TWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3048 posts, RR: 4 Posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 804 times:
I will be goin on a road trip to Washigton DC this spring, and I plan to go spotting at Cleveland- are there any really good places? (with a 135mm lens?) And when is the observation deck open? Plus- can you get into the terminals past security wothout a boarding pass?
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AKDan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 760 times:
Are you going with friends or your folks? By yourself? If your parents/friends are anything like mine, they wouldn't pay for parking at the airport to go look at planes. If your folks will do that, thats cool. Sorry, never flown into CLE. Drove through though on my Alaska to Maine road-trip. With my mom btw. Didn't much care for the city. Maybe because my road atlas was from 1989?
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 755 times:
CLE is pretty crappy for spotting, but there are a few places that you might strike it lucky.
The observation deck on the B concourse by the WN gates has a pretty good view of everything, but it is usually VERY WINDY up there, so beware.
Another good spotting place is down at the end of D concourse (can't remember the gate #s, but you will know it when you see it) where you have the full size glass windows looking out over the tarmac. Make sure you like CO 737s and ERJs, 'cos thats pretty much all you will get to see!
My fave hangout at CLE is Max & Erma's on B concourse, which provides some of the only edible food in the airport. The sports bar on concourse D is not too bad either, but gets horribly crowded when the 730pm RJ bank is departing.
Latechpilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 747 times:
There is a Sheraton at the airport in CLE. It costs a lot, but it's nice. If you're on a budget, the airport Ramada, Baymont, or Budget Inn all have rates less than $65. They are all within one mile of the airport. As far as spotting, there is a resturaunt at the approach end of Runway 23 called the 54th Bomber Group. It's pricey, but the food is good and they have outdoor dining...all within about a hundred yards from the runway. CLE doesn't have many exciting airplanes to look at, just the run-of-the-mill MD-80s, 737s, 757s, ATRs, ERJs, BE-1900s, CRJs, SF-340s, BAE-146s, etc. Sometimes you can see a nostalgic cargo plane coming from the cargo ramp. I've seen DC-3s, CV-480s, Electras, and DC-6s coming from back there. Hope this helps.
CleCo From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 569 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 740 times:
For spotting try the 10oth Bomber Squadron, not sure of that number. If there is something going on at the IX center than you can park in their lot. The Observation deck isn't completely open. You can go up, but you can't go in. I am not sure how to get there. but if you can, park in the RTA lot and take the train. That's 3 dollars as apposed to somewhere near 8. If you do this you won't have access to the Bomber squadron. More on that. Don't actually go in, take a right as soon as you get in the driveway, there will be a mound of dirt which you can climb up and get a nice view.
Kcle From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 686 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 722 times:
The mound by the 100th Bomber Restaurant is your best bet. I was just there last Sunday (3/11) and I got some nice pics. I just wish I could upload them. But thats what you get for having a 33.6 modem. But, back to spotting, the mound of dirt is the best spot. It places you just high enough over the cement barricade fence across the street on airport property placed there so you can't see the planes. Go figure! The best planes are the ones that depart on 23R, which is about 100 or so yards from the mound. The only thing you need to hope for, is a southwest wind, so that way, the planes will be arriving/departing on the 23's
N766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 7988 posts, RR: 27 Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 714 times:
No matter what the wind, th observation deck in B is very good. All aircraft headed to 23 pass right by it and the view is great for all runways. As long as it isnt muddy, the hill at the 100th bomb group is best. It is on Brook Park road. It is kind of near NASA. You can get great views. Some aircraft go right over you and the majority take off right in front of you. a 180mm is definatly all you will need. 180 is actually in excess. Best times: 7AM 12PM 2PM 4PM
Cle_tim From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 692 times:
When will you be stopping by? I might be able to head out to the "mound". Drop me a line. Everything is basic here...no very exciting traffic. However, if you're lucky, the Aer Lingus plane might be parked over at the A gates. Of course, its a Lingus plane, and has a small apple vacations title near the main door. There is also some ATA traffic on weekends (757/727) coming in from Las Vegas, and sometimes Cancun and other south of the border destinations. I agree with CleCo - park at the Brookpark rapid station (barely a drive at all from the airport entrance) and ride the train in. Just be careful with your car - hide valubles, park it near the entrance and make sure everything is locked. The rapid lots have been notorious for break-in's.
