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Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:55 pm

I am very new to spotting and wanted to know what the best locations to spot at Chicago O'Hare are. I live in Schaumburg. From my basic research I found that the USG building at Lawrence and Mannheim is a very popular spot as is the Rosemont Metra station parking lot off of Balmoral. I tried the former spot this morning but a police car drove by and it scared the hell out of me. I was the only guy there at the time so I kinda packed up. Is there a plane spotters group in the Chicago area? Any experienced spotters that I can meet up with?
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RE: Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:19 pm

You can spot at those spots without any problems. There is a group at ORD called "airport watch"

You don't have to join it to spot but it is a community of people and it is nice to share info and photos and it makes it easier for you in case a cop car does approach you. I would suggest joining. There's other spots around the airport as well but it all depends on what runway pattern is in use.
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RE: Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:29 pm

Hello there Ameya,

I guess the first thing I should tell you is to join the O'Hare airport watch. It is located in the old Aviation World building near the approach end of runway 10. It is a one time fee of 20 dollars and will save you a lot of trouble with police.

When aircraft are landing on 27R, 27L, and 28, the USG building is probably the best spot. Make sure you go on weekends otherwise they will ask you to leave. This provides a great view of arrivals on 28, 22L departures, and the international terminal. You may also try the ORD cell phone lot for views of 27L and 27R arrivals.For 22R landings/4L departures, the target and Allstate Arena are your best bets. Scanwell logistics on Arthur Ave. is good for 14R landings/32L departures, make sure you are a member of the airport watch before going there. Finally, the aviation world building, now where the ORD airport watch is located, is best for 10 arrivals. DO NOT go to close to the hill located near the end of the runway.

That pretty much sums up the best spots, at nearly all you need a lens of at least 250mm. Carry ID and join the airport watch.

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RE: Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:33 am

Thanks guys!
This helps a lot. I will get on the Airport Watch as quickly as I can.

Much appreciated
Thanks again,

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RE: Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:22 am

Hey Folks,
I applied on the online page through the link given by "sovietjet" and have not heard back from them yet. I even drove past the building and it is in very bad shape - does not look like it has been used for a long time. There was new location map stuck on the door and I could not make out a thing on that map. Pretty badly beat up.

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RE: Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:21 am

The Aviation World shop closed sometime last summer. The owners have opened up a new shop in Bensenville. I've attached a link to the store. This were you need to go to sign up for the ORD Airport Watch. Hope this helps.
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RE: Plane Spotting Groups In Chicago

Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:29 pm


Thanks for the update and the link. I've needed to head out there myself since moving up from Houston this past summer and look forward to joining the Watch. Also needed a new flight log book so that gives me a second purpose to go there.


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