UNN1011
Topic Author
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Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:01 am

Greetings!

I've dedicated a large percentage of my life to spotting and photographing commercial airplanes, and I'm wondering if pilots actually notice us fixated with telescopes, binoculars, and cameras beneath final runway approaches, atop terminals, airport parking lots, ski slopes, the beach, frozen lakes or even at a park a few miles from the airport?

Thank you kindly for any and all responses, Unn ./
 
b741
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:05 am

I have heard that commercial pilots are too busy to notice and the runway comes up really fast on approach. Eyes are fixated on instruments and straight ahead at runway.
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
 
Av8rDAL
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:10 am

Pax would be more qualified to answer this question. If my pilot's eyes are looking off in other directions other than what's in front of him, he shouldn't be in the cockpit.

Off-duty pilots commuting as passengers would probably know where to look tho..
Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
 
ragousis
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:21 am

Just to go a little off topic for a sec. As a commercial pilot I really enjoy airplane spotting. I never get tired of looking at airplanes, especially at LAX as most of my flight are in and out of there. That's why I wanted to be a pilot since I was young. What I don't understand is why a lot of you don't take your hobby a step further and become a pilot. Sure taking pictures and spotting are great fun, but it's not anywhere near as fun as actually flying the planes. It has to be the best job out there for an aviation fan.
 
FedExDC-10
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:25 am

While I'm not a commercial pilot, I do know that on landing all I see is runway and nothing else. LOL. Elvis could be on the threshold waving and I wouldn't notice it.

FedExDC-10
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:51 am

I'd never see you landing, but I notice spoters on departure. Often at Gatwick and Manchester.
 
Dtw757
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:53 am

Landings to me are the most difficult part of flying. There's not a lot of time to look around at anything other than the runway and the airspeed. You're so busy making small corrections especially if there's a crosswind. The runway is coming up at you fairly quickly and you don't want to slam onto it. I think this is probably true for any size airplane.
721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
 
jutes85
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:56 am

What I don't understand is why a lot of you don't take your hobby a step further and become a pilot. Sure taking pictures and spotting are great fun, but it's not anywhere near as fun as actually flying the planes. It has to be the best job out there for an aviation fan.

It is not as easy as it seems, most of us don't have the time or moey.
nothing
 
b741
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:59 am

DTW757

When training on a C152, I could never do a proper takeoff, always veered and the instructor took over. On the other hand, I did my own landing in a Katana without instructors help. Very easy and I really "greased it in". I guess I am the oddball. Whats hard is easy and whats easy is hard.

Robert
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
 
UNN1011
Topic Author
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:01 am

Thanks so far...

I probably should clarify a couple things:

1) In my case, I spot planes because my eyesight is horrendously substandard, especially at night/dark environments. Bad eye-genes!

2) Do pilots casually (ul) notice plane spotters in flight? For example, I have spotted jets on final to LAX 25L numerous times in the grassy pasture shown in this photograph. I'll set up the spotter studio between the approach lights of 25L & 25R: tripods, cameras, lawn chair, etc. All sorts of reflective stuff...

3) Ok, if not the PIC, then what about the FO?


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Just wondering, Unn ./

[Edited 2004-01-23 21:10:07]

[Edited 2004-01-23 21:13:47]
 
Bobs89irocz
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:07 am

Both pilots are pretty busy on final but if your out in the open (as a spotter) then im sure it wouldnt be hard for a pilot to see you. I have a PPL and i dont break consitration on an approach because it is so critical but my instructor is normally wondering off out the window watching things. We talk about it sometimes when he see something worth mentioning once we cleared the runway.

I know a 737 FO for USAir That has told me when he comes into PIT there is a river bend on a one of the runways approach and he has told me he has cought a fisherman taking a picture of him about around 200AGL, he said it kinda freaks him out in a way because of terrorist threats and all but as an aviation enthouisist he said its a great spotting area.
 
IAHERJ
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:12 am

When I was a pilot for Continental Express, we obviously operated in and out of IAH a lot. I knew the spotting point East of rwy 27 and when I was an RJ captain I would flash the lights at around 400 feet knowing that the spotters would be down there on pretty days. I didn't take my eyes off the runway/instruments but did take the time to let them know that we knew they were there. More than likely they were waiting for something more interesting than our Embraer 145 comming over but that is all I had to offer at the time.

IAHERJ

Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
N766UA
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:16 am

I'm usually too busy flying a Cessna to notice the people on the fence at a small airport. I only see them after shutdown on the way into the FBO. I'm sure most commercial pilots don't notice.
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DeltaMD11
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:34 am

Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
leviticus
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:47 am


So did this one  Laugh out loud


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AAR90
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:06 pm

I am far too busy to notice anything not directly associated with safely operating the aircraft and I hope my FO's are the same way. I have met a number of spotters from SJC area online and when I flew MD90s there regularly I would try to give them an unusual configuration for their collections. However, even when I knew where they'd be [I grew up 7 miles from SJC] I was always too busy to notice them once we got anywhere near a runway.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
wing
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:23 am

Either PF or PNF both pilots has tasks distributed and spotting the spotters is definetely not one of them.So during landing we both concentrate to flying the aircraft.But while waiting in line for departure and (in some airports) while parked at the gate I am seeing the people taking pictures of the airplanes and wave them.I have my pictures taken by A.net spotters.Here are some me at the controls.

