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Torgut

Aircraft Spotting Locations

23 posts in this topic

I brought this idea a couple years ago but as it would always happen by then a couple of commentaries put me off. Anyways, I am bringing the topic again, although surprisingly (for me) many users had no idea what is this about... well.. plane spotting is a hobby consisting in the observation and photography of airplanes, tipically commercial airplanes. I am not into the hobby mysellg although from time to time I like to do it for a couple of minutes. 

These locations are usually around airports and the local passionates tend to congregate on the best spot(s), those offering the best perspectives of the aircraft landing, taking off and maneuvring. Some people said... OK, that's airports then, overlapping. Not really. The precise spots to observe the airplanes are very specific. Often the fences block the views, of the morphology of the terrain doesn't allow a clear view.

Some spots are a bit distant from the airports, offering a global perspective of it and its traffic, which would be an acceptable place for this category.

Some online information about the hobby:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_spotting

https://www.thebalance.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-plane-spotting-282639

https://www.thebalance.com/plane-spotting-etiquette-do-s-and-don-ts-for-beginners-282641 

Comments?

 

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I supported this idea two years ago when it was brought to the forum and still feel this would be a good category addition. There is in fact, an aircraft observation tower in my hometown near the airport and I waymarked a memorial that exists at the tower, the Tanker 61 Memorial

Aircraft spotting locations are interesting, many are informative (like the one in my hometown) and not overly prevalent (in fact, they're not prevalent at all).

It would get my vote.

B)

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Not sure whether this idea will "fly" but I kinda hope it does because it just happens that our local airport is in a valley, surrounded by mountains, and there is a highway pullout off the end of the only runway which is a perfect plane spotting location for one with a zoom lens.

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Benchmark Blasterz, that's correct :-)

BK-Hunters, what's causing those doubts? :-)

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An interesting Idea. We used to watch planes come into Chicago's O'Hare Airport. We just stopped in a parking lot under the incoming flight path a couple blocks from the airport fence line. Never had anyone stop to watch with us.

The Experimental Aircraft Association has their own private airport near Oshkosh, WI. They have their annual convention and air show for 7 days. A great place to see unique aircraft during that period. But the rest of the year I think the airport is empty.

A small town airport may have only one or two flights per day, will they be included?

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There are websites, blogs & Facebook pages outlining plane spotting locations in Australia. Examples include a dedicated plane spotting location at Sydney Airport, to bring your own 3 step ladder so the security fence isn't part of the photo, to beside the road in rural areas. Near me is a naval air station which has helicopters & a few fixed wings with a good view from near the radar station. As to the legality of  taking photos from the latter I'm not sure.  If all your after is official locations then there aren't many.  If this gets up then a Gold Award to the person who submits a Waymark for that Caribbean airport.

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Tuena, exactly, I already thought about the most known spotting place in the World :-)    Official locations won't be the limit. Legal respect for national & international law yes, of course.

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On 12/15/2017 at 3:03 PM, Torgut said:

BK-Hunters, what's causing those doubts? :-)

I don't have "doubts" per se. I was just thinking that there is bound to be someone who will point out a down side here. It comes with the territory.  But if you take it that far, I will definitely vote in favour.

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On 17/12/2017 at 1:08 AM, BK-Hunters said:

I don't have "doubts" per se. I was just thinking that there is bound to be someone who will point out a down side here. It comes with the territory.  But if you take it that far, I will definitely vote in favour.

Quote

 

I understand u don't have doubts yourself, but I was asking what kind of doubts you can imagine other people might have :-)

Edited by Torgut
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Anyone interesting in joining a group and become officer in such category?

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As much as I love aviation, as an avid enthusiast of commercial aviation, I feel this category would be difficult to review. There are an infinite amount of locations that can be considered for plane spotting. I love the idea, don't get me wrong, but how can you make sure thousands of waymarks are not being published for every clear viewing of a runway? Also, what if the viewing spot is a few miles away from the airport, say on approach. How far is too far for a waymark to be accepted? I feel this could be redundant as well with the "scenic views" category and turn into a redundant category all together like "inside airport". For me to say "yea" if it get to peer review, here's what I would suggest.

1. Limit the amount of waymarks being submitted to an airport by user. Say, a user can submit up to 3 per airport as this can get redundant and allows waymarkers to choose the best three viewing spots of a given airport of thier choosing. For larger international airports, say JFK in New York, that gets millions of visitors a year. A few of them are way markers and each can submit up to three waymarks to where they believe is the best spot to watch planes from the airport. Don't limit the number to the airport, limit the number to the user can submit to any given airport. 

2. Limit the location of the viewing spots by say no more than 5 miles from any given airport. Any longer distance and the aircraft would be too small to identify the airline from the ground without zooming in or binoculars, making the viewing spot not really a good viewing spot. This would allow waymarks to be published from a nearby lookout tower, hotel, or natural viewing point like a hill. I know a few good spots at my home airport of LAX that I can submit if this category gets approved.

