TinkerBelle
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Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:48 pm

For those who live in Frisco, which is the best place to spot @ SFO? I've been to the 'Elephants bar' on Milbrae which is a couple of hundred feet away from the start of 28R/L but I bet Jacobin777's beloved NW A330 pic wasn't taken from there. I was wondering if there's a better place to spot closer to the runways than the shoreline behind Elephants bar. Thank you.
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DocLightning
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:21 am

There is a long-term parking lot at the end of Rwy 1 (Rwy 1? lord help me...I forget the number). Anyway, the heavies lift off and pass right over the parking lot and a fully-loaded 744 will set off most of the car alarms.

Bring earplugs.  Smile
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leelaw
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:26 am

Quoting TinkerBelle (Thread starter):
For those who live in Frisco

Oooooooh...Never say Frisco to a resident...it's "The City."  Smile
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WindowSeat
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:33 am

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 2):
Oooooooh...Never say Frisco to a resident...it's "The City."

True! It is "the city" or simply San Francisco.

As for spots, the Bayfront park is not a bad idea. You can catch the 28L/R arrivals and the 1L/R departures. They've put up a new fence now so the view is not as great, but nonetheless it is better than most places.

Also, post this in the aviation photography forum, I'm sure you will get better responses.

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:39 am

Thanx for the info everybody.

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 2):
Oooooooh...Never say Frisco to a resident...it's "The City."

Just out of curiosity, why is that? I've gotten used to calling it that but I guess I have to watch out.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:55 am

darn right..when I lived in San Francisco, I didnt like it when I heard "Frisco"... masher 


as posted above, BayShore Park is a good place to spot, as one can see arrivals of the 28's, certainly in the afternoon...

also farther along BayShore Park, one can see some take offs from the 1's and some heavies taxiing towards the 28's....usually early morning to early evenings are the best time to spot...........but it can get very windy on some days...


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AgentM
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:43 am

Does anyone know if you can sit in a boat near the 28L/R approach? Perhaps on either side or behind the approach lights (not touching them of course). If you could do that, it would make for some really great shots!

Quoting TinkerBelle (Thread starter):
I've been to the 'Elephants bar' on Milbrae which is a couple of hundred feet away from the start of 28R/L

After eating at the Elephant Bar or BeniHana, it's always a tradition of mine to just walk along that path watching the planes come in  Smile
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:01 am

Quoting AgentM (Reply 6):
Does anyone know if you can sit in a boat near the 28L/R approach? Perhaps on either side or behind the approach lights (not touching them of course). If you could do that, it would make for some really great shots!

My guess is that you'd be there long enough to witness the closing of the 28L/R runways right before they whisk you away. Wouldn't wanna be the first to try that for sure  biggrin 

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 5):
Jacobin777

If the BA 747 pic you posted above was the 6:55pm departure, I was on it on April 27th. What a coincidence.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
KaiGywer
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:05 am

You could also go to the rental car ramp.
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TinkerBelle
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:21 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
There is a long-term parking lot at the end of Rwy 1 (Rwy 1? lord help me...I forget the number). Anyway, the heavies lift off and pass right over the parking lot and a fully-loaded 744 will set off most of the car alarms.

I left my car for two days at the long term parking lot at the end of 28R and my battery was dead when I got back. Was wondering why when I couldn't start the car and right around then a 747 took off and set off all car alarms in the lot. Scared the sh*t out of me since I didn't expect it. Moral of the story is....Be sure to have jumper cables or AAA membership next time you leave your car there  biggrin 
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
Dreamflight767
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:11 am

My favorite spot is the top level (4th floor) of the BART station parking garage on E. Millbrae Ave. There are some power lines that get in the way a little, but other then that it is a great! When planes are landing on the 1s (which rarely happens) it is like SXM except you get ALL the heavies right over your head.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:55 am

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 7):
If the BA 747 pic you posted above was the 6:55pm departure, I was on it on April 27th. What a coincidence.

wow..strange coincidence...but but unfortunately, it was the first flight....SpeedBird 284..in fact, I know because I have another photo with speedbird 287 coming in towards the terminal as this one was taxiing towards the 28's), unfortunately, I got the tail of the plane cut off, otherwise I would have posted that photo (with 2 BA planes) instead....

