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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:30 am

Adventures in spotting failures

Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:54 am

I saw an old thread on this (locked now), and thought it might be an interesting place to discuss failed adventures.

Today I begged out of work a few hours early to try and make it to my local airport to catch a football charter flight. We don’t get a ton of interesting traffic, so when I know it will be there I try hard to be present.

Today’s event would have been a Boeing 757-300 of some variety. We rarely get any 57 of any type and I just love that aircraft, so after begging out of work, I raced home, picked up my kids, and raced towards the airport. That proved to be my undoing.

On the way there I turned on the LiveATC app and listened for appropriate chatter. This charter was “scheduled” for 1645, so I swore I’d have enough time. So when they buzzed the tower for clearance at 1545, I got a knot in my stomach as I was still 20 or so miles out with traffic to contend with. I know charter arrival and departure times are fuzzy, but I haven’t had bad luck until today.

Next up, I face a rollover accident where I’ve never seen one before, and that was the death of the adventure. As I passed the rollover, the 57 was cleared for take off and all hope was lost. On the way home, the traffic was full of stupid drivers, red lights and other traffic jams.

And of the world, naw, but anyone else ever get that feeling of dejection after looking forward to something that much? Even if I got there and had an equipment failure, at least I would have seen what I wanted to see and couldn’t possibly feel worse. What’s your story? What prevented you from capturing something you looked forward to? Traffic? Equipment malfunction? Security chasing you off?

Feel free to tell or a story or even flame mine, just wanted get that off my chest. I guess I could have been the poor feller in the rollover accident.

Follow me on Instagram! @eug_spotter :airplane:
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: Adventures in spotting failures

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:20 am

I can understand your feeling. I think the most frustrating thing about our hobby is when things don't go as you expect and you're caught off guard. Even the modern technology that is currently available can't prevent this. Whether it has to do with weather (better/worse than expected), runway usage (I have to deal with 6 runways at my home airport), arrival/departure times (earlier/later than expected), aircraft "suddenly" showing up/not showing up; it has all prevented me several times from being at the right place at the right time with the right camera equipment to take the photo I was hoping for. On the other hand, it makes me grateful for the photos that I do have and I always know that there will be new chances to take a nice photo. You can't catch them all anyway.
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Re: Adventures in spotting failures

Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:53 pm

I'm on the same boat as you are at one point or another, as I live in an area that does not provide mainline flights to anywhere; my recent experiences that prevented me from plane spotting a few CFB charter planes this season are:

-Went to the airport to plane-spot a SY B738 taking off from COU for around 1150 CDT; delayed for an hour and 15 min; had to bail for a CrossFit workout; went home instead of going straight back to the airport, as the plane had taken off 20 minutes after I had finished my workout; would have missed it anyway as the workout was 21 minutes away.

-I have planned to plane-spot the SY B738 (again) departing COU, but I have arrived at my CrossFit workout 15 minutes late, enough for me to get pulled behind by half-an-hour; by the time I had left my workout, the plane had departed already; I was angry at myself for not having left for the workout on-time; as I would have gone for the workout at the top of the 12pm hour.

-I was planning to leave work at 1500CST to plane spot a DL B752 from Vanderbilt and then go straight to a 4pm CrossFit workout, only to get stayed behind to help out with other duties and then wait until a 5pm workout; this complicated my plane-spotting plans, though I did manage to plane-spot the same aircraft yesterday (coincidentally the next day) after my second job at a Mizzou FB game as an usher and went back to my normal job after spotting (hint, it was a late-afternoon flight so there was still daylight out and I was lucky enough to spot it before the early sunset).

While I wished that all goes out my way to plane spot charter aircraft, there are certain situations that would prevent me from doing so. As for the SY B738 photos that I've taken, I was happy to have a couple of them accepted to last year, as well as some DL B752s from the past two seasons, and while I would want to plane spot some of the mainline aircraft that I don't have on my profile, as well as some that I already have, there would be some that I could not either plane-spot or get edited photos of those accepted to the DB. In some situations, there would be other planes out there that I would like to spot that don't fly to my hometown airport, such as the 767, 777, 787 Dreamliner, A330, A380, etc, most of which I don't have photos of on my profile.

End of my long rambling; just wanted to vent my feelings out so that everyone's stories are heard and understood.
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Re: Adventures in spotting failures

Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:06 am

August 2016, LAX. I've been hoping to catch a VIP 727 (M-STAR) that's parked at the Atlantic Aviation terminal on the south side of the airport. I park at Imperial Hill and wait. And wait. And wait. Finally I figure it's not going to happen, and so I hop in the car and head over to Dockweiler Beach to watch a Qantas 747 leave on the north side because hey, Qantas 747s are neat. Well, not only do I miss the 747, but guess what taxiied to the active runway in the 5-6 minutes while I'm gone? Yup, it's M-STAR. This ended up being the best I could do:
Two years later it still makes me want to scream.
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Re: Adventures in spotting failures

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:17 pm

As an aside, a couple of days ago, M-STAR flew over my house in southern England at 7000ft on it's way to Lasham, came from GVA. Was talking to a neighbor outside my house at that moment and it certainly made me look up, he was wondering why !
Hope it's just going to QLA for maintenance and not getting WFU there.

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