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Arizona Spotting Trip

Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:12 pm

Hello all!

My friend and I are DFW-based aviation nerds and will be flying into Phoenix on the 7th, and will be staying until the 11th. We are into military, GA, and airline stuff, and want to experience the best of each world. As the whole Phoenix area has a whole lot to offer aviation-wise, we are trying to get pointed in the right direction for the most worthy airports to spot at to get our fix. This includes most activity, variety, and the best spotting locations. I've done some research and it appears IWA is a great airport for transient traffic, and DVT for general aviation. We will also be heading down to Tuscon for DMA/TUS for military.

Does anyone have any tips & pointers on which airports & spots you most recommend?

Thank you all!
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Re: Arizona Spotting Trip

Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:30 am

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Re: Arizona Spotting Trip

Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:18 pm

Based on a trip to Arizona in 2008 ( :old: ):

- DVT brings back fond memories. Has a restaurant with a nice outside terrace with good overview of the apron. Great burgers (at the time anyway) too! A short walk along the fence might get you other aircraft that aren't that visible from the restaurant.
- CHD was nice, but didn't get that many photos from there. Busy apron though.
- IWA was alright, but not busy. Then again, we were only there for <1h.
- FFZ is cool, quite a lot of traning traffic, it houses an aviation museum and there are lots of nice finds there. Would recommend.
- Pima Air & Space museum - a must!
- Scottsdale - not much traffic when I visited, but still nice. Didn't spend much time there though.
- PHX was cool too. Lots of traffic. Spent part of the day on the P2 parking garage.
- I didn't explore it enough, but GEU might be worth a short visit if you're around. Luke AFB is near that location as well.
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Re: Arizona Spotting Trip

Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:28 pm

I've been to southern Arizona three times (2017, 2018, 2019). You can find the trip reports on my website (I'm still working on the 2019 report but didn't visit too many new locations compared to '17/'18)). Of course you can find my photos on this website ( ... splay=card). I'm still uploading stuff from my trip earlier this year.

Since you have only five days, I'd recommend something like this (in random sequence):

Day 1: PHX (at the terminal car parks or in the approach of the north runway)
Day 2: AM LUF, PM GYR (and GEU if you have time)
Day 3: DVT
Day 4: TUS/DMA/Pima/AMARG (although you can easily spend an entire day at Pima)

Due to your limited time I would skip CHD and FFZ (and several other airports in the area, which can be interesting but are not so busy).
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Re: Arizona Spotting Trip

Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:34 pm

Any tips or suggestions on taking pictures during the summer? Are there any spots that are better? Do photos have a bad problem with heat distortion here?
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens

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