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 7):
My guess is that you'd be there long enough to witness the closing of the 28L/R runways right before they whisk you away. Wouldn't wanna be the first to try that for sure  biggrin 

I've thought about that also, but I feel its not worth the risk, especially given the fact I'm already probably on Millbrae Police's database now...


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Mcmax
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:09 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 5):
darn right..when I lived in San Francisco, I didnt like it when I heard "Frisco"...

I think "Frisco" was the name people in Southern California made up in derogatory reference to San Francisco. And, FYI, it's not just "the city," but "The City." San Franciscans are a rather proud, if not a bit exclusive bunch. And before the flames start, I'm a native San Franciscan myself, who happens to live in Southern California.

As to spotting, there used to be a little parking strip off the 101 near the end of one of hold areas for one of the runways. Is that still there?

--Max
De minimis non curat lex tamen ego curao
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:10 pm

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 10):
My favorite spot is the top level (4th floor) of the BART station parking garage on E. Millbrae Ave.

You gotta show me that one. I am not sure exactly where it is.

I was in the long term parking lot on Saturday and it is probably one of the best places to spot. You can sit by the fence precisely down the centerline of 28R and watch them come at you and go over your head. We parked the car along the centerline and climbed through the sunroof..Fun! Awesome sight as the 744s begining to retract the landing gear right over your head. If anyone wants to head out there in the near future let me know.

Oh and if you see the Air France A343 coming at you, duck  wink 

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
777D
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:55 pm

I used to live in San Bruno, and often went down to Millbrae and also, I cannot remember at this moment but I can drive there if I was there at this moment is the small parking lot next to the runways. A fence is up but I saw a few wide bodies take off from that runway.
I was there last in 1998.
I miss those days.
 
modesto2
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:26 pm

I always loved the parking lot off 101 at the end of 1L/R. However, I believe that lot is now closed or restricted. The Elephant Bar is a great place, too. I love just driving past the airport on 101 and watching the planes lined up for 1R departures.

And yes, it's "The City" and a rather fine city at that!
 
sjsu2sjcAA777
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:03 pm

Also coyote point provides a great view of all in coming aircraft for runways 28L/R. One more place is the parking garages next to the international terminals great view of the foreign airlines!!!
 
RichardJF
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:11 pm

Sadly there don't seem to be any pictures uploaded yet of NZ 777's arriving at SFO. I believe they arrive at around 10am each morning except monday. I'm sure they'd be well appreciated.
 
cschleic
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 8:38 pm

Bayfront Park also provides the occasional view of two planes landing at once, or two 744's nose-to-nose (one starting to roll, the other taxiing out).

If you're flying Alaska Air or, I think, America West, there are good views from the end of that concourse of planes taxiing past to the 1's for departure; but you miss the heavies going to the 28's. For arrivals, if you're in the United or American terminal, good views of 28 arrivals as they turn left off the runways, and heavies rotating for takeoff.

Even when I lived in other parts of northern California, it was The City. The "F" word is a major insult.
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:40 pm

Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 13):
If anyone wants to head out there in the near future let me know.

I think I might head down there this coming weekend but I haven't confirmed yet. Will letchu know if I do.

Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 13):
Oh and if you see the Air France A343 coming at you, duck

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

Quoting Cschleic (Reply 18):
Even when I lived in other parts of northern California, it was The City. The "F" word is a major insult.

Didn't know the 'F' word is an insult to 'The city's' residents.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 19):
I think I might head down there this coming weekend but I haven't confirmed yet. Will letchu know if I do.

I might not be able to make it this weekend. I have a few A.netter friends coming into town to celebrate NEw Year's. Maybe next weekend. On the other hand, if you would like to join us this weekend, you're most welcome.

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:19 am

Quoting McMax (Reply 12):
I think "Frisco" was the name people in Southern California made up in derogatory reference to San Francisco. And, FYI, it's not just "the city," but "The City." San Franciscans are a rather proud, if not a bit exclusive bunch. And before the flames start, I'm a native San Franciscan myself, who happens to live in Southern California.

yes...its called "The City"......NYC is also considered "The City" or "The Big City" also...that's what we used to call it when I lived there a few years ago..:D

yah...you southern californians..... stirthepot  box  duck 

Quoting McMax (Reply 12):

As to spotting, there used to be a little parking strip off the 101 near the end of one of hold areas for one of the runways. Is that still there?

nah.unfortunately, they completely closed that area off....not to mention, fenced up part of the 1's (see my photos above)

Quoting 777D (Reply 14):
I used to live in San Bruno, and often went down to Millbrae and also, I cannot remember at this moment but I can drive there if I was there at this moment is the small parking lot next to the runways. A fence is up but I saw a few wide bodies take off from that runway.
I was there last in 1998.
I miss those days.

they still do take off from the 1's, but there is no general parking allowed anymore.... Sad

Quoting RichardJF (Reply 17):
Sadly there don't seem to be any pictures uploaded yet of NZ 777's arriving at SFO. I believe they arrive at around 10am each morning except monday. I'm sure they'd be well appreciated.

I was there the day on its 1st arrival.... biggrin  however the weather was bad and I wasn't able to take any good shots....... Sad

Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 13):
I was in the long term parking lot on Saturday and it is probably one of the best places to spot. You can sit by the fence precisely down the centerline of 28R and watch them come at you and go over your head. We parked the car along the centerline and climbed through the sunroof..Fun! Awesome sight as the 744s begining to retract the landing gear right over your head. If anyone wants to head out there in the near future let me know.


Oh and if you see the Air France A343 coming at you, duck  Wink

WindowSeat....could you tell me more about this? I'm quite curious as to how to get there...is it the "far" parking lot, i.e. not the main one for the airport?

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 10):
My favorite spot is the top level (4th floor) of the BART station parking garage on E. Millbrae Ave. There are some power lines that get in the way a little, but other then that it is a great! When planes are landing on the 1s (which rarely happens) it is like SXM except you get ALL the heavies right over your head.

have the security/police come to ask or hound you over there?

i've parked there a few times, and I've found it to be a bit far, but with a good lens kit, its not that bad......

that being said, I would LOVE to be there when planes arrive on the 1's.... yes 
"Up the Irons!"
 
cschleic
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:28 am

If I remember right, the top of the rental car center garage has a good view looking down the 28/10 runway pair. The automated tram system runs there from the terminals. Don't know about security hassles on that garage, though.

Come to think of it, the tram system has a good view of the international gates as it goes from the international terminal towards the rental car/long term parking areas. It's kind of quick, though, but has a good elevated view.

Here's a good spotter's link:

http://flygga.tripod.com/index.html
 
leamside
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:59 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jack Hannen


Above is a shot taken from the top floor of the Car Rental Garage. One's presence might be challenged by employees or authorities though.
 
FiveMileFinal
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:00 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 21):
WindowSeat....could you tell me more about this? I'm quite curious as to how to get there...is it the "far" parking lot, i.e. not the main one for the airport?

Yeah, you want to take the San Bruno Ave exit, then go east, stay in the middle lane, and at the light where the UAL Maintenance building is on the left (I think that's Bayshore?), you want to make a slight right (not a hard right - that puts you on the road to rental cars and what not). Follow the signs to Long Term Parking, go inside, get your ticket and then go as far south as you can. Last time I did long term parking at SFO (early in the morning) I got a chance to see a FedEx DC-10 power off of 28R...AWESOME. Big grin
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WindowSeat
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:28 am

Quoting Cschleic (Reply 22):
If I remember right, the top of the rental car center garage has a good view looking down the 28/10 runway pair. The automated tram system runs there from the terminals. Don't know about security hassles on that garage, though.

