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BO__einG
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Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:55 am

Hey guys,

With the success of Seattle/Portland I thought I would make another post to give a heads up to local spotters as this method still seems to work well. I will still contact some prominent spotters who have these airports as hometowns of course.

Anyways I am planning another spotting trip for middle of next month for 2 weeks and will spending some quality time at the following airports: FRA, HAM, XFW, HEL,MUC, & SZL. Travel dates will be Sept 12-26
I am ongoing with my research to get spotting info and photo areas but I do have a few questions.

Frankfurt: Sept 13, 24-26 This will be my starting point and finishing point for my european tour. I have heard that the observation deck will be closing is this true? Secondly I would like to make my way to the cloverleaf interchange area to catch the 25 arrivals, is this possible by foot from the terminal, rental bikes or bus?
Because I won't have a car I will stay fairly close to the terminals.

Hamburg: Sept 14-16 I will be using this airport for arrival and departing so spotting will be from the terminal.
Does Fuhsbuttel still gets 747s and 777 heavies? Most of my spotting time will be for the morning hours.
Is the Lufthansa 707 still sitting around the field?

Hamburg Finkerwerder: I just need information on what buses I should to get there as the HVV is extensive and I know there is an access point. Confirm that all spotting area along its main runway from the south side is full access for spotters? How about the taxiway crossing. Does the Airbus tour include the A380?

Helsinki: Sept 16-21 I will be spending lots of time at HEL, this airport appears challenging because of its difficult access, can I get around to some areas without a car? How about the famous approach shots on 4/22 parallels?
I will try to rent a car to get around to the west side of the airfield to make most of the late daylights.

Munich: Sept 21-23 I will also be staying at the Kempinski hotel in the terminals so I think access to the observation deck will be in hand. Question is are there bus access to the visitor hill on the south side of the airport?
How is the airport tour, is it worth the money?

Salzburg: Sept 23 I will be spending 1 day there but am interested in spending a few hours spotting at this airport. I have seen some wonderful traffic variety there and I ask do any heavies use this airport such as Aeroflot Il-96?
This alone might be worth the trip to catch its arrival/departure. It looks to be quite close to the city center and the castle.

With all of this, I would certainly love to meet any locals who spot from these airports to help build on the planespotter community. If anybody is free on these days at the mentioned airports, let me know!
This will be the biggest spotting trip yet and hopefully a memorable one.
Thanks for any suggestions.

Regards,
Bo
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:31 am

Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
Salzburg: Sept 23 I will be spending 1 day there but am interested in spending a few hours spotting at this airport. I have seen some wonderful traffic variety there and I ask do any heavies use this airport such as Aeroflot Il-96?
This alone might be worth the trip to catch its arrival/departure. It looks to be quite close to the city center and the castle.

Salzburg is dead in summer ... and defenetely no IL96 .... I would skip that airport ...

Rgds

Robin
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:30 am

Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
Hamburg: Sept 14-16 I will be using this airport for arrival and departing so spotting will be from the terminal.
Does Fuhsbuttel still gets 747s and 777 heavies? Most of my spotting time will be for the morning hours.
Is the Lufthansa 707 still sitting around the field?
Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
Munich: Sept 21-23 I will also be staying at the Kempinski hotel in the terminals so I think access to the observation deck will be in hand. Question is are there bus access to the visitor hill on the south side of the airport?
How is the airport tour, is it worth the money?

No regular 747s or 777s for HAM ... you need to be extremly lucky to ge this kind of movement for LH Technik.

The observation deck and visitor hill are really not too good for taking photos. Drop me a line if you want to know a really good taxi postion near to Kempinski.

Rgds

Robin
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spencer
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:24 am

Last time I was at HAM (Apr) there was a VIP B744 along with sistership A321. The DLH 707 was still present then slap bang in the middle of the field.
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:49 pm

Quoting Rotate (Reply 1):
Salzburg is dead in summer ... and defenetely no IL96 .... I would skip that airport ...

A visit to Hangar 7 (the Red Bull hangar) might be worth a visit though. The airport itself however would indeed be a good one not to spend too much time at.
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:20 pm

I've been to HEL twice this summer and used a guide I found when googling HEL spotting. With all the construction going on at the airport perimeter it was a bit outdated but some spots were still useful.
Last time I was there, I could have climbed a big pile of gravel right at the southern end of 04L, but didn't. There was a sign claiming "airport area, no access" and a pole with a camera on it, and I didn't feel like pushing my luck even though this was outside the fence. Too bad, because it might have provided a really good view.

Driving to the southwestern part to catch landings on 04L is perfecty doable, there is a small hill and you can usually park the car right after the bus stop. People seem to watch planes from there all the time.

When 22R is used for takeoffs, drive all the way around and turn right at a small road with a "no trucks" sign. You will end up in an area where an access road to the runway branches off to the left. There is a gate very close to the runway end wich enables you to get nice and close. For maximum satisfaction (for your ears), go there in the late afternoon when the AY widebodies depart.

I haven't had much luck with any other HEL spots, unfortunately. Most places I've tried seem to be too far away for my 70-200 (and 1.7x TC if needed).

All of the above is from a visitor's perspective. I'm also in HEL on a semi-regular basis so I would love some tips from the locals as to where to go these days with all the construction work pretty much everywhere.
 
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BO__einG
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:27 pm

Good stuff guys,

Okay so I will make some modifications starting with scrapping of Salzburg. A dead airport is not worth my time especially if I only have 1 day.

