Aviation News

December 17, 2009

NYCAviation on the Today Show!

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Written by: Phil Derner Jr.
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Al Roker and Ann Curry having a good time while taking in some spotting at Bayswater Park.

NYCAviation made its network television debut as NBC’s “Today” aired a segment covering the team’s efforts to spread aviation enthusiasm among the masses. I was lucky enough to spend a morning planespotting with Al Roker and Ann Curry, where we braved heavy winds and changing runways during our opportunity to show them and our country why hundreds of thousands around the world enjoy aviation.

Al and Ann were both a pleasure to hang out with, and smiles and laughs were shared by all as I explained the various ways one can practice their passion, how to go about identifying aircraft and we also gave them a photo lesson as well. Ann Curry knew her way around a camera already, and we were all very impressed with her handling of it. Al was eager to identify the planes and even amazed us at some of the airline knowledge he already had.

For those new visitors to the site, NYCAviation.com has been an online news and resource organization geared towards aviation enthusiasts for 6 years. A considerable amount of what we do surrounds the aspect of the hobby known as “planespotting”, where people go to airports to enjoy the sights and sounds of commercial aviation by means of taking photos, or just by relaxing with fellow aficionados on a nice day. To Learn more about Planespotting itself, check out our new and growing “Planespotting for Dummies” section.

NYCAviation Founder Phil Derner (me) explaining the hobby to Ann.

NYCAviation Founder Phil Derner (me) talking about the hobby to Ann.

The goal of NYCAviation is to create an environment that allows people to enjoy and celebrate their passion for aviation by not only providing the tools that are needed to have a fun time, but by working with the community  to also make our airports a safer place.

Those tools that we make available include interesting, fun and relevant airline news, Spotting Guides, history features, an in-depth forum for communication, and consultation on the hobby, as you have seen on television today.

We wanted to provide something new and something that is unavailable to the hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts around the world. Our success  in supporting the hobby, along with news references and syndications have been seen on CNN, The New York Times, The New Yorker, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Sun, and many other forms of television, radio, magazines and books.

If you would like to learn more about our organization and what we do, you can read about us here or contact us at [email protected].

Thanks for stopping by!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A great time had by all.

A great time had by all.



About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.




 
 

 

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  • Jamaal Fubu

    Who's the jackass in the Phillies shirt?

  • Jamaal Fubu

    Who's the jackass in the Phillies shirt?

  • Ron E.

    Never try to explain our hobby to odd people and be lucky not everybody is doing this……! (Nice to see Melanie with the guys around) Ron E. FRA

  • Ron E.

    Never try to explain our hobby to odd people and be lucky not everybody is doing this……! (Nice to see Melanie with the guys around) Ron E. FRA

  • Brian

    Who are the 2 eye candies ?

  • Brian

    Who are the 2 eye candies ?

  • Diego

    As a fellow spotter and airplane mech (7years) I am disappointed;
    AL made all of us look like retards!!! just because we like airplanes.
    See this been a passive habby not a lot people get it or like it and thruth be told this is not a hobby for everyone, My GF of 2 years dont understand why i do it.
    My own co-workers dont like it and they make airplanes for a living here in SC.
    thank you for trying 🙂 good luck

  • Diego

    As a fellow spotter and airplane mech (7years) I am disappointed;
    AL made all of us look like retards!!! just because we like airplanes.
    See this been a passive habby not a lot people get it or like it and thruth be told this is not a hobby for everyone, My GF of 2 years dont understand why i do it.
    My own co-workers dont like it and they make airplanes for a living here in SC.
    thank you for trying 🙂 good luck

  • Chris P

    thats true this is not easy to explain why we love planes…. I don't like Harleys, Bikes… I hate when in my town is Bike week… I just can not understand why this ppl like it so much ?? Yes I did try couple times and I just can't enjoy bike rides… same is with spotting… some people can not understand why am I spending hours and hours on watching a planes driving few thousand miles a year to see Air Shows… this hobby is very simple… or you in or you out….

  • Chris P

    thats true this is not easy to explain why we love planes…. I don't like Harleys, Bikes… I hate when in my town is Bike week… I just can not understand why this ppl like it so much ?? Yes I did try couple times and I just can't enjoy bike rides… same is with spotting… some people can not understand why am I spending hours and hours on watching a planes driving few thousand miles a year to see Air Shows… this hobby is very simple… or you in or you out….

  • Proud of you guys! And don't be tooooo hard on Al, it is very hard to explain a hobby. Try to get an answer from somebody as to why they do bird watching….

  • Proud of you guys! And don't be tooooo hard on Al, it is very hard to explain a hobby. Try to get an answer from somebody as to why they do bird watching….

  • No matter how hard it is to explain a hobby, I think it's just plain rude to act the way Al did…especially when you're on assignment to be learning about that new hobby! If someone told me they collected coins, or stamps…or hunted for Bigfoot, etc…I'd think "how boring…how strange." Still, I'd ask genuine questions, learn a bit, and I'd know that for some reason, this was interesting, novel and important to the person. He made himself sound very ignorant with his snide remarks and disinterest.

