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Trouble Spotting At FLL

Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:01 am

Hi everybody, this is my first post but I've been lurking around lately, so I figured, why not join this incredibly interesting site formally. Anyway, I've been spotting at Fort Lauderdale airport and sometimes Miami, too.

I do have one little problem, though. As some of you locals know, Ft. Lauderdale's official viewing area off of 39th street gives a nice view of arrivals and take-offs when the traffic-pattern is on 9L. Unfortunately, I've noticed that over the past few rain-soaked weeks we've been having, the traffic is 9 times out of 10 using 27R, which makes the left side viewing area worthless. My guess is because our usual climate makes for westerly winds when it rains, making FLL use 27R. I know about going to the top of the parking garage for photographing on 27R, but I must say, the level of harassment by Broward Sheriffs is outstanding! A few days ago, I was spotting for about four hours on the top of the garage when a cop comes up to me and starts with the usual chat... I always am permitted to stay, after the cop finally realizes I'm not a threat (and let's just say I look pretty innocent anyway).

Anyway, I guess my question is, is there some type of website or internet-connected software that can show me which way the current traffic pattern is into Fort Lauderdale? It's always great to spot traffic on 9L, but these days, it seems that on every visit the planes are on 27R, on the other side of the airport obscured by the terminal buildings. Living 10 miles from the airport, I don't find out the direction of traffic until I'm a mile or two away. I'm about 20 miles from MIA, and while it has a TON of traffic, the airport always seems to use too many runways at once... so if you're spotting one runway, you're missing very cool planes using the other side.

It's great to finally be a member  Smile.
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RE: Trouble Spotting At FLL

Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:59 am

Welcome to the forums MDL412 Big grin.

One spot i did like when 27R was in use was the access road next to the FEC tracks (Don't be 6 feet near the gate, I suggest being on the grass of the FEC track side). You might get chased, even though it's not illegal because there are no signs or anything. Not many places you can park. One day i was there for about 2 hours and still had no problem. But another day, A BSO gave me a real hard time, he said I can't take pictures on the end of a runway. but he said I can go to the side of the runway (9L). I wanted to say to him so bad, does it look like they ARE on 9L, NOO. Yea, all departments station cop on the airport patrol when they don't know anything and are not given a class or something. They can't say anything to you if you are in a designated area like the Hibiscus garage or 9L viewing area. Now onto your problem about not knowing what's the active. I suggest getting a scanner, I always listen to ATIS before heading to an Airport. I use and love my Pro-95, which you can pick up at Radio Shack. Although it can be a bit pricy, you can store 1000 freqs which comes in handy. And if your out of range, and don't have the money for a scanner. You can always check the winds on the weather channel. I have found that their wind forcast for the week are always accurate. I had one time down at FLL where the wind forcast was wrong. That's messed up how they are using the 27's all the time now. For most of the time I was down there winds were outta the SE.
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RE: Trouble Spotting At FLL

Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:05 am


I have seen a lot of shots of 27R approach/landings in the photo database taken from the parking garage. I have never used that location but it seems to be popular for 27 operations.

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RE: Trouble Spotting At FLL

Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:21 am

Check the airport facility directory and see if there is a phone number for the ATIS. (Automated Terminal Information Service) Some of the local FBOs may be able to give you that number as well. Many airports have this function, it allows you to listen to the ATIS by phone.

I have enjoyed many hours at FLL and MIA. When I was there you could park, then walk right out to the grass by the taxiways, sit down, and watch or shoot photos until you'd had your fill. Ahh, the good old days.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
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RE: Trouble Spotting At FLL

Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:29 am

I didn't see any phone number for the ATIS listed, but there is one listed for the ASOS (which makes the weather observation). That number is: 954-359-7857.

If the winds are anywhere out of 020 thru 160 degrees at anything like 5-10 knots or greater, they'll probably be on 09L/R...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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RE: Trouble Spotting At FLL

Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:46 am

Just aim your browser to Boca Raton Airport's PASSUR, click 40 or 80 miles and you can see all the air traffic in South Florida at the current time and what direction each airport is using.

It's pretty darn neat and you can go back in time and replay the skies over South Florida if you need a specific flight number at a certain time.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on since #338
Topic Author
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RE: Trouble Spotting At FLL

Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:57 am

Thanks to all of you for the tips, especially to DB777, that PASSUR site is awesome, I can see all the planes lining up for approach for 27R  Smile.

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