spotterjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:35 pm

BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:44 pm

Hi all,

I am planning a spotting trip to Birmingham in a few weeks and need a bit of information about the best locations for viewing aircraft. I will be arriving by train, so won't have a car.
I have read about Sheldon Country Park, which is easily accessible from Marston Green station. Is this spot only good for runway 15, or is it possible to walk down the perimeter fence to the middle of the runway and view all runway ops? I am aware of the golf course, but on google maps I can see a footpath running alongside the perimeter fence. Ideally, this is where I would like to spot because of the close proximity to the station.
I have also read about the 'official' viewing area in long stay car park 1. Is this location easily accessible from the station or will it involve taking buses etc.

Any help is appreciated, SpotterJoe
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4647
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:54 pm

I have a car so am not entirely sure about trains but I think you can get a train from Marston Green to Birmingham Int'l station (which is next to the airport terminals and I think has a Maglev link). I've not been to the new enthusiast area but I dare say the area's not changed much since last year so shooting through the fence at aircraft taxiing to runway 33 should be possible.

Marston green railway bridge is excellent for aircraft arriving and departing runway 15, but for phorographers is only good for a couple of hours very early morning. Something small to stand on is also useful, although not essential depending on your height. In the afternoon Sheldon Country Park is excellent (it runs adjacent to more than 50% of the runway) but you'll struggle without ladders and will only be able to shoot aircraft in the air.

There is also the multi-storey car-park at the Elmdon site (reachable by bus) where you can shoot most aircraft as they move, but it is distant and the heat-haze from the hangar roofs below can be a pain at this time of year. From here you can walk to the TriStar hotel, next to which is a field from which you can shoot 33 arrivals.

To be honest BHX isn't a wonderful place for those arriving on foot without ladders.

Karl
 
bennett123
Posts: 7442
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:43 pm

I did not know there was a new viewing area.

http://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/u...lities2/aircraft-viewing-area.aspx

I must try to get there to try it out.
 
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Borut
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:08 pm

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:45 pm

I walked from Marston Green Station through Sheldon Country Park along golf course to the corner of the fence. The fence is very high, but there was one hole in it. I took most of these there:
http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...photographersearch=Borut%20Smrdelj
There was also a small hill further down towards radar tower.

Hope it helps
 
spotterjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:35 pm

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:13 pm

Thanks very much for this information.
It sounds like it is possible to walk along the fence past the golf course to the middle of the runway, so this is probably what i'll do!
Thanks
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4647
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:28 pm

Quoting spotterjoe (Reply 4):
it is possible to walk along the fence past the golf course to the middle of the runway

Yes, but come the Elmdon site you can of course go no further. There is now also a double fence along a good portion of this walk, so without prior thought (i.e. packing some steps) it may well be a waste of time. It's a long stroll to find that no photo opportunities present themselves!

Seriously, without steps and a car I think you will struggle if they're on runway 15; unless you don't mind being distant from the action atop the Elmdon MSCP. 33 is a different story, with quite a few possibilities for those on foot.

BHX is one of my locals so I know it well. I wouldn't want you to go and have a wasted journey.

Karl
 
spotterjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:35 pm

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:52 pm

I'm more of a rego taker rather than a photographer, but if I am far away from the action then maybe I need to reconsider. Another question I have is how many planes I will actually see. Obviously it will be nowhere near as LHR, but is it about as busy as say LTN? On flightradar24, there doesnt seem to be much traffic, but of course flybe don't show up on that, and they account for a lot of traffic at BHX.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4647
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:12 pm

For the number of aircraft arriving and departing per hour I'd say it's not actually that far behind MAN (although the morning rush at MAN is far busier!). Much of it is unfortunately Flybe but there are airlines/types that can't be easily seen elsewhere in the UK. You need a bitof patience to spend a fulld ay here but it you pick the right day you can leave with some pretty interesting stuff.

Turkmenistan are a few times weekly with a mix (currently) of 757 and 737; Loganair use SF340s in Flybe scheme; and the increase in sales at Land Rover/Jaguar has seen a sharp increase in small (and normally interesting) freighters visiting. Just don't expect to come back with a full log-book and lots of top photos.

By the way, here are my images from BHX:

http://www.airliners.net/search/phot..._id+desc&page_limit=15&thumbnails=

If you'd like more info on whether some of these angles may be possible during your visit let me know.

Karl
 
GPHOTO
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:44 pm

RE: BHX Spotting

Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:47 pm

Looks like my favourite spot is no longer available.


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jim Groom



Shame! Loved being there in the freezing cold winter mornings. The light was lovely!

Best regards,

Jim
Erm, is this thing on?

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