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Plane Spotting at LAX and other airports


azdr0710
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many Angelenos and others here probably know about the tiny little park across from the In N Out on Sepulveda that offers incredible views of planes landing on LAX's north runways....

 

http://www.nycaviation.com/spotting-guides/lax/ scroll down a bit to "Spot A"

 

gets a bit monotonous after a bit

 

for those who have seen this spot and other plane spotting sites in the domestic US, does anybody have an opinion on the most "wow" holy-jesus place to watch?....I know the top of the Laurel St Parking Garage in San Diego is a good spot, too, but is a bit policed.....(for those landing in SD, sit on the right side and hope winds are out of the west)....I know much depends on wind patterns throughout the day...and I know the famous St Martin airport is notorious, but looking for domestic spots

 

gets better after 1:30

 

thanks a lot

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I guess it partly depends upon exactly what you are trying to accomplish. At a lot of airports the FBO, Fixed Based Operator, who is the fuel supplier to general aviation has a close up view of what is going on at the airport, sometimes just from their parking lot. They are not going to be happy if a lot of folks show up and just stand around in their lobby but one or two persons who are respectful and just trying to blend in will likely be let alone to just be there and look. Most any airport that has busy airline activity qualifies according to my description. LAS, SFO, OAK,SEA, etc.,etc. all qualify on the "left coast". Plus, many more. Some of the busier GA airports might also be interesting such as VNY, SMO, BUR, TOA, if you like helicopters, etc. TOA is the home of Robinson helicopters.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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You are correct about OSH being a wonderful venue to see a LOT of aviation up close but I don't think you will be seeing the space shuttle or Concorde there any time soon. However, AirVenture is not a drive up and look for a few minutes situation but rather a spectacle, adventure, vacation and so much more. A VERY long day, after you get there, will only begin to scratch the surface of what is on exhibit, never mind the air shows. Certainly, 3 days or so if one cannot justify the whole week will at least get you a good taste of what transpires there. Some folks plan on going the next year the day the "show" closes. Camping, travel trailers, motor homes, etc. are allowed as well as hotels, motels and homes opened for visitors in the more or less nearby vicinity.

 

The Concorde HAS been there and so has the A380. This is an excellent opportunity to walk up close, perhaps get on board but, in some cases, not touch, aircraft you would not ordinarily see anywhere else or could not get close to without an airline ticket.

 

I could go on and on but I will stop now (unless encouraged). :)

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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Yes, I should have been more clear. Those aircraft have appeared in the past. Nothing particularly interesting (to me) is scheduled for this summer but I doubt that the list is complete yet. And something converted "homebuilt" to "homeboy". Though there probably will be a few homeboys seating one there.

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I guess it partly depends upon exactly what you are trying to accomplish.

 

looking for mostly larger commercial aircraft (not a 737 or MD-80) that you can watch up close as they land and make a lot of noise ("holy jesus!").....not looking to walk around an aircraft museum as I've done that enough....would like legal viewing spots that are unusually close to the approach or takeoff....I know it depends on wind and time of day, too....my Dad was a long-time airline captain so I know many airports within the US, but looking for new ideas....thought of the LAX In N Out spot and that made me wonder about other places in the country as impressive as that viewing spot....thanks a lot

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Miami International Airport and NW 12th Street that runs parallel to the East-West runways. Awesome place and on Friday or Saturday nights there would be over 50 cars out there. Now we were not really watching the planes, but it was innocent fun. I have a stack of pictures somewhere of us just goofing off out there; that was so much fun. Fast forward to today and watch how fast TSA comes to you if some innocent bastard stops there with his wife and kids on the shoulders of this public road just to watch the planes for a few minutes. It is difficult to explain to your kid why the policeman came running to you with their big guns. George Bush and Dick Cheney (thank you for keeping me safe) did a wonderful job of getting us all worked up in a frenzie. It would not surprise me if they would suspend landings and take offs if anyone stopped on that road today, I know I stopped there about three years ago and had two vehicles (airport police) there in a matter of minutes, they were ready to deal with it, you know the terrorists comes in all shapes and sizes. Now just don't take a camera out, TSA has declared photographers as potential terrorists. I have a picture of a TSA poster here showing a photographer and pointing out the possibility that he could be a terrorist and to report anyone you see taking pictures or with a camera the number to call if you see any of us photographers is 1-866-GA-SECURE...damn I wish I knew how to post it here!

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So far, the TSA has only been unreasonable at GA facilities that are co-located on airline airports. I have a pound of paperwork, a badge and "limited authority" to be there to prove it. At GA only airports they are relying much more on the pilot population and the staff who work there to be alert for "suspicious" activity. I think that is very appropriate but I don't know how long it will last in the present course towards a police state.

 

If you want to be near the larger airliners when they take off or land, obviously you have to go where they are. LAX, ORD, SFO, SEA, ANC, ATL, JFK, EWR, etc. If I am going into one of these I usually have a pretty good view as I am out and amongst them. :) Surely, one or more has a "civilian" vantage point accessible to all but other than the FBO's I don't know where that might be. If I run across any ideas I will let you know.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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No, but pilots and others who are alert can do a lot to minimize this threat. The TSA is a waste of time. Folks who really know what aviation is all about will be looking for and reporting those who are most likely to be a threat. If the "general" population and, specifically, the pilot and other aviation community, does not thwart this threat we are in deep trouble. If you see airliners throwing chaff when they take-off, you will know that we are "doomed", more or less.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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