Posts: 2226
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:15 am

Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:33 am

How may of you spot planes? I mean the whole thing of blocknotes , registrations and binoculars?

I have to admit that although I love planes and aviation I find the idea of spotting somewhat boring and never do that.
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
Posts: 6905
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:20 am

I do it. Right now, I have about 80% of the entire Delta mainline fleet, about 75% of the US Airways mainline fleet, about 60% of the American mainline fleet. My only realy complete fleet is the Delta Connection FRJs (all 30 in Delta Colours, plus the three in non-DL colours that they use frequently), and the ASA ATR-72s (all 17 of them)...I only need a few more Delta MD-88s to get that one out of the way...if lucky, I'll have that fleet by the end of the year.

As for why I spot, I don't know. I started out as a photographer, and I still do a little photography, but my photos normally aren't great (I only have 6 shots here). However, the concept of each plane having a unique identity had a nice sound to it, and I decided to go after those registrations. I currently have registrations from about 100 different airlines (ranging from about 2000 from Delta to one from airlines like Aloha, Crossair, and Cronus), on pretty much every major type imaginable (All Boeings from the 717-777 except the 737-600; I do have a few 737-100s!), All Airbus except for the A340-500 (didn't get the SQ one in EWR or LAX; next time hopefully), all McDonell Douglas from DC-9 up (except DC-9-20; also have DC-8-70s, DC-4, and DC-6s in there); all the Dashes, all the Embraers from EMB-120 to EMB-170, CRJ-100/200/700 (no 900s...), I could go on...

Basically, I don't head out to the airport all that often to spot. This summer, I think I spent 1-2 days just going to the airport to spot (Constitution Beach in Boston); the rest of the time, I just grabbed registrations as I would travel.

I keep my logs in an Excel spreadsheet...I have one page dedicated to the entire spotting list, then if I have about 1/3 of an airlines fleet, I create a page where I list the f/n of each aircraft in the fleet, and just make the box red if I have seen the plane. So far, I have these types of pages for AA, UA, DL, NW, CO, US, WN, American Eagle, Comair, ASA, ACA and ExpressJet. I'll probably be putting one up for Chautauqua in the next month or two, I have about 1/3rd of their fleet, mostly DL and US, but the occasional American, and I'm sure I'll get more additions to my UA Chautuaqua fleet at IAD next month.

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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:34 am

Usually for me, I just go out and watch the planes. On some occasions, I will bring binoculars and/or a camera (the latter not being a NOT professional photographer grade).

In comparison to others on this site, I'm a rookie/amatuer when it comes to photography, tail numbers, etc.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:35 am

No notebooks, binoculars or registrations for me, all i do is turn up at the end of the runway and marvel at the sheer beauty of a 747 or A330 rotating in close proximity.
I'm thinking of photography though.
In Arsene we trust!!
Posts: 4427
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:15 pm

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:44 am

Nope, But I have an interest in observing and photographing these airliners.

It completely chills me out when the weathers good, its sunny and not too cold, and when I can watch arriving and departing aircraft.

Not a plug or anything like that, but some of my uploaded shots can be seen Here.

I like to try, and I am fortunate enough to have relatively decent kit. So it pays off in a way.

The thought of a notebook and binoculars kind of makes me shiver as that is what I would call OTT!  Big grin (Don't shoot me guys!)

Now having an airwave scanner is kind of geeky, but its so useful when you are at airfields that are not necessarily that busy, so I would probably get one soon.

Just my 0.02p.


Justin Wood Big grin or +447751242989
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:31 pm

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:49 am

Now having an airwave scanner is kind of geeky, but its so useful when you are at airfields that are not necessarily that busy, so I would probably get one soon.

 Laugh out loud You tend to visit LHR a lot to so is this an admission your a geek? lol
One Life, Live it.
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:20 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:09 am

I ALWAYS have a handheld "scanner", and a list of freqs, sumtimes I take my digital camera.
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 6:13 am

I take pictures with my old-fashioned reflex camera, file them, and if I can read the registration I write it down also. It´s nice to see the same plane at various locations, and I have various pictures of the same planes in different liveries (either old & new colour schemes, or change of operator). I wouldn´t just write down the reg and that´s it, I prefer to make nice pictures.
I am thinking of buying a scanner though.
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 5:59 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:33 pm

Spotting (Note pad Bins,flying over the world) = 25 years
Photography/downloading to A.Net = 6 months (196 photo's and counting !!)
Flight sims = on and off 2 years
Herpa Models = 1 year
Working at LHR = 16 years

Apart from that im not involved in aircraft at all  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Canon 1D Mk III,Canon 20D+17-40 L f4.0,70-200 L IS USM f2.8,400 L USM f5.6,135 mm L f2.0, 50 mm f1.8,1.4 x II extender
Posts: 1818
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:28 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Wed Sep 22, 2004 3:51 am

Justin - no matter whether you have a scanner or not you are a geek Big grin

Back to the topic. I think scanners are a good thing to have. For example you know the flight number of the aircraft landing and if you listen to the radar you can prepare you photography kit for what is coming and what angle you want to shoot the plane at. A scanner is also useful for before you leave home you can find out what runway is in use at your local airport so you dont look like an idiot and go the wrong side of the airport.

Anyways I take my camera with but I don't right down the registrations. I use the pics as reference  Smile/happy/getting dizzy (and evidence for no one who would beleive I saw the particular plane)

LY7E7 - Isn't spotting in Israel pretty hard because of security anyway?

Proudly South African
Posts: 531
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:13 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:58 am

I used to go spotting and photographing at Munich and Nurnburg. Im not a pro photographer but enjoy having proof of what I have seen. I have roughly 40% of the Lufthansa fleet and Air Berlin.
Cleared for the option...
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Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:06 am

RE: Plane Spotting

Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:07 am

When I go spotting, I take my camera, binoculours, note pads, to write down regs, fleet list books, spotters books. and a lot of lists with vital Airport information, such as flight schedules, lists with registration information and a lot of other info. And of course a ladder and a chair

Thats all i take  Smile

Homer: Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.

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