a340pilot
Topic Author
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"best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:51 pm

Help me out here, I've heard so many things about spotting at various airports around the world  Confused but I would like to know which one is the best one that YOU have been to. This includes the least amount of security/police harassment, take-offs and landings, and multiple angles of aircraft! This will help me to decide where I should go for vacation!!!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Big thumbs up
Go! Canucks Go!
 
UAL747
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:14 pm

DFW is pretty good as far as getting close to the planes is concerned, (that is if they are taking off and landing to the north). There's a place near the south east runways, (the most used) called Founders Place. They even have a speaker tuned into DFW tower or traffic. Downside is it's DFW. AA MD-80's galore. BORING.

By judging on the number of pictures posted on A.net, I'd say ZRH is probably pretty good.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
a340pilot
Topic Author
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:27 pm

Yes, my wife and I are both plane enthusiasts and have discussed zrh, and I've never seen Dallas/fort worth so it may be interesting to see something other than air Canada's flying into yvr!  Big grin
Go! Canucks Go!
 
Andreas
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:31 pm

Well if you plan to come to ZRH, make that a trip to FRA, too. You'll love that one!! Lots of traffic, many carriers from around the world, LH head base, and all that just a flight of 30-40 minutes away from ZRH!!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
portcolumbus
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:23 pm

CVG has an excellent viewing area overlooking the entire operation. The airport is very busy, but it's something like 97% DL/COMAIR. Plently of 757/767/777s, and they get an Air France A340.

Gravelly Point at DCA is another really good one.
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:50 pm

In my unbiased ( Big thumbs up) opinion, it has to be SLC.

At SLC, you can stay in a nice, cheap hotel that looks out right over the threshold of runway 34L. Jets and turboprops, from EMB-120s all the way up the 767-400s, land and take off outside your window all day long and into the night (up until about midnight). This hotel is called the Microtel Inn. Look into it if you ever visit SLC. Rooms are 45 dollars a night usually, and the rooms are nice. There's even a small bed-like thing to lay on by the window to watch the jets come in.

The freeways which access SLC lie right under the short final for all runways at SLC, it is not uncommon to have an A320 or a 757 pass just a couple hundred feet above you as you drive down these freeways, and the EMB-120s often fly so low you could almost touch them.

At the airport terminal, you can head over to Concourse A, and watch all the airliners line up at 16L, and take off towards you. Most jets rotate just a short distance away from Concourse A, which means that with even a 2X zoom lens you can get some impressive takeoff shots. When the 727s were around, they wouldn't rotate until almost parallel to Concourse A, giving an even more up-close experience.

All gates and concourses are connected PAST the security point, which means if you want to go from one concourse to another to take pics...feel free, because unlike LAX, you don't have to go back through security to get to the next concourse. They're all connected.

Parallel landings and takeoffs:

This is mostly for being inside an airplane taking off from SLC....often, a larger jet will be taking off on the parallel runway, and sometimes will rotate about the same time you do, and for a brief time you experience a rough form of formation flying, with airliners. Big grin

This is also good for ground shots as well, as you can often catch two aircraft in the same frame.

At that hotel I mentioned earlier, you can go out to the parking lot which borders the airport property line. The jets will be landing just a short distance away, and will be very large as such a close vantage point. I have waved to pilots landing before, I don't think they had time to see me though.  Big grin

The backdrop:


Huge, steep, Wasatch mountain range in the background provides shots of aircraft completely framed by mountains. Impressive. Especially in winter. Even more impressive when the sun rises, as seen from the terminal.


Surrounding suburbs:

Even while just going through the suburbs of SLC, to the south and north of the city, you will often have departing and landing aircraft fly right over your head. At a store in West Valley a Delta 763 came in very low, passing right over the roof of the building. I didn't have my camera ready but it was a thrilling experience.


SLC is the best in the west. Big grin


LAX is good for VARIETY spotting, but in terms of convenience for the spotter....not too good.

