bw50505 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 294 posts, RR: 1 Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4257 times:
I am going to Dallas for a bit this winter, and if the weather permits I am going to try going spotting. Does anyone know some good places to go spotting around the airport where the view is not largely obstructed?
KenanC From United States of America, joined Aug 2013, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4232 times:
Founders Plaza is pretty much the only place you can go. It is really cool to watch landings there since they come pretty close. Anywhere else and you could get arrested. They are very strict about spotting on the east side, so just play it safe and do Founders Plaza. A good time to watch a few widebodies is around 1:20 to 2:30pm local time to watch Lufthansa, KLM (it's seasonal, so you won't see it, but for future ref.), and Qantas if they are on time. As long as the winds are blowing in a northern direction, you will have a good view of 18L/R. It is open from 7am to 7pm every day, but they don't always enforce it so you can stay til 8pm to watch BA takeoff sometimes.
Founders Plaza is on the southwest corner of the intersection of SH 121 and SH 114. I will give you directions depending on which way you are coming from:
121 Northbound: Take 114 Eastbound and exit for Freeport Pkwy. Make a right and right again onto Airfield Drive. Keep going until Texan Trail and make a left there.
121 Southbound: Take the exit for 114 westbound, there will be an exit for Texan Trail on the bridge, take that exit and continue to the stop light @ Texan Trail and make a left, continue until Founders Plaza is ahead of you.
114 Westbound: Exit onto Freeport Pkwy. Make a left on Freeport and then a right onto Airfield Drive. Continue until Texan Trail and make a left there
114 Eastbound: The exit that would take you directly to Texan Trail is under construction, so you must continue until Freeport Pkwy. Make a right there and then right again onto Airfield Drive. Continue until Texan Trail and make a left there.
A few tips:
Airfield drive runs parallel with SH 114
Remember, Texan Trail dead ends at Founders Plaza SOUTH OF STATE HIGHWAY 114.
N243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1657 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4138 times:
Quoting KenanC (Reply 1): Anywhere else and you could get arrested.
I wouldn't quite say that. Granted, there's really nowhere of any value on the east side of the airport for most ops, but there is a small cemetery just south of the end of 13R, near the fire training area on 27th St. It provides some good views of aircraft departing 18L on south flow, but isn't really usable for north flow ops. Sometimes you can get decent views of aircraft taxiing over the bridge after landing on 13R, too. It's a public area so there should be no concerns about getting arrested (and DFW police seem to know that and act accordingly). I usually just stay in the car and only take the camera out when actively shooting, and I've always been fine.
Generally, DFW police have been very understanding and I've never felt even remotely close to getting arrested. Simply move on if they ask you to, especially if you're parked or stopped where you shouldn't be.
zululima From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 424 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4020 times:
Quoting KenanC (Reply 1): Founders Plaza is pretty much the only place you can go. They are very strict about spotting on the east side, so just play it safe and do Founders Plaza. It is open from 7am to 7pm every day, but they don't always enforce it so you can stay til 8pm to watch BA takeoff sometimes.
These are quite misleading statements. The truth is, there are a few places you can go without any hassle at all, and even more where your only risk is having a cop check you out and maybe suggest you go elsewhere. Arrest is simply not going to happen unless you have a weapon, etc. Founders NEVER closes, regardless of what the sign says.
For a detailed look at where you can go and what you can see there, check out this map I made. I'm still in the process of adding adding a lavish set of photos from each location, but all of the easy ones are up so you can decide exactly what you want to go for.