A shame A.net didn't exist back in 1996 when I made my one and only spotting trip to LHR
. It turned out to be the most disastrous spotting trip I ever made!
I wasn't there just to go spotting, it was a short citytrip with friends but I planned to leave their company one day and hop to LHR
. Only information I had was that there was a spectators terrace and a good spot at Hatton Cross. Problems already started the evening before. It was exactly the day the IRA decided it was time for new action and the blew up a bus within hearing distance of where we were staying. Also it was February and the weather was pretty wintery.
Anyway, I got off the tube in Hatton Cross only to find out the 09's were in use. So got on the tube again to the terminal heading for the spectators terrace which, of course, was closed as a result of the bombing the evening before
Out of prepared options I started wandering about, then decided to hop on a bus that might take me in the general direction of the 09 approach. Very soon this bus turned out to be going anwhere but the 09 approach I got off again and just started to walk. At this point I already had lost hours of nice sunshine and a very very rare A330 that was mean enough to show itself in a totally unshootable way. I thought about giving up, after all, I didn't even know if there was any possibility to make decent shots on the approach of 09L, the active runway.
But I was stubborn and walking, I did have control over. After several kilometers I finally got set up in a good spot
Alas, the weather was turning grumpy at that point. I did get moments of bright sunshine but also some showers of rain, hail, snow and a biting wind. Police did check on me but were friendly and didn't order me to move on.
I don't think I lasted more than 3 hours and hardly made 5 decent shots
Anyway, sorry for this rather unconstructive post but anytime I see LHR
threads I am reminded of this memorable citytrip. I could go on about what happened the 2 days after this, which in the end led to my friends and me being on the news on Belgian national TV
but that's a different story
For those who are wondering, this is the very very rare but mean A330 that I saw:
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Photo © Mark Bess
And this is one of the few decent shots I managed that day:
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Photo © J.Laporte