[Edited 2003-09-23 12:54:22]
 
tripple7
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:45 pm

SXM

search for some photo's and it speaks for its self.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:45 pm

From my (limited) personal experience, I'd say ZRH, AMS and FRA, all of which, in addition to any perimeter viewing they may have, all have fantastic observation/viewing decks on the terminals.
Great Lakes, great life.
 
killerbabe
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:10 pm

Amsterdam Schiphol is a great place for plane spotting.This also counts for Frankfurt and what I heard Zurich.Inside the USA LAX is great ,as well as Honolulu.Seattle is difficult, but if you find the right place, its a good airport. And when you are in Seattle, a visit to the Boeing plant at Everett and the museum off flight are both great places to visit
 
eham
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:14 pm

definitely Amsterdam Schiphol  Big thumbs up
 
[email protected]
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:26 pm

My vote goes to two airports: AMS and FRA.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
LHR340
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:35 pm

London Heathrow (LHR), 4th busiest airport in the world, plenty of different airlines and different types of aircraft, a plane every minute to keep you happy.

LHR340
A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
 
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:41 pm

London Heathrow (LHR), 4th busiest airport in the world, plenty of different airlines and different types of aircraft, a plane every minute to keep you happy."

Yeah, but what it lacks is a decent and central viewing platform. Hatton Cross (and that area) is all right, and so is the visitor centre. But these do not, and the deck which is now closed did not, come close to AMS's and FRA's platforms.



[Edited 2003-09-23 16:42:45]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
sleekjet
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:55 pm

I sampled Love Field in Dallas this past weekend. One can relax at Bachman Lake on the north side of the airport and the planes are landing literally a few yards away. Incredible spotting. The downside is that 95% of the traffic consists of boring Southwest 737's. Absolutely no variety.
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
SA006
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:57 pm

I say Johannesburg international. There are loads of 727s,737-200,BAC11-1 and classics like the DC-3 and DC-4 of Phoebus Apollo. There are 4 spots right on the perimeter fence of all the runways for great short finals. The best times to go are between 7pm and 9pm. There is also a soccer field with public access parallel to runway 03R next to the Denel Aviation hangar.

Happy spotting  Smile
Proudly South African
 
dc-10 levo
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:17 am

MAN is really good. You can get really close to the action there, but you have to make sure you don't get the fence in the way  Smile/happy/getting dizzy.

DC-10
 
spl
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:30 am

Hello,

I would say AMS, because of a very large viewing platform, which is free to enter. You can almost see all the gates, except the B and G gates. Around the airport, you've got several places to go, like the Mc Donald's. This spot is located next to the Buitenveldert Baan, so excellent spotting there.

Groeten
 
foilcat
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:13 am

hi guys,

once again, the ex-HKG, Kai Tak international airport.
but not anymore...


Foilcat
 
Sabena332
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RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:17 am

My favorite airports for spotting:

  • FRA

  • LHR

  • BRU

  • LAX

  • BCN


  • All these airports offer very good spots and interesting traffic.

    Patrick
    NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
     
    BURules
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:20 am

    The In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard, just north of LAX, is the single greatest spotting place in the world.

    Where else can you get the best burgers ever less than 150 feet below 747's on short final?

    Every time I'm back home, I stop.

    Every time.
     
    flyboyaz
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:20 am

    San Diego is great...there's a parking lot right next to the runway...I always see people sitting there, so shouldn't be a problem the the LEO's. Phoenix is also good...on Air Lane...a big dirt parking lot right next to the thresh of rwy 26....great for watching planes landing and taking off.
    Catch a ride on a smile!
     
    ILoveORD
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:28 am

    I can't believe no has mentioned St. Maarten, yet? Have you seen some of these photos?

    Does it get any better than this....


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    Talk about spotter's "paradise"
    Backhanding the left into submission, one activist judge at a time.
     
    a340pilot
    Topic Author
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:49 am

    I was at the Boeing field and at seatac last weekend and I found a nice park at seatac airport on 142nd street. It was just perfect for landings but sucked for t/o. As for the air museum it was awesome especially the air force one!!!  Big thumbs up  Big thumbs up
    Go! Canucks Go!
     
    buckfifty
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:55 am

    Where else can you get the best burgers ever less than 150 feet below 747's on short final?

    There's still nothing better than having a burger at Wendy's, while the heavies land overhead on 23 at YYZ.

    It used to be much better there by the threshold, but now, with all the new perimeter fencing, it's gotten duller somewhat.