3. Have the waymarks be published outside of the airport boundaries only. This would help eliminate waymarks being created from inside the airport such as from the windows at the gate. I would see an exception only if the location is itself an official designated spot to view aircraft. I've seen this at a few airports, past TSA such as at BWI, Baltimore where there is a terrace that is outside and overlooks the airport.

4. The category name should be something that would encompass all aircraft types, including lighter-than-air aircraft such as blimps or balloons or even rocket launches (as this would qualify mostly as un-manned aircraft). Something along the lines like "manned aircraft (or flight) operation viewing spots (or locations)". This would exclude rocket launched that are un-manned like current Space-x launches (like the one that occurred a few days ago that I saw from home that blew up over social media), although Soyuz launches out of Kazakstan would be included, however the milage may want to be increased as rocket launches can be seen for hundreds of miles away from the launch site. I believe this category should only include manned flight operations, to make it simple and more interesting. 

5. The posting requirements must have at least two photos. One of the site such as the view or viewing spot, and the other must be the aircraft.

If these suggestions were to be met, I would greatly consider voting "yea" for this category. If/when you make the group I'll happily join to become an officer. I took a few flight simulator classes inside an actual 737 cockpit and flew a Cessna a few times. Aviation is one of my other passions, outside of Geocaching and Waymarking.

 

Edited by bluesnote
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Bluesnote, thanks for your post. I am a bit shocked right now due to a dramatic  event in my personal life and I will carefully read it later, but I got your first lines and mostly I think: a good spotting place is where spotters are. Somehow that should be the main guideline, I think. I suspect there are even online databases with these places, but I am just guessing. Also regarding your 1), that was in my plans, yeah. As to 3) I am afraid the existence of a panoramic terrace created for spotting must be an exception to your understandable concern.  2) is good too, but it would be hard to imagine a submission of a place farther than that. 5) Was in my plans too, but I would say it's just customary in nowadays WMarking.

Edited by Torgut
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4 hours ago, Torgut said:

Bluesnote, thanks for your post. I am a bit shocked right now due to a dramatic  event in my personal life and I will carefully read it later, but I got your first lines and mostly I think: a good spotting place is where spotters are. Somehow that should be the main guideline, I think. I suspect there are even online databases with these places, but I am just guessing. Also regarding your 1), that was in my plans, yeah. As to 3) I am afraid the existence of a panoramic terrace created for spotting must be an exception to your understandable concern.  2) is good too, but it would be hard to imagine a submission of a place farther than that. 5) Was in my plans too, but I would say it's just customary in nowadays WMarking.

Torgut I am very sorry to hear of your dramatic personal life event (not prying). I hope that all will be well with you soon.  Take good care.  Regards, Mama Blaster

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19 minutes ago, Benchmark Blasterz said:

Torgut I am very sorry to hear of your dramatic personal life event (not prying). I hope that all will be well with you soon.  Take good care.  Regards, Mama Blaster

My brother died, it won't get better :-( Thanks!

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40 minutes ago, Torgut said:

My brother died, it won't get better :-( Thanks!

Torgut, I am very sorry to hear this. Please accept my sincere condolences. 

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13 hours ago, bluesnote said:

As much as I love aviation, as an avid enthusiast of commercial aviation, I feel this category would be difficult to review. There are an infinite amount of locations that can be considered for plane spotting. I love the idea, don't get me wrong, but how can you make sure thousands of waymarks are not being published for every clear viewing of a runway? Also, what if the viewing spot is a few miles away from the airport, say on approach. How far is too far for a waymark to be accepted? I feel this could be redundant as well with the "scenic views" category and turn into a redundant category all together like "inside airport". For me to say "yea" if it get to peer review, here's what I would suggest.

1. Limit the amount of waymarks being submitted to an airport by user. Say, a user can submit up to 3 per airport as this can get redundant and allows waymarkers to choose the best three viewing spots of a given airport of thier choosing. For larger international airports, say JFK in New York, that gets millions of visitors a year. A few of them are way markers and each can submit up to three waymarks to where they believe is the best spot to watch planes from the airport. Don't limit the number to the airport, limit the number to the user can submit to any given airport. 

2. Limit the location of the viewing spots by say no more than 5 miles from any given airport. Any longer distance and the aircraft would be too small to identify the airline from the ground without zooming in or binoculars, making the viewing spot not really a good viewing spot. This would allow waymarks to be published from a nearby lookout tower, hotel, or natural viewing point like a hill. I know a few good spots at my home airport of LAX that I can submit if this category gets approved.

3. Have the waymarks be published outside of the airport boundaries only. This would help eliminate waymarks being created from inside the airport such as from the windows at the gate. I would see an exception only if the location is itself an official designated spot to view aircraft. I've seen this at a few airports, past TSA such as at BWI, Baltimore where there is a terrace that is outside and overlooks the airport.

4. The category name should be something that would encompass all aircraft types, including lighter-than-air aircraft such as blimps or balloons or even rocket launches (as this would qualify mostly as un-manned aircraft). Something along the lines like "manned aircraft (or flight) operation viewing spots (or locations)". This would exclude rocket launched that are un-manned like current Space-x launches (like the one that occurred a few days ago that I saw from home that blew up over social media), although Soyuz launches out of Kazakstan would be included, however the milage may want to be increased as rocket launches can be seen for hundreds of miles away from the launch site. I believe this category should only include manned flight operations, to make it simple and more interesting. 

