Hi everybody, this is my first post but I've been lurking around lately, so I figured, why not join this incredibly interesting site formally. Anyway, I've been spotting at Fort Lauderdale airport and sometimes Miami, too.
I do have one little problem, though. As some of you locals know, Ft. Lauderdale's official viewing area off of 39th street gives a nice view of arrivals and take-offs when the traffic-pattern is on 9L. Unfortunately, I've noticed that over the past few rain-soaked weeks we've been having, the traffic is 9 times out of 10 using 27R, which makes the left side viewing area worthless. My guess is because our usual climate makes for westerly winds when it rains, making FLL use 27R. I know about going to the top of the parking garage for photographing on 27R, but I must say, the level of harassment by Broward Sheriffs is outstanding! A few days ago, I was spotting for about four hours on the top of the garage when a cop comes up to me and starts with the usual chat... I always am permitted to stay, after the cop finally realizes I'm not a threat (and let's just say I look pretty innocent anyway).
Anyway, I guess my question is, is there some type of website or internet-connected software that can show me which way the current traffic pattern is into Fort Lauderdale? It's always great to spot traffic on 9L, but these days, it seems that on every visit the planes are on 27R, on the other side of the airport obscured by the terminal buildings. Living 10 miles from the airport, I don't find out the direction of traffic until I'm a mile or two away. I'm about 20 miles from MIA, and while it has a TON of traffic, the airport always seems to use too many runways at once... so if you're spotting one runway, you're missing very cool planes using the other side.
It's great to finally be a member .