    Schiphol is good too, though it's a bit boring just watching a/c parked at the gate. A bit too far from the action.
     
    a340pilot
    Topic Author
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:49 am

    Thanks for all the input! It would seem that AMS is very popular. I think the airline that I will be taking out of YVR is KLM airlines!!!  Big thumbs up  Big thumbs up  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
    Go! Canucks Go!
     
    copaair737
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:00 am

    I would say SFO is good for spotting. The AirTrain goes around the whole airport, offering great views. The SFO Marriott is a great place to spot too.
    Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
     
    Leneld
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:04 am

    Portland has many excellent viewing locations for people interested in plane spotting..The top floor of the garage gives you the best view of most of the airfield and a clear and close view of both parallel runways.. Also, when the planes are departing east, there are many points off of marine drive that give you an ecellent view of the North runways ativities.....
     
    Usairwys757
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:58 am

    LAX and SFO, Those are two great places to spot at! But one problem with both of them is that they are not the "prettiest" places in the world. But if you talking spotting their two of the best around!.
    Inactive.....
     
    USAFHummer
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:39 am

    FLL has some good areas where you can get close (when the cops are in a good mood), and a good variety (no airline particularly dominating) of domestic airlines, but very little international traffic...

    Greg
    Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
     
    Heinz
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:07 am

    Why hasn't anyone mentioned Düsseldorf yet ?
    It's one of probably only a few airports in the world that has TWO excellent ovservation decks and quite a variety of airplanes, especially charters during the summer holidays.
    One of these decks is on top of the railways station and very close to the threshold of runway 23L.
     
    Tiger119
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:39 pm

    Years ago, on the north side of Phoenix Sky Harbor, you could climb on top of a building (it may have been a restaurant) and sit on benches watching the approaches from the east. I'm sure that's been done away with by now. Beautiful scenery all away around. Mountains to the northeast and south-southwest. BA had a 747 in there that day I was there (believe it was a 747-200).
    Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
     
    yx717pusher
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:15 pm

    LAX used to be great for watching takeoffs on the hills on the west side of the airport...between the airport and Dockweiller beach. Unfortunately the streets have been closed off. It's been a few years since I've been to SFO, but there was a service road that ran between Hwy 101 and the departure ends of rwy 1L and 1R. Great shots of aircraft taxiing out for takeoff. Not sure if LEOs allow anyone to park there anymore or not. In my hometown MKE, the airport has a designated parking lot for viewing aircraft on the north end of the airport, right next to the approach end of Rwy 19R. They even have a radio station you can tune into to listen to the tower chat. When winds are out of the south, this is the best place to watch arrivals come nearly overhead and departures waiting directly in front of you. MKE is definitely not the busiest airport around, but it does get busy during different times of the day. The best times are when ORD gets shut down by thunderstorms in the summertime and MKE becomes a parking lot of just about any type of plane and airline you can imagine. It's not unusual to see everything from props/RJs to Boeing and Airbus iron ranging from the 737 to the 777 and 747 and the A319s to the A340 from Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways and Mexicana as well as the obvious slew of United and American planes.
     
    BN747
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:43 pm

    World Class Spotting...a tie between AMS ( best terrace) and FRA (great terrace, but much more interesting traffic than AMS)


    BN747
    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
     
    jhooper
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:59 pm



    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    (ok, I haven't really been there, but I don't really want to either!)  Nuts

    [Edited 2003-09-24 12:02:27]
    Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
     
    Andreas
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:14 pm

    Heinz, because DUS doesn't have that much interesting traffic, e.g. no 747s no 340s, not much exotic scheduled traffic, as DUS does have a lot of charter traffic, that uses not a big variety of aircraft types. But basically you are right, DUS is nice, but the main observation deck is situated rather similarly to the one on T1 in FRA, now compare traffic...

    But if A340pilot is also a train lover, then maybe FRA AND DUS would be nice using ICE 3 to connect both destinations...
    I know it's only VfB but I like it!
     
    a340pilot
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:04 pm

    This is my vow!!! I will one day fly to Philipsburg / St. Maarten - Princess Juliana (SXM / TNCM)!!! If its for my honeymoon or just a vacation, I HAVE to go there! Has anyone ever been there?  Big thumbs up
    Go! Canucks Go!
     
    levg79
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:26 pm

    According to the huge photo database, I would have to say that the Philipsburg / St. Maarten - Princess Juliana (SXM / TNCM) is the best spot in the world. The "Clipper of the Fence" is my favorite photo:

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    Photo © Justin Cederholm



    However, from my personal experience living in New York, I would say that EWR is the best place to watch airplanes takeoff and land. If the planes takeoff and land towards north, you can watch them from standing near IKEA superstore across the New Jersey Turnpike. It's pretty interesting to see one plane land while the other takes off right next to it. Also a perfect place for CO fans.