5. The posting requirements must have at least two photos. One of the site such as the view or viewing spot, and the other must be the aircraft.

If these suggestions were to be met, I would greatly consider voting "yea" for this category. If/when you make the group I'll happily join to become an officer. I took a few flight simulator classes inside an actual 737 cockpit and flew a Cessna a few times. Aviation is one of my other passions, outside of Geocaching and Waymarking.

 

I somewhat agree with these propositions.

1. I don't agree that there should be an arbitrary number limit of waymarks per waymarker.  If there are 5 official aircraft viewing locations at a particular airport, then a waymarker should be able to waymark all of them.  Note that I said OFFICIAL -- I would not be interested in a category that would allow a waymarker to take pictures of the view from Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 4, the food court, the passenger lounge, etc. Allowing those unofficial aircraft locations would be a reviewers nightmare, and would dilute the category into meaninglessness.

For airports that DO NOT have OFFICIAL plane-watching locations, then I think waymarks can be created at any spot that is legal to park and watch from, and that gives a good view of the airpanes -- but with a limit of 1 waymark per airport. 

2. I agree with a distance exclusion.

3. Disagree.  If an airport has an OFFICIAL viewing location inside the airport, these should be able to be waymarked, even if you need a plane ticket and a boarding pass to get to it. Not just any old airport view will do - there must be a designation and some proof of the location (a sign, for example). A map of the airport with the offical viewing location, and a GOS photo -- some proof that the photo was taken at the waymarked place.

4. I would limit the category to terrestrial commercial fixed-wing passenger aircraft - do you want heliports in the category?  Tailored categories are better in my view, even if some interesting things are excluded. I have seen Space Shuttle launches from hotel balconies in Orlando -- could my hotel balcony be a waymarkable location? Train watching spots don't allow for every place to view anything that runs on wheels. 

5. I agree with 2 required photos -- but of the (1) overall general location and (2) the sign at the spot. If there is no sign at the spot, then a photo of an identifiable airport feature taken from the viewing place should be required. Of course the photos should be personally obtained. 

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24 minutes ago, Benchmark Blasterz said:

I somewhat agree with these propositions.

1. I don't agree that there should be an arbitrary number limit of waymarks per waymarker.  If there are 5 official aircraft viewing locations at a particular airport, then a waymarker should be able to waymark all of them.  Note that I said OFFICIAL -- I would not be interested in a category that would allow a waymarker to take pictures of the view from Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 4, the food court, the passenger lounge, etc. Allowing those unofficial aircraft locations would be a reviewers nightmare, and would dilute the category into meaninglessness.

For airports that DO NOT have OFFICIAL plane-watching locations, then I think waymarks can be created at any spot that is legal to park and watch from, and that gives a good view of the airpanes -- but with a limit of 1 waymark per airport. 

2. I agree with a distance exclusion.

3. Disagree.  If an airport has an OFFICIAL viewing location inside the airport, these should be able to be waymarked, even if you need a plane ticket and a boarding pass to get to it. Not just any old airport view will do - there must be a designation and some proof of the location (a sign, for example). A map of the airport with the offical viewing location, and a GOS photo -- some proof that the photo was taken at the waymarked place.

4. I would limit the category to terrestrial commercial fixed-wing passenger aircraft - do you want heliports in the category?  Tailored categories are better in my view, even if some interesting things are excluded. I have seen Space Shuttle launches from hotel balconies in Orlando -- could my hotel balcony be a waymarkable location? Train watching spots don't allow for every place to view anything that runs on wheels. 

5. I agree with 2 required photos -- but of the (1) overall general location and (2) the sign at the spot. If there is no sign at the spot, then a photo of an identifiable airport feature taken from the viewing place should be required. Of course the photos should be personally obtained. 

1) I would be very surprised if there were more than two designated spotting places in an airport, but still you have a point there. Notice, however, that they said "per airport", not "per waymarker". I suppose that in an airport only a terrace / platform conceived for observation of the air traffic would be acceptable. I feel that a limit should be established. What if a road goes around the airport, all open views? Ah yes. I misread you. You agree. I would be a bit more liberal though. An airport might have more than one good spot, offering a different perspective. I feel that a number of waymarks per airport should be defined.
3) I think we agree here, they wrote "exception only if the location is itself an official designated spot to view aircraft."
4) I think I agree. Commercial fixed-wind passenger aircraft.
5) I like the sample of a final result of observation, this is, an airplane. Definitely the majority of places won't have a sign.

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On 14/12/2017 at 9:56 PM, Torgut said:

plane spotting is a hobby consisting in the observation and photography of airplanes, tipically commercial airplanes.

You describe "tipically commercial airplanes", and the places where you can photograph the military plane will be excluded ?
Because I know that here in Belgium the 3 MIL airport (KB, Florenne and Beauvechain) have specially arranged "Spotter corner".
Look this in Beauvechain

1Wing.jpg

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