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FlyGuyClt
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:48 am

I am not a pilot. But when sitting on a 747 jumpseat as a flight attendant for takeoff and landing. I always notice the spotters in AMS. And many thanks to them for some great shots on Anet. Some of the photos on Anet I was acutally on the airplane. Those shots are part of my screen saver. Many Thanks to the spotters in AMS ! I won't however notice you as much anymore, as the A330 has some small windows on the doors.

Safe Flying  Smile
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Coronado990
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:03 am

If you try and take pictures from atop the 7-story Laurel Street parking garage at SAN, the one just 1/2 block from the end of RWY 27, pilots will call authorities. A news man tried this and was escorted off the site by police after a pilot called in. I too thought I would pay the parking tab and park on top for at least one landing but they quickly told me don't even think about it.

If it such a threat...then tear it down! I always hated the fact that they would build such an idiotic thing anyway jeopardizing the lives of so many.

Uncle SAN at your service!
 
pilotpip
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:08 am

I do remember looking at my instructor and saying, "that guy is taking our picture" on that one. A few months later my buddy IMs me a link, I'm the one on the left. I don't remember why I was wearing a hat though, I never do that...

I would not have noticed AirNikon at any other time than sitting on the ramp. I was very busy when that picture was taken. Making sure I don't rip the wing off on the aircraft to our left, checking the instruments, programming the FMS  Nuts


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mandala499
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:43 am

1. I've been buzzed by an SF340 landing 16R in SYD once... only to get an sms from a friend... "Did I scare you on 16R with VH-*** today?"

2. I've got an sms after seeing a 732 land on 25L in Jakarta, and then once the plane got to the gate, an sms came in... "What the hell are you doing out at this time of the day? Dep in 20mins, shoot my t/o."

3. A few days after spotting in PKU/WIBB, got an sms from a GA 737 F/O, "damn, I thought you were in WIPP not WIBB. Should have come up to the f/d when I'm on ground."

Well, not many spotters in Indonesia Big grin

Mandala499
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Adam T.
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:26 am

There's an aviation museum right next to Runway 18L at CLT. I was over there just admiring the aircraft, no camera or binoculars, I just waved to a pilot in a US Airways 737 while he was waiting to turn onto the runway. Sure enough, he saw me and waved right back. I was like "hey, thats pretty cool".

Also, for Ragousis, I am taking my love for planes to the next level and becoming an airline pilot  Smile

Adam
 
SRD737NG
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:27 am

Taxiing around I'll notice spotters now and then, but when on the approach and landing phase of flight...no way. Not the time to be "looking around".
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Tue Jan 27, 2004 9:35 am

If most pilots don't notice then how come in that other thread the captain of that plane landing at (I think Dutch Antilles?) noticed some guy throwing something at his plane? He could even identify the offender.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:05 am

You can see that a couple of guys above are too busy to look to the left or right, but claim that they would notice if their copilot did - and think less of him for that. Guys, don't confuse target fixation or tunnel vision with professional discipline.

If, at this experience level, finishing out a visual approach to a landing is so demanding that you can't even notice a photographer or a missile launcher you might consider a less taxing career.

Loosen your tie a bit.

Yeah, I see you spotters and photographers from time to time. If I'm not busy I'll wave. There is even a photo in the database of a plane that I had just parked at the gate. I saw the photgrapher on the roof with his camera on a tripod. One day I will take my logbooks and search for more here.

I even reported someone to tower to have the airport police check them out once. It was late at night and they were stopped right under the approach lights. Probably innocent enough but worth checking on, and, in my opinion, just part of "situational awareness."

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
lyzzard
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:37 am

Well, this pilot noticed. Taken from the flightdeck.

http://www.pbase.com/image/25501553.jpg
 
AAR90
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Tue Jan 27, 2004 12:17 pm

If you try and take pictures from atop the 7-story Laurel Street parking garage at SAN, the one just 1/2 block from the end of RWY 27, pilots will call authorities.

No, but that's the excuse given. Look closely and you'll see security cameras throughout the building... especially on the roof. Read the parking stub and signs entering the building and you'll see you've agreed to a "no loitering" clause. That clause has been there since the day it opened. Primarily for security of all that private property parked there. One of the first things the parking attendants told me when I started parking there was to avoid the roof if at all possible... too many vandals and thieves go there compared to other floors [virtually none].

how come...noticed some guy throwing something at his plane?

A "spotter" is looking or photographing. ie. essentially not moving much. I'll notice them if I'm not too busy and they're real visible [hmmm, roadway north of KMCO is a good example], but if nothing unusual is going on I'll probably just at quickly forget about them as I'm paying attention to a few more important things.
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scbriml
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:22 am

I would be surprised if anyone in the cockpit noticed spotters/photographers while landing. Taxiing for take off is a different matter altogether - I've often had a wave (or a two finger salute)  Smile
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aviatortj
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RE: Commercial Pilots, Do You Notice...

Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:57 am

At GFK, I am working on getting my skills up to being able to be a commercial airline pilot one day. There is a group of us that does some spotting along the terminal fence here and the pilots to wave to us all the time. Unfortunately, I bet they are doing it out of pity because they are in that warm plane while we are taking their picture out in the cold. When this F/O stuck himself out the window and waved, I was lucky enough to have my camera up and turned on. I have gotten e-mails days later saying that they have stopped or slowed their taxi so we could take their picture. Thanks to all of them, it always makes my day.


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