Topic Author
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2000 4:36 am

Spotting @ LHR And LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 4:44 am

In April We're going to visit our relatives at Los Angeles and I would like to combine spotting to this trip.
On our way to LAX we're going to make a stop @ LHR. There we have a three hour break before flight to LAX.
Now I would like to know that what is the best place @ LHR to go in this three hours? I don't think I have time to leave the airport, so I have to take photos from terminals, so which terminal is the best?
Also any (spotting) information about LAX would be nice.

btw. is it legal to use a scanner at London and Los Angeles?

Thanks in advance.

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RE: Spotting @ LHR And LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 4:53 am

I spent some time at LAX last april and there is a observation deck at the top of the dome looking thing by the control tower. It was raining that day so the deck was closed so I had to look elsewhere. there is a parking ramp close to the Bradley International Terminal and I went to the top of that and got some good pictures and did some video taping from there It turnned out to be a very good place.
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LHR @ T2

Thu Jan 20, 2000 5:31 am

you can spot most activities and especially 27L/09R from spectetor viewing area on top of terminal 2,also you can use scanner at LHR,i have used it myself and have seen loads of people doing so.

RE: Spotting @ LHR And LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 6:31 am

The gallery on top of T2 at LHR gives a good view of rwy 27L/09R and T4 and the nearest piers of T2 (European traffic); it's difficult to see T3 (long haul) clearly but you'll be able to see them as they taxi out. You can see the threshold of 27R, and a/c using it are visible from the gallery across the terminal complex. As far as I know it's OK to use scanners. The gallery can get a bit crowded and it's a bit of a schlepp up the stairs, but it's free and there's a snack bar and a good shop selling aviation books etc.
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RE: Spotting @ LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 8:10 am

Spotting at LAX is a bit tricky. If you're wanting to do the terminal-walking thing, then you have do decide on either north side or south side. The north side was terminals housing Northwest, Alaska, Air Canada, Hawaiian, Southwest, USAirways, and America West. I suggest the terminal with Southwest, America West, and USAirways. It is right at the base of the parallels, so you can get landing shots with zoom lens, and taxiing photos with the best sunlight, if it decides to shine.

The south side has terminals housing Delta, National, United, American, and Continental. I suggest the American terminal, right at the end. There you get shots of rotating aircraft on the south parallels, and taxi shots, but you're kinda looking into the sun, not good for photos unless it's overcast.

Good luck!!
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Tom in NO
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RE: Spotting At LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 10:34 am

Being a native of LA, and having spent lots of time at LAX, I can highly recommend 2 places for spotting at LAX:

#1) the theme building in the middle of the terminal complex. It's entered via an elevator at the base of the building, the observation deck itself is not well marked at the base, but look for signs marked "Endeavour" (it's the name of the restaurant in the building, at least I think that's the name), and you're close. There are superb views in every direction, and lots of traffic. You will need to consider a long lens to get adequate runway pictures, but expect excellent results. Check my photos on the website, keywords "" for some examples.

#2) The other site is a ground level parking lot behind a restaurant known as the "Proud Bird". It is located at the corner of Aviation Boulevard and 111th Street. Just drive around the restaurant to the lot in back. Some excellent approach shots can be had from here.

Good luck, and enjoy your journey!

Tom (now in NO at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
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RE: Spotting @ LHR And LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 12:55 pm

I've compilied some information about spotting at LAX that's on my web page. It's at Hopefully it will be of help.

Sorry for the crazy text in some's still a work in progress.

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
Topic Author
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2000 4:36 am

RE: Spotting @ LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 9:33 pm

Thank you very much of this helpful information!

But I still have a few questions:

1. That "Theme building" at LAX. How long lens is needed to take shots of taxiing aircrafts, and how long lens for runways?

2.Do you know any Internet-sites with a good LAX map with steet names in it? Because you have listed a lot of streets, but I don't have a map of the airport  

3.I guess it's okay to use a scanner at LAX?

4.And one for LHR: Our flight arrives at T1 and next flight starts at T4. So is it allowed to go to T2:s spotters terrace without a ticket to T2? (what I ment is that is it allowed to move freely between the terminals?)

Thanks in advance (again).


RE: Spotting @ LHR And LAX

Thu Jan 20, 2000 10:50 pm

There is no problem going in any terminal at LHR, no ticket is needed. However NONE of the insides of the terminals provide decent views except airside. I also recommend you take the short walk outside of T2 and go to the spectators terrace. Try walking around the central area between T2 and T3, you sometimes get some good stuff there which is real close to you. Otherwise, there isn't much else inside the central area. As for terminal 4, try to get a bus there and not the Express or tube. It may take longer, but you get to go past the maintenance area and the Thresholds of both runways on the way to T4.

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