    You can get closer to airplanes at JFK, but to the best of my knowledge, there's no "legal" place where you can just stand and watch, except the view from Terminal 1. You get much closer on the roadways next to the runways, but that's only until you'll get noticed by local police. However, if I'm mistaken about JFK spotting, please feel free to correct me. I'll be looking forward to learn new spots.
    A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
     
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    zippyjet
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:36 pm

    I still feel MIA (Miami International Airport) has that eclectic mix of contemporary and plenty of jet age retro cool. Eight diverse concourses with some of the original 1959 flavor; however, with security and the current security conscious age there are limitations. "Corrosion Corner" is not as pronounced as in the good old days. As recently as the 1980's one could spot geriatric jets such as DC-8's 707 and even Convair 880's. And these birds carried passengers! One could hear the distinct whirl and gurgle of Lockheed Electra turbo props and other piston classics such as the DC-6 and DC-7. If you are looking for plenty of wide bodies with a rainbow of color, Miami International is the place to be. From "Aces to Zuliana De Aviacion" and everything in between, take off and land at MIA on a daily basis.
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    I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
     
    munich
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 3:40 pm

    I would say one of the best spotting airports in Europe is ZRH. The spotting platform is great. You are without a glass direct on the planes. If you take a sightseeingtour on the airport, the bus stops on a place between the crossing runways and you are so close on starting planes how on no other airport (HUB) in Europe. If you rent a car and you go around the airport, there are allover parking areas where you can stop. In the fence there are holes in the fence for fotographing.

    The next airport that I would recomment you is AMS and than FRA.

    Regards! Robert alias munich
     
    AWspicious
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 4:01 pm

    Well, at the rate things are going around here, definitely not YYZ, anymore.
    Nevermind political correctness - Envision using your turn signals!
     
    UPSfueler
    Posts: 425
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 4:27 pm

    MKE is good for spotting. They have a parking lot at the end of one of their runways(forgot which one) and you can tune into the tower with your a.m. radio in your car. VERY COOL!
     
    UAL Bagsmasher
    Posts: 1839
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sat Sep 27, 2003 11:57 pm

    MKE is really neat. I'm surprised they haven't closed it yet like everywhere else. Just a quick correction, the tower communications are found on the low end of your F.M. radio dial.
     
    a340pilot
    Topic Author
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:34 am

    What about spotting in Moscow? Is that allowed and are you allowed to photograph? That would be a place id love to get some shots(photographs  Big grin )!


    best regards,
    a340pilot
    Go! Canucks Go!
     
    AMS
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 6:24 am

    AMS is a great airport to spot, also you can come verry close to all runways and you can make great pictures

    ALso if you are in Asia, Osaka Kansai airport KIX also has great vieuws and good places to spot.



    regards,
    AMS
     
    panaman
    Posts: 398
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 6:39 am

    Yeah I've been to sxm used to own a villa there. Lots of stuff there 747 everyonce in a while a340, 757,73ng just to name a few tons of dash 8's dhc-6 and do-228's. PM me with a e-mail and I will send you a few pics......
    Sorry I moved from SXM, looking for a new house on Anguilla now!
     
    panaman
    Posts: 398
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 6:40 am

    that last message/post goes to (Levg79)


    Sorry I moved from SXM, looking for a new house on Anguilla now!
     
    a340pilot
    Topic Author
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 6:45 am

    Panaman: That alright, because smx is an awsome airport for spotting planes! Good Mistake.  Big thumbs up
    Go! Canucks Go!
     
    N6376M
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 8:07 am

    I flew out of AMS this morning back to the States. Departed on Rwy 36 and swear that there were spotters no more than 100 yards from the runway. Lot's of them at several locations. Saw the security car drive right pass them too.
     
    a340pilot
    Topic Author
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 1:24 pm

    amsterdam seems to be popular, lets hope there ARE some good spots to take some pictures!

    Best reguards,
    a340pilot
    Go! Canucks Go!
     
    BN747
    Posts: 7529
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    RE: "best Airport For Plane Spotting?"

    Sun Sep 28, 2003 2:20 pm

    No worries a340pilot...AMS offers more vantage points for spotting than any airport on the planet!

    BN747
    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson

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    Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

    Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

    Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

    Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos