Well, there's my parents' house and my college house, so I'll just do both.
Parents: About 40 miles SE
. We hear departures on the COULT1 from MSP
all the time. These are flights going to Chicago, Detroit, New York, and basically all over the northeast. On a nice day we can look up and see the planes. Usually they are close enough yet to tell what kind of plane it is (757, or DC-9, etc), but generally not what airline unless we use binoculars. (The inverse of this happened once with me. I was flying CO MSP
and I had the window seat and could see my house! But of course we were probably around 15000 or more by then so it was pretty small from up there. Cool nonetheless!)
For arrivals, we sometimes see them when the 30s are in use, which is about 2/3 of the time. However, most aircraft pass to the north of us and we don't see them. However, when traffic is heavy, some inbounds pass to our south (where our deck is) and we can see them. Yesterday, an obvious NW
A319 passed by. When there are storm clouds over MSP
, but the airport itself is dry, inbounds generally descend earlier and then come by our house more. This is also the case after storms. After a storm last summer, it was around 11 PM
, and inbounds came low right over our house. I could make out a big green "a" (airTran) on a 717 from MDW
. But most times, spotting is rather difficult to do from my house besides listening.
College: My college house is about 5 miles SSE of PHX
. We can see the whole pattern but it gets dull after a while. We see departures from the 7L
and arrivals to 25L and 26. By the time they are abeam to our house, they are on their final approaches with gear down and everything. When departing, they haven't even turned yet, but are past their initial climb (after they slow the engines a little bit). However, when the Dash-8s depart, they bank right very early and pass quite close to our house. I actually saw the first Dash-8 in the new US colors a couple of hours before someone posted about them on here! I've only seen the BA
747 arriving once (from my house - I've seen it more from the ASU
campus), but last semester, I saw the Hawaiian 767 departing almost every morning. Due to its size, I could also see it make its whole turn westbound towards Honolulu.