Hobbies And Interests On The Road: Plane Spotting

My interest in aviation and plane spotting is probably traceable in my DNA. I’m one of those who when they hear an airplane scan the sky to spot it. I can stand outside an airport watching and snapping images of airplanes as they come and go for hours on end. Sit watching the sky for two aircraft high up whose paths might cross each others trying to capture an image of the two as they do. Or the most challenging, capture one passing in front of the moon.

Nighttime photography and plane spotting combined with a full moon.

Southwest 737 passes in front of a full moon.

This interest has me looking for viewing vantage points near airports and air fields. During our recent visit to Yuma, we found a pair of couples who found this activity as enjoyable. They all were in their ’70s/80s and didn’t know one type airplane from another but they enjoyed sitting outside soaking up some warm Arizona sunshine during their short escape from the north’s winter grasp. Between planes, reading a book, surfing the web on their smartphones/tablets fill the time at zero out of pocket. When they got bored or hungry they left.

An F-16 pulls a high G climb while dispensing a defensive thermal flare.


In some locations around the country even while in the remotest of areas, often you can sit and enjoy daily airshows courtesy of the military or civilian pilots training. Watching state of the art fighter jets simulate aerial dog-fighting, complete with the occasional firing of defensive flares to make the event even more interesting.

While my focus is on photography, just plane spotting, itself, is fun. If they are too high or too far away, use a pair of binoculars as you would watching feathered birds.

Art Prints
Some airports provide designated public areas for plane watchers to do what they enjoy…BUT ever since 911, airports and military airfields in cooperation with Homeland Security are making this more difficult. PAY ATTENTION to any signage near or around airfields. Many ideal spotting locations are NOT public properties.  Don’t put yourself in a place that is a hazard to yourself and others.

An arriving American Airlines Boeing 737 as seen from Founders Park at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport.

A FedEx Airbus prepares to depart Phoenix Skyharbor Airport as the setting sun paints a beautiful sky contrasted by the city’s lights.

You never know when or where you’ll spot a plane…like this one on Lake Medina in TX at the park we were stay at.

Sharing is Caring

Subscribe to Virtually Ride Along ...

You'll get tips and updates as we post them and info to help you plan an adventure of your own.

Gerald Voigt

Gerald's interests are wide and varied. His work career started in the United States Air Force and since then has worked in logistics management, retail & service management as well as manufacturing. He's an author, photographer, pilot, radio show host and marketing consultant who enjoys RVing which allows him greater freedom to explore, meet new acquaintances and serve his clients.