Aircraft Spotting

Introduction to Air Craft Spotting

            Aircraft spotting also commonly as known as “plane spotting” is a well-known activity done around the world. People who enjoy this hobby have a passion for aircraft and all the details that go with it such as the movement of the plane, the design, details about the airport, and any other detail they may be interested in. If you are a fan of aircrafts this could be a fantastic hobby for you to pick up, it can be very exciting, and you can learn a lot of knowledge about different planes.

spotting c5 aircraft

The Basics of Spotting Airplanes

Where do I go?

Now, where exactly do you go to watch these planes take off and land? You can visit your local airport to observe, although airports are the most popular location to watch planes it is certainly not the only place you can participate in aircraft spotting, there are different hotels around that may be located near an airport where you can have easy access to view the planes through your window. Any close location to an airport where you can get a good view of the plane could work. Interesting enough one of the most popular spots for plane spotting is in Los Angeles at the In-N-Out Burger, the location of the restaurant is a thousand feet away from the Los Angeles International Airport runway which makes it perfect for plane spotters to get the best view possible.

What Is The Cost?

The best part about plane spotting is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg for it to be entertaining. When you are first getting started you can choose your eyes to watch the planes by simply being in the moment, take notes on paper, and if you want to capture photos or videos you can start off by using a camera you already have or use your phone camera. Getting yourself to an airport or a location to view the planes is the only thing you’ll need to figure out. You can do research to find any suggested locations that may be close to your home.

aircraft spotting airliner

How Much Time Does it Take?

The amount of time that you will need to put into this hobby is all up to you. If you are looking to be a professional plane spotter just like anything it will take time, the more practice you do the better you will become. Putting practice into this hobby will require work even when you are not at the airport, it is a good idea to be doing research and gaining knowledge of the hobby even after you think you have mastered it. You should put time into reading books, articles, and or watching videos. Look into information on others that have been a success in this activity to mirror their actions. Plane spotting may seem simple but there is a lot more than you think that goes into this activity, such as the amount of walking you’ll be doing and making sure the sun doesn’t get into the way, marking the right movements, etc.

What Equipment Will I Need?

When you are first getting started it doesn’t have to cost you much money or none at all but if you are looking to make this a regular activity in your life and want to be the best you can be there will be big spending involved, to save money it is best to start off slow with your purchases or you can gear towards buying inexpensive products at first, this way you won’t have dug yourself into a hole if choose this hobby is not for you. There are many different products and it all depends on what works best with you and how you want your style to be.

One of the most important items you will need to be successful and to get the best out of your plane spotting experience is a good pair of binoculars. With a good, high-quality pair of binoculars, you will get the opportunity to get the best view of the plane, you can easily track the movements of the aircraft, see details such as the numbers, wings, engine, or whatever else you may be looking to get your eye on.

 A suggested pair to start with is with a nice pair of plane spotting binoculars, a great starter pair is the Usogood 12×50 binoculars. The price is unbeatable for all the features these binoculars include, they come with a tripod, phone adaptor, travel bag, and cleaning cloth. You can set your binoculars up to your phone to take unbelievable clear photos from a far distance with the choice of using the tripod for a more hands-free experience, binoculars can be heavy to hold for long periods of time with the tripod you won’t have to worry about that happening. The Usogood binoculars include a nonslip grip on them so if you are participating in plane spotting in rainy conditions they won’t slip easily out of your hands resulting in messing up your experience. They also work in low lighting so if it becomes a little dark outside, you’ll have the ability to see out of them still, they have a great pair of plane spotting lenses. These are a great pick if you are first starting out especially with all the handy extra items included. Amazon.com : Usogood 12X50 Binoculars for Adults with Tripod, Waterproof Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching, Hiking, Traveling, Hunting and Sports Events, Smart Phone Adaptor for Photography : Camera & Photo

            Another important factor that goes into plane spotting is having somewhere to take notes, having your own journal that is dedicated to all your aircraft spotting movements and other information is necessary to grow in the hobby. When you are first getting started it may be unknown to you the information you should be tracking in your notebook. Luckily there is a great notebook to track your information while giving a nice guide and layout to get a jump start. This notebook also provides knowledge on factors such as the rules of plane spotting with a helpful equipment checklist to make sure you have all your materials. The pages also give you a nice section for you to place a photo of the planes you have captured with your camera. This book is called the Concise Plane Spotting Logbook. Amazon.com: Concise Plane Spotting Logbook: Aircraft Spotting Logbook, And Plane Spotting Journal For The Ardent Aviation Lover (6″x9″ 124 Pages With Prompts) (9798562713223): Books, FlyingFreedom: Books

            If you are looking to get high-quality pictures that are better than when taken off of your smartphone, you may want to invest in a camera. Cameras can be expensive depending on the features you are looking for. A good camera to start with that has great features and is in the affordable price range is the 4K VideoSky Digital Camera. This camera has a 2 in 1 wide-angle camera lens. The camera has the ability to connect to your phone using wi-fi without connecting it to any cables, this way you have easy access to transporting your pictures. While you are recording a video you can simply pause the video and press play to continue recording where you left off, no editing required. The anti-function ability will for sure make your pictures and videos clear as day without letting your shaky hands get in the way of capturing the perfect photo. This camera is a nice deal to get started on the path of capturing the perfect plane spotting moments. Amazon.com : 4K Digital Camera, Video Camera Camcorder VideoSky UHD 48MP with WiFi 3.5 in Touch Screen 16 X Digital Zoom Wide Angle Lens YouTube Vlogging Cameras : Electronics

            If you know someone that is interested in plane spotting these are also perfect plane spotting gifts that you can purchase for your aircraft lover. These are the main items needed to kick off their plane spotting journey. Any plane spotter beginner will love these products.

Where Can I Learn More Information?

A helpful idea to get started learning more today on plane spotting is to check out forums or online groups on the internet. Every and any activity you can think of has a forum for it on the web, plane spotting is one of them. Many people who participate in this hobby enjoy sharing their photos and videos from their experience with other plane spotters around the world. Not only is it interesting to view other’s experiences it will also help you boost your knowledge by reading and talking to other participants. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and learn new tips.

            A helpful spot on the internet for fellow plane spotters is Home – ThePlaneSpottersCommunity. This website gives you the chance to set up their extension to your browser to view more activities for plane spotting than you can dream of, you can track your sightings on their database to share with others around the world, you will be able to view videos from other members along with photos and information on their sightings. This community is a great platform to post statuses and communicate with others on your recent plane spotting experiences, as well as asking questions, and learning new information every day.

            Another forum to get involved with the plane spotting community is FighterControl – Spotters Area – Serials and Airfield Logs, on this website you can post new topics, questions, and photos on the hobby. This is a great way to ask questions and to get them answered by other plane spotters around the world. You can discuss sightings and share your input with others as well. All you have to do is sign up with your email to get started, no downloads or payments are required.

            A website to share your best plane spotting photos is Aviation photos – 4 million+ on JetPhotos. Not only can you view awesome pictures of airplanes, but you can also join in discussions on the photos, like, and share your favorites. They have their own forum section for conversations and questions to take place on certain plane spotting topics. If you take a perfect photo and post it you can have the chance to be featured as the photo of the week on their website.

Get Started

            Plane spotting can be a new and different hobby to get involved in. If you are serious about wanting to take up this activity it is best to do the most research possible before you head to the airport. You want to have some idea of what you are supposed to be doing. This is can be a great activity to learn about if you are someone who has a passion for planes or you have an interest in them on some level. With plane spotting, you will be learning new information all the time. It is not as easy as it seems but with dedication you can one day become an excellent plane spotter.