I enjoyed my first day “Plane Spotting” at LAX so much that I decided to go back sooner than later and do it again.
This time, I decided to head over to the northeast corner of the airport and go to the world famous In-N-Out Burger Restaurant and take my photos from the park that is across the street from the restaurant. Located at the intersection of West 92 Street and South Sepulveda Boulevard, it is about as close as you can ever get to an airport to watch airplanes and enjoy lunch, dinner or both as it was in my case!
If you plan to visit make sure to have the proper equipment otherwise you will be disappointed. For Imperial Hill (use the above link to see it’s vantage point) you’ll need at least 300mm or more in lens ability otherwise you will not get close to the departing aircraft. For the In-N-Out location 80-140mm will be plenty of lens power. I found myself keeping my 18-70mm in the bag since it was a bit short and had to step back a bit to use my 150-500mm lens effectively.
This time, I would have a great view of arriving aircraft throughout the afternoon. Yesterday’s trip to the Imperial Hill observation area afforded a great look at departing aircraft so today’s trip was a nice compliment.
Throughout the afternoon there were dozens of arrivals, primarily US based carriers and their regional fleet that we see everyday so I’ll spare you from those photos. The photos that I include here are of aircraft one typically doesn’t see everyday in most places (like GRR for example). After 500 pictures, I’ve narrowed it down to some of my favorites, including a few that are slightly off topic (you’ll see what I mean).
I mentioned earlier that there were a few “off-topic” pictures as well. Sitting near a restaurant attracts quite a variety of birds looking to take advantage of people’s generosity. In between arriving aircraft, I had a chance to stalk some of these birds, and found a couple of birds willing to pose.
This bird was perched several yards away. Nothing a fully extended 500mm couldn’t handle:
This little critter decided to demonstrate his hygiene by using dirt as a cleanser:
Having spent parts of 2 days Plane Spotting at LAX, it has quickly become one of my favorite places to watch airliners come and go. Not many airports are conducive to plane spotting but in the case of LAX its about as good as it can get.
My other favorite plane spotting airport is Frankfurt and I would give it a slight advantage over LAX because of it’s dedicated Observation Deck in Terminal 2. Frankfurt’s advantage is it’s ability to put you nearly on the tarmac as far as you vantage point is concerned. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either one!