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Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:48 am

Right, here goes.

Name two or three destinations in the USA which are:

1) Very convenient to get to (i.e. plenty of flights);
2) Very good for spotting the movements - NOT photographing and for someone WITHOUT a car - so somewhere in or very close to the terminal area;
3) Suitable for a winter trip, so not too cold - ideally warm; and
4) Busy with regular flights.

I'm not bothered whether the movements are dominated by one carrier or whether there's a good regular range of airlines and aircraft.

Cheers!  Wink/being sarcastic
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RE: Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:24 am

1) SFO. Many hotels are near the airport such as the Marriott, which overlooks the runways and is accompanied by a nice shoreline park. Free shuttles are offered to and from the airport and you can take BART, which is the transit system that will take you from the airport to downtown San Francisco. It only takes 20 minutes and cost only about $4.00 each way.

2) LAX. It may be tough for you to get around LA without a car, however if you are planning on staying at one of the airport properties then you are pretty much set as long as you get a good room.

These two airports has a lot of widebody aircraft every single day that comes in and out. Plus many International airlines fly's to these locations.
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RE: Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:32 am

I second Llmamura's suggestion for SFO. You can see the plane (on a clear day) when it first checks in with the tower. You can see all four active, intersecting runways from the same spot (called Bayshore Park, right across the Westin and beside the Mariott; short walkable distance from the Millbrae station). With a receiver, you can listen in on all the action on the runaways.

Tons of international traffic on most afternoons (Asian/European heavies arriving/departing). Lots of UA planes too, of course.

By far, my favourite plane spotting place in the US.
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RE: Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:47 am

TPA is good for spotting as you can do some great spotting from the top of the carpark. Also MCO is ok, but for my new favorite spots you need a car. I do like LAX as a good alternative. Because with LAX you can walk around the field and it had a wide variety of a/c and airlines.

Sean from MCO
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RE: Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:02 pm

I would go to Gravelly Point, which meets almost all of your requirements. It is a short, but not super easy walk from the terminal or the DCA Metro station. Plenty of traffic to watch with a mix of jets and turboprops. Plus you also have the DC monuments in the background.

The downside is that it can be cold in the winter. And if it is sunny odds are it will be windy... and with the wind blowing off of the river it can be God awful. But it is one of the places that you can get up close to the planes without much hassle.
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RE: Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:04 pm

While it's not the warmest place, I must throw in Reagan National in Washington, DC. You can take the metro to the terminal and take a short walk to Gravely Point park, the foot of the most active runway. Depending on the winds, you can practically throw stones (not that you would, or course!) taking off or landing. The only downside is that there aren't any heavies to speak of.
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RE: Recommend 2 Or 3 Places In US For Spotting...

Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:07 pm

Nothing rivals LAX in number of movements, also lots of flights there, not too cold and great places to spot from.

Even if you don't have a car, you can go to In-N-Out Burger on the northern side of the field which is maybe a ten minute walk from Terminal 1. You'll be able to see everything landing and taking off on the two northern runways.

You can also take the bus to the C lot and from there the bus to El Segundo and the Imperial Hill, where you will have a great view of the southern part of the airport and with a telescope you can probably read off things off taxing on the northern part of the airport too. The Imperial Hill has great parkbenches where you can sit and just a five minute walk westwards are 7 eleven and other stores where you can get refreshments. You'll probably go away with 200-300 new numbers after spotting a full day if not more. I usually alternate bewteen the two places when I'm there.

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