Hamburg Fuhsbuttel, I will limit my spotting to when I am actually at the airport arriving/departing. I am aware of the LH Technik facility and its assortment of heavies that use it as well as the Luftwaffe base for its vip airbuses.
That is too bad no scheduled heavies use it, I thought EK served Hamburg once.

Does that 707 have any purpose sitting in the middle of nowhere? public access? airworthy?
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spencer
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:21 am

Ah yes, EK does serve HAM, was there in April anyway.
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:02 am

Ups ... How could I forgett EK and their 777s ? I mean is there any airport which is not served by EK in Europe ?  
I think they even have 2 flights a day ... but HAM locals should know better. Also regarding HAM the observation decks are not as good anymore as they used to be ... , but there is parking garage which is close by which is very good for arrivals and additional there is this spot called Affenhügel - also ,not too far away.
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whisperjet
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:38 am

Instead of wasting too much time walking around the airports I would rather try to make most of my time and consider different airports, such as Berlin Tegel and Düsseldorf where spotting without a car is absolutely no problem.

Stefan
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:09 am

I would take DUS above MUC and HAM anytime ...
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INDIAECHO
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:29 pm

I would echo Rotate's comments about Dusseldorf - this has some of the best facilities for people without transport of any airport in Europe, and I would have no hesitation in recommending a visit.

I'm concerned about Bo_eings comments that the viewing deck at Frankfurt may be closing though, as I am planning a visit shortly after him. Does ayone else have any further details on this?

IE

[Edited 2011-08-26 07:31:04]
 
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:09 pm

Quoting indiaecho (Reply 11):
I'm concerned about Bo_eings comments that the viewing deck at Frankfurt may be closing though, as I am planning a visit shortly after him. Does ayone else have any further details on this?

Reportedly the observation deck will be closed during the winter period. The airport does not want to clear it from snow in the winter month which would be necessary.

Stefan
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BO__einG
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:08 pm

I heard DUS was good for spotting as well. I will think about it and if I am lucky I may be able to squeeze a detour from
Munich and Oktoberfest and do some spotting at Rhen Ruhr. Just have to work out my scheduling to see where this can fit.

But planespotting won't be the main point of this trip as I am also planning to sightsee and explore the cities like all the regular tourists do. I as a planespotter will always have to include the elements of aviation and architecture ontop of the nightlife, museums, landmarks, food cusine etc..

Oh yes and i forgot to add, does anyone know anything about Lufthansa Flight Academy and Finnair Flight Academies? I am looking to tour these schools to see how pilot training works and enrollment as ultimately I want to train at these types of schools to switch into aviation from architecture. Therefore, do any of these schools offer campus tours or have enrollment for international students? I am working on a cover letter and hopefully i can have it polished to send one out before I depart.
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:44 am

Quoting spencer (Reply 7):
Ah yes, EK does serve HAM

As an airline from a predominantly Muslim country, they really shouldn't.
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INDIAECHO
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:35 pm

Reportedly the observation deck will be closed during the winter period. The airport does not want to clear it from snow in the winter month which would be necessary.

Stefan

Stefan - thanks for confirming that.

IE
 
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:44 pm

Quoting Rotate (Reply 2):
The observation deck and visitor hill are really not too good for taking photos. Drop me a line if you want to know a really good taxi postion near to Kempinski.

If you are referring to the observation deck at HAM, I was just there in late June and was able to take dozens of high-quality shots with no problems at all, of aircraft landing, taking off, and taxying. I'd love to show a few but I think you can only show photos of accepted shots in these threads? If I'm wrong about that someone please let me know.

If you have decent skills as a photographer it will not be a problem. I wish we had observation decks like this one at airports in my region of the US(northeast) but everyone is still too paranoid about 9/11.

The LH 707 is still there and you can get a nice front-angled shot of it.
 
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:07 pm

At Munich you can just use the commuter train to go from from the terminal area to the visitor hill (the stop is named: "Besucherzentrum" - if I remember right). Munich is definitely worth a visit. Even if most of the traffic is Lufthansa (which you will also see a lot in Frankfurt). But there is a difference in equipment FRA to MUC. Whereas FRA mostly gets B744, MUC gets mostly Airbus (A330 and A340). And nowadays there some "foreign" airlines in Munich, eg: Qatar, OmanAir, ANA, United, USAirways, AirCanada, etc. I even heard something that Emirates will switch its B777 for a A380 in autumn. But I dont know when that will happen, so maybe you are too early for that.
Beside the visitor hill there is also a terrace ontop terminal 2 (the one handling Lufthansa and StarAlliance). It has a good view on the apron but you will have a glass window inbetween. If you will be more mobile: there are also smaller visitor hills outside the airport area beside the runways. Especially the one beside the southern RWY is good for photos as you will have the sun in your back nearly all day.

If you have more questions - just ask. I had been living near to that airport for many years ...

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BO__einG
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RE: Europe Spotting FRA/HAM/XFW/HEL/MUC/SZL

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:54 pm

I will contact some photographers and a few of you guys around the weekend. I have been doing more research on my own and it appears HAM is more walk friendly than what I had first thought. I might spend a few hrs in the morning before my departure spotting from the observation deck.

I am still interested in MUC and I am aware that it is a huge airport with a pair of runways 4km long!

Other questions I have, does european airports have a flight tracking website such as flightaware in the US/Canada?
Is there a way I can track flights to places like XFW which is a non commercial airport?

Also, where can I buy step ladders in Germany? I would assume there would be some department stores such as a walmart near the airport or in Aldstadt by the lakes?
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