Topic Author
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:29 pm

First Time Spotting At LHR

Wed May 18, 2011 5:22 pm

Good evening fellow A.netters.

In a few weeks i'll fly to UK for the first time, i'm going to visit some friends and tourist destinations, basically just for pleasure, i'll be a full week in UK so I've decided to dedicate one full day to do some spotting at LHR. I've read few spotting guides on the internet about LHR spotting, and i got a basic idea of the "main" spotting locations at the airport, how to get to them, when or when not is the best time of the year to photograph from them. I'm still missing some answers though, and i would appreciate very much if some of the guys who are more familiar with LHR could shed some light on this issue.

1. Are there any busier days than others in LHR? or the traffic is constant and even throughout the week? since i'm spending one day at the airport i'd like to shoot as more as i can.

2.What time in the morning one should arrive to LHR? i'd love to get as early as possible but not sure at what time, 6,7am or even earlier?

3.Does the Police/security pose any issue while spotting, meaning do they bother you much while you practice your hobby or not? Me being a foreigner (not a citizen of the UK or the EU), will i have more risk to get into trouble with the police or the security than a UK or an EU citizen?

4.In the Extreme case can the police confiscate my equipment?

5.Do they change the runway alternation from one that is specified into another one completely different, for example during my week it will be 27L for landings and 27R for takeoffs (morning) can they change for instance to 09L/09R during that day, or the alternation is final and not subject to changes?

6.I'm planing to arrive to LHR by the tube, to Hatton Cross, does walking by foot will pose any serious problem? I want to switch few times from 27L to 27R spotting locations, will that be difficult? and one last thing, i've read that the crossing gate (at E Church Road) is now closed and the traffic is rerouted, is that correct or is it still open and I can pass through that road?

I know it's a lot of questions but since it's my first time spotting at LHR i would like to have the most info possible to make my spotting day the best it can be, any answers are very appreciated  

And if someone would like to join with me for that spotting day that would be even better  

Thanks in advance.
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:35 pm

RE: First Time Spotting At LHR

Wed May 18, 2011 6:54 pm

Hi there here are some answers to your questions.

In regards to the runways the take off and landing runway will switch at 3:00 PM so 27L will be take off and 27R will be landing. Either before you travel or whilst you are there type the "met office" into google and from there type in heathrow plan that the day you want to go spotting that it is a Westerly wind so anything NW/W/SW or maybe even N or S. This means that runway 27L/R will be in use if it is easterly NE/E/SE then runways 09L/R will be in use. These are not final if the wind changes during your time there to a easterly then they will switch to 09L/R and vice versa.

Try to be there at 5:00 - 5:30Am to catch the early morning arrivals. Although heavies arrive throughout the day the majority arrival early morning such as the A380's. When l was there l went at 5:00Am and l saw 6 British Airways 747's in a row. So basically everything at around this time is big (747, 777, 767, A380, A340, A330)

The will NOT confiscate any of your equipment they will just ask to leave but if you stay around the spots you have looked at you should have no problem.

Hope this helps
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:44 pm

RE: First Time Spotting At LHR

Wed May 18, 2011 7:39 pm

Quoting Viper911 (Thread starter):
Are there any busier days than others in LHR?


Quoting Viper911 (Thread starter):
2.What time in the morning one should arrive to LHR?

In June your better off doing line-ups on 27's from around 06.00 - 08.00 then leave as the heat haze is awful. Wouldn't bother doing any early morning landing shots during June if on 27's. 09's you can just get away with until about 0630.

Quoting Viper911 (Thread starter):
Does the Police/security pose any issue

So long as you stay in the usual places, no.

Quoting Viper911 (Thread starter):
Do they change the runway alternation?

No, unless there's ancident or a problem with the runway. If on 09's then expect several T4 flights to use 09R.

Quoting Viper911 (Thread starter):
does walking by foot will pose any serious problem?

From Hatton Cross to 27L areas, no. For 27R best to catch the 285. East Church Road is closed off.

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