Whether you are an extreme aviation enthusiast or someone who simply enjoys the magic of flight, plane spotting is a popular pastime. It can be done in the airport while you are waiting to board your plane, sitting in a nearby park, watching from a rooftop terrace … the list goes on.
A couple of days before Thanksgiving, I spent an afternoon watching flights come and go at Gravelly Point, near Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) – one of those iconic plane spotting locations. The area is situated north of DCA between George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Potomac River, lending itself to great views of the airport runways as well as the monuments and memorials that line our National Mall. Not only did I enjoy photographing the planes, but also I also took in the beautiful scenery and watched as families waved to their loved ones taking off above. (Check out my photo gallery below!)
Some airports have areas that are perfect for the activity and pretty well known, while others are more secluded and may only be known by a handful of people. Avid spotters may keep a detailed notebook or photo gallery and seek out certain aircraft or try to collect pictures of specific liveries. Others just enjoy the sound of a jet launching into the air.
We want to know how you plane spot! We are challenging you to send us the details of your favorite spotting sites and we’ll choose a few for our list of Top Places for Plane Spotting! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include the airport, name of the location from where you like to watch and pictures.
Need some tips on plane spotting? Here are a few resources to get you started: