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Best Airport To Watch Approaches?  
User currently offlineZRB2 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 896 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3775 times:

Just curious to find out what some other people think the best airport is for plane spotting? Especially for volume of traffic and proximity to landings and takeoff's.
In my opinion it's Reagan National in D.C (DCA). If you're ever there for a layover, put your carry-on in a locker, leave the terminal, and take the 10-15 minute walk on the bike/walking path over to north end of the field. There's a public park called Gravelly point right at the approach end of Rwy 18. People are always hanging out there. You can stand right next to the approach lights and I gotta believe the jets are less than 100 ft. over your head when they land on that rwy. It's thrilling to see them negotiate their way down the potomac river and make that hard right turn at the last minute. A couple seconds after they whiz by, you can feel and hear the wake turbulence,... very cool. If they are taking off in that direction, it's not as good but still great to be that close. I only wish the rwy was longer so they could get a plane in there bigger than a 757.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3656 times:

At LAX the planes landing on 24L fly right over the in and out hamburger joint. You can sit on the grass area and watch all kinds of planes land. Another good place is the aviation st. turnoff next to the kitty hawk cargo area. It brings you within about 100 feet of the back of the planes on the commencement of their takeoff rolls. When a 747 takes off you can really feel the thrust in your chest....an awesome feeling. Thanks,
Ben


User currently offlineCatfan From United States of America, joined May 2000, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3642 times:

My dad used to live in St. Louis. He took us to the airport. There is a place where you can park and watch. It could be a dangerous place if something goes terribly wrong. You might have a 747 coming into your vehicle! Great view from this spot though.

User currently offline747firstclass From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3627 times:

Couldnt agree more with ZRB2-----DCA pure and simple.

User currently offlineTorrance From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3611 times:

SLC is a good one. There is a hill just left of the end of 34R which gives a good view of the arriving and departing aircraft. There is also a road that goes under 16L so when their landing south they fly right over you.

User currently offlineCwapilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1166 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3613 times:

I just got back from San Diego, and I was impressed with the various spots throughout the city that are good for plane spotting. The best point, though, is a patio restaurant placed right at the end of the arrival/departure end of the runway. You get a great looking waitress, great food and drinks, and a perfect view of arrivals and departures, from the dozens of Southwest 737s, to FedEx DC10s, to the daily British Airways 747-400. I believe it is called The Windsock.



Southside Irish...our two teams are the White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs!
User currently offlineBAe146 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

I went to Marine Corps Boot Camp in San Diego, which is just on the other side of the fence from SAN. It was awesome doing our 3 mile runs alongside the fence that divides us from the airport. It was very motivating running with the 737's, A320's, and 757's that were common there.

Semper FI, BAe146


User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4347 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

Yea, I'm always at that park at DCA.
In San Diego, I always go to the Chevron gas station which is right next to the airport, so I fuel up and watch some plane land...hehe.
I really love the amazing view on approach to SAN.
1 out of 2 best...my first approach is always National Airport in DC. I'd like Frontier to fly into DCA so I can get some cheap flights flying to San Diego via Denver.

Gocaps



SIX T'S!......TURN. TIME. TWIST. THROTTLE. TALK. TRACK.
User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3586 times:

I have been to that park at the end of 24 R I think at LAX, mostly United Shuttle lands there I saw a AA 777 and a couple of 767s fly over. Another place I like is sitting on a boat near the end of the Reef runway at HNL seeing all the DC-10s, L1011s, and 747s taking off or landing.

User currently offlineZRB2 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 896 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3555 times:

I like San Diego also. I remember paying a couple bucks to go into a parking garage at the end of the runway to watch the planes. It was great from the top deck. Sounds like I need to get to Honolulu someday.

User currently offlineWestern737 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3545 times:

I agreed with most of you who were at National/Ronald Reagon airport... When I lived in DC to attend college, I made frequently visits at the park right behind the runway...
However, I also found a good spot at MSP airport which they commonly called "Dog Park" since it's a open space and where they let dogs wandering around unleashed. It's right behind runway (I am not sure the # of runway but it run NW-SE). It's best when wind come from south-southeast so the planes would approach landing right over us at pretty good range. I only need regular 35mm to take photos.. My fiancee and I usually come over to dog park and had our picnic on grassy land while watching those planes landing over us... Watching KLM 747-300 or NW 747-400 approach landing over us was awesome!!

Scott


User currently offlineHP-873 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3536 times:

I haven't been there, but just looking at the pictures I think Princess Juliana Int'l at Saint Marteen is the closest you can be legally to an airplane on final approach. It's a 7054' long X 148' wide runway where leviathans like MD-11s, DC-10s and 747's stop to deliver the precious tourists to the island. Also in front of runway 9 on the opposite side of the island there is a 1391' and 1119' high hill.

User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5301 posts, RR: 61
Reply 12, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3524 times:

Here is a picture of Saint Maarten:



Jeremiah Teahan



Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineZRB2 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 896 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3524 times:

Holy cow!, is that pic for real? Any lower and the gear would leave skid marks on the beach. I'm surprised they can get a fully loaded 747 in and out of there. I tried landing the 777 in FlightSim 2000 at St.Maarten and it seemed like a short strip.

User currently offlineTrvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3513 times:

Yes, the restaurant at SAN is called the Windsock. It has a great view of the airport and San Diego bay and the city also. The only bad part is that it is right next to the general aviation area, and if an old private 727 or DC-9 decides to park right next to you, your ears can be in for quite a beating...If you go on top of the blue parking garage at the corner of Kettner and Laurel Streets, you can get within 200 ft of an approaching plane. I honestly don't know how a 5 story building could have been allowed to be built just a few hundred meters from the airport directly in the landing path of landing jets!

Aaron G.


User currently offlineUS521 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

I think it is PIT. My hoouse is directly under the 10 mile final to RW32. They fly over at about 3000ft.
US521


User currently offlineTrvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3494 times:

that's pretty high up!

User currently offlineSWA737-500 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 3480 times:

I don't know if someone's already said this (too late a night to go through 16 messages), but Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field is pretty good for watching F.28s, DHC-8s and a few 737s.

User currently offlineEuro Flyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 3476 times:

YYZ is great. There is a parking lot beside the start of runway 24L and a fast-food and coffee shop across the street from it, directly under the path of the arriving/departing aircraft. The arriving planes come in pretty low above the sidewalk (enough for an on-looker to feel the rumbling in his/her chest when a DC-10 roars over).

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