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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 12:38 pm

Sea-Tac Locations

Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:20 am

I'm going to be taking my first trip just for spotting in August and I got tickets for SEA. Does anyone know where some good areas are to photograph? Since I'll only be there one night I'm gonna stay at an airport hotel. Do any of them overlook the runway? Thanks for any help you guys can give me.


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RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:35 am

Hey there,

I've spotted at Sea-Tac many times. There used to be a designated spotting area across from the airport, but it was kinda hard to find, but its closed now anyway due to construction of a third runway.

Anyway, as for hotels, I would recommend the Double Tree, its the tallest in the area, and the lounge on the top floor gives a great view of the airport.

As for other areas to spot, If the planes are landing on runway's 34L and 34R, the south end of the airport, go to Tyee Golf Course is a great place, sometimes the workers there will give you trouble for being there and not golfing, but usually they let you stay.

If the planes are landing on runway's 16L and 16R, the north side of the airport, there is a perimeter road that can be found without too much trouble, I can't give you real specific directions on how to get there, because my had has always been driving, but its not too hard to find, just head for the north end of the airport, there is even a big turn out area for you to park.

hope that helps you, get ready to photograph lots of Alaska 737s, Southwest 737s, and Horizon Dash 8s!

I'm at sea-tac a lot, so here are some times when the wide bodys arrive and depart.

SAS A340, arrives around 10:00 or 11:00am, leaves at approx. 7:15pm

British Airways 747, arrives approx 2:30pm, Leaves approx 6:30pm

United 777 - there are 3 of those there every day, not sure when they arrive though, but one leaves around 2:30pm

American 777 - arrives ?, departs around 2:30pm

Eva Air 747 - Arrives around 10:00 or 11:00am, not sure when it leaves

Northwest 747 - arrives ?, departs around 2:30pm

Hope I helped you out!
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RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:37 am

SEA spotting is bogus  Sad Morning hours are your best bet, due to the sun. Add to the above list the SAS A340, it comes in around 5pm and leaves @ 7.
Topic Author
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 12:38 pm

RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Mon Jul 22, 2002 12:00 pm

Thanks for the info. It sounds a lot better for spotting than at my home town airport. We used to get all types of planes, even DC-10s. Now we are getting more and more smaller planes. It will be nice to see some Alaska planes and the international flights as well. I appreciate all the suggestions.

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RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Mon Jul 22, 2002 1:43 pm

For arrivals to the north, while at the Tyee golf course, I've parked on the side of the road leading into the course rather than at the course. Haven't had any problems, but that was pre 9/11. The only problem with that location is the view of one of the runway approach paths is good, but the other is almost directly overhead. Just west of the golf course used to be a closed elementary school with large parking lots and a good view of both approach paths.

For arrivals from the north, the road provides views but it's well below the runway level.

If you've got a ticket and are inside the terminals, the American gates provide good views of anything taxiing by if departures are to the south. If departures are to the north, the Delta gates have good views. Sea-Tac as an underground transit system that used to provide access to all gates once through security, but construction has closed parts of it...don't know what, though.

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RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Tue Jul 23, 2002 2:17 am


I'm from across the pond but had a go shooting at SEA earlier this month.

When landing from the north I found a spot at Seattle Utilities water tower at the junction of South 146th St. and 24th Avenue S

Its on the hillside so the planes are fairly level on approach. Sun best in mornings.

Had no problem from the golf club car park - do people actually try and photograph from the course???!!

Notables when I was there with ACTUAL times rather than scheduled times
11.34 NW 74F arrives
11.41 Asian 772 arrives
12.03 Vanguard MD80 arrives (daily)
12.14 China AL 74F arrives
12.23 Aeroflot 777 arrives
12.53 Allegiant MD80 arrives (not regular?)
08.48 Evergreen DC9F arrives
08.50 Tradewinds A300F arrives
09.04 Hawaiian 767 departs - can be got from golf club
10.01 Hawaiian 767 departs - can be got from golf club
10.12 Frontier 732 arrives (daily, often 733)
10.17 America West 752 arrives
10.48 World MD11 arrives
11.26 ATA 738 arrives (was 10.38 Thurs.)
11.42 Vanguard MD80 arrives
10.20 Omni DC10 arrives
10.36 Sun Country 738 departs
similar time a China Eastern MD11F arrived, later departed

Afternoons - not aware of a good spot for the sun.


Here is the MapQuest page for Seattle Utilities location:-

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RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Tue Jul 23, 2002 2:42 am

is this the same Ray who got hassled by Boeing when trying to shoot that BAX DC-8 @ BFI  Big grin
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 9:04 pm

RE: Sea-Tac Locations

Tue Jul 23, 2002 6:26 am

Sure is Clickhappy,

I had noticed you around these parts and was going to contact you as I had seen your pix on line.

Those cops at BFI certainly know how to outnumber the suspects, but they were real friendly and knew what a real English cuppa tasted like!

I'll e-mail you off-forum


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