It does have a great view and no they don't hassle you. Pretend as if you are going to the next agency to pick up the car and you're fine. I have been up there and it is a good view of the 10/28s. Must go back there sometime.

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:26 am

Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 20):
I might not be able to make it this weekend. I have a few A.netter friends coming into town to celebrate NEw Year's. Maybe next weekend. On the other hand, if you would like to join us this weekend, you're most welcome.

Thanx for the invite but I actually just found out I can't make it this weekend. Will let you know though one of these coming weekends when I drive up there.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:13 am

Quoting FiveMileFinal (Reply 24):
Yeah, you want to take the San Bruno Ave exit, then go east, stay in the middle lane, and at the light where the UAL Maintenance building is on the left (I think that's Bayshore?), you want to make a slight right (not a hard right - that puts you on the road to rental cars and what not). Follow the signs to Long Term Parking, go inside, get your ticket and then go as far south as you can. Last time I did long term parking at SFO (early in the morning) I got a chance to see a FedEx DC-10 power off of 28R...AWESOME.  biggrin 

cool..thanks for the info!!...i copied and pasted this info to my pda...

next I go spotting at SFO, I'll head out over there... biggrin 

 Smile
"Up the Irons!"
 
goomba
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:27 am

The Embassy Suites parking lot on Anza Blvd is also a great place to watch the 28R and 28L traffic. There are no fences to block your view and there is a clear line of sight to the very end of the runways.

Nice place to watch for sure.
 
Dreamflight767
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:33 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 21):

I've been spotting at SFO since I was 5 years old. I have NEVER been stopped by the police (knock on wood). I'd like to keep it that way too! It is a bit far, but you get a clear view right down the 1s and the cross traffic on the 28s. I can't think of any other place that gives you such a great view of all the runways with free parking. The other day when I was up there, I caught one of the BA 744 take off from 1R. Talk about luck!

If you want a GREAT view of 28s...sneak up to the top level of the rental car garage. I won't go into any more details.  devil 
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:25 am

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 29):
If you want a GREAT view of 28s...sneak up to the top level of the rental car garage. I won't go into any more details.

haha. That is a great view, I was up there with a few A.netters when I was visiting SF last year (that was before I moved here). If you want to see the smoke on touchdown on the 28s that would be the place to go.

Also, about the long term parking lot, there is a taxiway which goes around 28R on the fence side which they use to tow United aircraft from the terminal to the superbay. At that point they are only about couple hundred feet from the fence. Last time we were there they were towing a United 757 in new colors.

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:42 am

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 10):
My favorite spot is the top level (4th floor) of the BART station parking garage on E. Millbrae Ave. There are some power lines that get in the way a little, but other then that it is a great!

do the cops give you any hassle at the parking garage? i remember Jack Hennan telling me about this spot but i didn't get over, i'll be in San Francisco again in a few weeks and wouldn't mind trying this spot.

if anyone wants to take me about to the parking garage spots it would be great, i know how to get to bayshore and coyote so they are no problem.

i'll have a car also!
 
jacobin777
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:00 pm

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 29):
If you want a GREAT view of 28s...sneak up to the top level of the rental car garage. I won't go into any more details.  devil 

I'm not saying anything, except thanks for the info...... Wink
"Up the Irons!"
 
Dreamflight767
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RE: Best Place To Spot @ SFO?

Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:03 pm

Wish I could help you folks out but I'm flying back to school next weekend (1/7).

Again, the instructions to the BART station are very simple:

-From North or South bound 101, take the East Millbrae Ave. exit going westbound (away from the airport).

-Stop at the In & Out and grab a great burger.

-Then hang a right on Rollins Rd (I think that is the name of the street). There will be a stop light at that intersection. You'll see the BART parking garage right in front of you. Head toward it and up to the top level and enjoy the burger and view!

Tonight Kitty Hawk 709 a 747-100 to MSP departed from the 1R! Extreme luck!

For anyone spotting next Sat., I'll be on United 807 SFO-ORD departing at 11:40 AM. I think the equipment is supposed to be a 757. I'll be looking out my window toward the BART garage as we taxi!!

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