  • No matter how hard it is to explain a hobby, I think it's just plain rude to act the way Al did…especially when you're on assignment to be learning about that new hobby! If someone told me they collected coins, or stamps…or hunted for Bigfoot, etc…I'd think "how boring…how strange." Still, I'd ask genuine questions, learn a bit, and I'd know that for some reason, this was interesting, novel and important to the person. He made himself sound very ignorant with his snide remarks and disinterest.

  • As a Houstonian (former Long Islander) I have used your site to gather info on spotting at your airports when I visit.
    I am glad that there are fellow spotters out there for infosharing and laud your getting the word out to the masses. Granted, it may not have gone exactly as planned, but the bottom line is that more people know that spotters are out there and might just check out the hobby, or maybe even create their own regional site themselves!

    Good luck and good wx to you guys!

    Chris Ebdon, Aerospace Photographer
    Av8pix

  • As a Houstonian (former Long Islander) I have used your site to gather info on spotting at your airports when I visit.
    I am glad that there are fellow spotters out there for infosharing and laud your getting the word out to the masses. Granted, it may not have gone exactly as planned, but the bottom line is that more people know that spotters are out there and might just check out the hobby, or maybe even create their own regional site themselves!

    Good luck and good wx to you guys!

    Chris Ebdon, Aerospace Photographer
    Av8pix

  • Joe Baumann

    Al Roker's and Ann Curry's ignorance of and apathy towards spotting and commercial aviation are typical of MOST Americans ! This is due , in part , to the disappeance of airpory observation decks … and now that Big Brother unjustifiably restricts Americans from visiting & enjoying our airports in its concourses and terminals ! I have contested this since Day 1 after Mineta infringed upon MY freedom and mobility . Fellow spotters should join together in contacting our senators and representatives ; to regain our freedom ! Americans DIDN'T commit 9 / 11 ! So why does Uncle Sam punish us !? From my first visit to the Observation Deck at PHL , circa 1954-55 , to my youth enjoying the observation decks on 5 of 6 concourses at MIA ( in the 60s > ) , I've been plane crazy ! I'm always glad to learn about fellow Americans who share the same passion !

    All the best to you guys ,

    Joe Baumann
    MSgt. , USAF ( Ret. )

  • Joe Baumann

    Al Roker's and Ann Curry's ignorance of and apathy towards spotting and commercial aviation are typical of MOST Americans ! This is due , in part , to the disappeance of airpory observation decks … and now that Big Brother unjustifiably restricts Americans from visiting & enjoying our airports in its concourses and terminals ! I have contested this since Day 1 after Mineta infringed upon MY freedom and mobility . Fellow spotters should join together in contacting our senators and representatives ; to regain our freedom ! Americans DIDN'T commit 9 / 11 ! So why does Uncle Sam punish us !? From my first visit to the Observation Deck at PHL , circa 1954-55 , to my youth enjoying the observation decks on 5 of 6 concourses at MIA ( in the 60s > ) , I've been plane crazy ! I'm always glad to learn about fellow Americans who share the same passion !

    All the best to you guys ,

    Joe Baumann
    MSgt. , USAF ( Ret. )

  • darlyn

    LOL, you expect modern American television to accurately and politely portray an activity most people don't care for? I honestly cannot bear to watch TV anymore. Beats me what year in the last decade it was that I watched a full "Daily" show "news" report.

  • darlyn

    LOL, you expect modern American television to accurately and politely portray an activity most people don't care for? I honestly cannot bear to watch TV anymore. Beats me what year in the last decade it was that I watched a full "Daily" show "news" report.

  • Subject-matter wasn’t reviewed objectively. Disappointing.

    This report was a great opportunity for the “media-professionals”, NBC in this case, to present and deliver a positive and exciting alternative for today’s youth.

    Well, at least a positive residual result is… now the public and law-enforcement know who’s out there NOT causing a threat to our air-travel infrastructure.

  • I remember hanging out at the different airports in the Milw area so I could watch the planes taking off. I often wondered where they were going. Then I took my fiance, . . . and then my wife & kids. Then I became a Private Pilot, then a Commercial pilot, then an Instrument pilot and Multi-engine pilot and then . . . then I wound up flying for Midwest Express Airlines out of MKE. Talk about a dream coming true for a kid, huh? You see I too love the smell of jet fuel in the morning, and still do.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the initiative that NBC chose to air this segment, but am seriously disappointed by Al Roker displeasure of the hobby (lesser by Ann Curry, whom was trying to be marginally objective).  Had this story been covered by Asian or in European broadcasters, and at their respective airports, it may have been received with much higher regard.  I’m sad that they couldn’t even appreciate the very instance an airline
    takes flight, such a significant feeling, or that an airline travels for
    thousands of miles to land with precision on a runway, without showing such
    disinterest.  Next time, John Travolta needs to pay a visit, and spend some time spotting with NYCAviation – then only may the journalists paint this hobby in a better light.