I attend school about 25 minutes away from PHL
. Whenever I have a free day/afternoon and the weather is nice I head over to PHL
for some spotting. As others have posted, Hog Island Road is the best location. The airports main runway 9/27 runs parallel to this road so there is no need to think about Fort Mifflin. Lighting is good for most of the day if they are landing 27R. With 9 I find it to be a bit tougher to get the shots though due to the angle, and lighting.
With Hog Island Road stay on the NON-FENCED side of the street and be courteous by parking your vehicle in the grass. When the weather is nice, you will have people jog or bike ride in the shoulder, so leave them a place to go. I personally have not had any issues with the police, but always carry your ID
Some things you might be interested in knowing are that a lot of the US Airways heavies will come in between 12:30 and 2PM along with a daily UPS 763 and MD11. There is a daily LH
(flight 426) A343 that is scheduled to land around 4PM along with a BA
772 (flight 67) at 3:10 PM
. Usually in the 12:30 to 2PM range you will catch a couple of the 762s, A332s and a A333 from US Airways. Most will be in by 4PM. You will see a lot of US Airways Express E170s and the mainline US Airways E190s, A 319s, 320s, and 321s. PHL
also gets some nice business jets, but those tend to land on either on 35 (the cross runway) or 26. In terms of spotting times, I have spotted from as early as 8AM to as late as 3PM. If you want heavies I would say get there for around 12:30 and have fun.
Also be sure to check out this site: www.phlairline.com
or like it on facebook. The guy who runs this is there almost everyday.
As for camera equipment: I personally feel that anything over 300 on a crop sensor is going to be too much. You are pretty close to the planes on Hog Island Road.
Hope this helps you out. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!