldon Park.
Also, is there an easy way to get to the Long Stay Carpark from inside the terminal, or from the train station, bearing in mind I don't drive.
I have a Sony Alpha 200 DSLR, with a 80-200mm lens which I hope will be enough to get some good pictures, although as it will be my first trip, I'll treat it as more of a 'recce' so I know where to go for future reference, rather than a photography extravaganza.
Also, is there a quick and easy way of knowing which runway is in use (15 or 33) at any given moment, as this will obviously restrict certain types of photography depending on which spotting location you're at, at the time.
Any and all information prvided is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4735 posts, RR: 8 Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2101 times:
I'm actually more of a MAN regular but living in Stoke I also get down the BHX frequently.
Firstly, BHX's runway (33/15) basically runs from SSE to NNW so it's always useful to check the wind direction on the BBC weather site or similar (Metcheck.com is good also). Once you've established runway use, there are several good photography spots, all of which can be reached by either train or walking...
1. Long-stay car-park
Exit the terminals and head right until you get to the car-park entrance, then walk all the way to the bottom, beyond the fuel silos. Here you will find a great view of the taxiway for 33. A small set of steps is useful but not essential as there are a few holes in the fence. This spot is literally 10 minutes from the terminals and is good from sunrise until around mid-day.
Example image: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Bmibaby/Boeing-737-59D/1640719/M/
Carl (alphaman), this is my usual spot, as I drive to BHX. It will be obvious where to go from the terminal. As Karl said, turn right and just follow the fence from the terminal until you are as close to the threshold of 33 as it is possible to get. It is quite likely there will be a few other enthusiasts there. There is a shuttle bus from the terminal that goes around the car park and stops quite close to this spot. I don't know if it is free, quite possibly, and it will save your legs, especially on the way back.
I used to travel by train to the airport as a lad in the summer and the trip was fairly straightforward. Arrive at BHX, take MAGLEV to the terminal (now replaced by a more conventional system), walk from the terminal to the outside viewing area (now gone).
This is a good spot for the mornings mainly. The sun is in a bad position for the afternoon. Your lens should be fine for landing shots and shots of aircraft waiting entry to the runway at this spot, though a shorter focal length than 80mm might be useful for some of the bigger aircraft if you want to get a side-on view - or move further back!
It's no LHR or MAN, but it's reasonably busy these days with a range of airlines and types flowing in and out. Highlights, at least for me, are the Continental, Emirates and Mahan Air flights.