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4402 posts, RR: 38 Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 692 times:
Last summer, I found the top of the CLE parking garage great for spotting planes at the gate. If you like to get planes on the ramp, the garage roof offers excellent views of three of the four concourses. A 135 mm lens should be plenty for "pulling 'em in."
Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months ago) and read 678 times:
Hey TWA, CLE isn't the greatest airport for variety but it does have consistency... I would say if you've got flexibility in your schedule, try to visit on a Thursday night (7-9 PM) or Friday evening during rush hour (5-7 PM). On Thursday night, if it's clear, you can often see five or more planes lined up on the flight path.
If the weather is exceptionally good on a Thursday night, and they are using the 5s, you might even see VFR landings on Rwy 10. Last Thursday, for the first time in my experience, I saw VFR landings on 10 at night. I didn't think that was possible.
I would say afternoons and evenings are the time to be at CLE, since that's when the 757s are in town.
Kcle From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 686 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 671 times:
I'd also have to say that Sundays are good days as well. I agree with Redngold, there is no variety, just your usual RJs and narrowbodies. I've only recently started spotting, but I never remember seeing a widebody when I would pass by. I do remember once, I was at the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant, and I remember a large plane preparing for takeoff on one of the 23s. I was only like 3 yrs. old, so all I remember was that it was a dreary day (as usual in the great state of Ohio! I mean that by the weather. I like Ohio.) and the aircraft was white and light blue. I'm almost persuaded to say it was an EL AL Israel 747. Hope for nice weather in Cleveland, and storms along the East Coast, because then widebodies may come to Cleveland.
Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 675 times:
You won't need a boarding pass to get to the Observation Deck (unless someone bombs a plane again...)
The Observation Deck is located at the end of Concourse B. Whether you come in from the RTA Rapid Station or the parking garage, it's almost straight in front of you when you go through the lobby from the information desk. Or just look for, and follow, signs to Concourse B, and keep walking... and walking... until you're almost at the WN gates. On the left side of the concourse you'll see an elevator and a stairway. Go up one level and you'll be at the Observation Deck.
Unfortunately the outer portion of the OD is probably still locked. For safety reasons, the outer area is locked down during the winter and any severe weather (not just because of wind, but also icing and slippery-when-wet conditions.)
A few people have mentioned parking at the RTA Rapid station. That station is relatively easy to find. I'll give you directions here:
From I-71 north or south: Exit at West 150th Street. Turn south and drive approximately one mile to Brookpark Road. Turn right (west) on Brookpark Road. Ignore all of the porn shops on the right (had to add that) and look for a huge parking lot with a black and white sign that says "RTA Brook Park." That's the station. Watch out for one-way lanes in the parking lot.
From I-480 westbound: Pass both I-71 and the OH Rt. 237 exits. Take the next exit to Grayton Road. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp. Grayton tees into Brookpark Road. Turn left on Brookpark Road. (Almost immediately you'll pass the 100th Bomb Group spotting area on your left.) Continue straight on Brookpark Road, under a highway bridge and a railroad bridge. After the second set of bridges you will see a black and white sign that says "RTA Brook Park." That's the station. Watch out for one-way lanes in the parking lot.
From I-480 eastbound: Take the West 150th Street exit. You will actually end up on Brookpark Road. Follow the directions above for "From I-71."
TWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3048 posts, RR: 4 Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 669 times:
Well- thanks for all the info- but it appears ill be there at the worst time of all, Saturday morning, and i doubt that i will go if it is raining, being from Chicago, I can just come to ORD on a better day. Just seeing Continental is good enough for me, because all i see here is UA and AA and I am tired of it all. Thanks again.
btw- great website redngold
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on