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Thread: KIAD Spotting Questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member cowens727's Avatar
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    KIAD Spotting Questions

    Hey everyone, I'm going to be heading down to DC for President's Day weekend and the number one spot I need to see is the Steven F. Udvar-HazyCenter. It also seems like the parking lot there is an awesome place to spot. Anyone been there? Any tips or info? Thanks in advance for all the help.
    Last edited by cowens727; 01-18-2011 at 09:37 PM. Reason: spelling error

  2. #2
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    I think this is the best document you can have on the subject IAD ;-)

    http://www.washbaltspotters.net/files/iadspots.pdf

    The group's website is also extremely helpful for the other area majors!

    http://www.washbaltspotters.net/

    That being said, you also must visit Gravely Point at DCA if you haven't already. Very exciting spot!
    Manny Gonzalez
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    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    I spotted from there last summer while on business. I'm not sure what the winter light might look like. It cost $15.00 to park there, but the museum is free, which is worth visiting.

    Here's a link to my spotting galleries (look for Dulles). Although not many shots all of them were taken from the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center parking lot. I parked way towards the back where the clearance is a little better because of the trees. http://mbsphotography.smugmug.com/Av...s-and-Spotting

    Here's a link to the photo's for the museum: http://mbsphotography.smugmug.com/Aviation/Air-Museums

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Zee71; 01-19-2011 at 08:09 AM.
    Mark
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    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
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    What do you mean "just got the Enterprise?" It's been on display since the museum opened in 2003.

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    Spotted at Dulles about a month ago now..

    to be honest- i was quite disappointed.. well compared to most of the other airports around the US i visited..
    (this is just my personal opinion) but i believe the spotting locations are a bit lackluster compared to say JFK, LAX..

    I found i missed all the heavies landing/taking off besides UAL ones - because Carpark 1 in that spotting guide had too many obstructions- and then from Carpark 2 where it said the heavies would taxi past- they all used the alternate longer runway which was well out of range (runway 30 i believe)..

    If you are a UAL fan- IAD will be heaven with 260 daily arrivals/departures.. If you aren't well maybe rethink.. now i think of it DCA might have been better for more variation or even BWI was quite good when i was up there with world airways and some unusual movements..

    FWIW, i didnt spot from the Udvar Hazy museum.. just the carpark locations so bear that in mind with the above!
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  6. #6
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    You can also try this link

    http://www.flyiad.net/iad.html

    This page will list all the airlines and the aircraft that they use at IAD. Once on the page click on the link above the table for the spotting information.
    Steve Furst

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qantas_787 View Post
    Spotted at Dulles about a month ago now..

    now i think of it DCA might have been better for more variation or even BWI was quite good when i was up there with world airways and some unusual movements..
    DCA and BWI didn't have much variety when I spotted at both back in November. At BWI you will get a few United 757s and Delta MD88s, but otherwise its mostly Soutwest and some various A320s. If I remember what I saw on flightaware or flight stats correctly, there is only one BA 767 daily or every other day. But I could be mistaken.

    DCA is a great place to spot as the planes will either be landing or taking off right over you (my avatar pic was taken from Gravely Point Park at the end of the runway at DCA), but once again the variety isn't all that great. I must say though if you go at the right time of day there are a fair number of 757s. Mostly though its the USAirways RJs and E175/190s. I also saw a few American MD88s which was nice as I think they look the best in American's colors.
    Steve Furst

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    My bad.........revised my reply about the Enterprise.
    Mark
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  9. #9
    Senior Member cowens727's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help everyone. The plan is to hit the museum from 10am-1pm and then hang in the lot until sunset..the angles look pretty good there. I've been itching to catch a UA/CO heavy and the SAS A330....and I really don't mind all the UAL flying around down there, NYC skies are pretty void of the tulip so catching some 76's and 77's in various liveries is ok by me.

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    Hey cowens727 -
    IAD spotting can be great at times, and horrible at others. For the best traffic, you definitely want to be out on a Sunday. On Sunday, you'll see Avianca, Turkish, Saudi, and all the rest of the usuals. On most days, you will see a ton of United 777s 767s A320s and A319s. Traffic picks up around 9 am, with Ethiopian, ANA, and Korean arriving within a few hours. It gets extremely slow from 11-1. Around 1, it starts picking up with Air France arriving around 1:30. From 2-5, it gets really busy, with internationals arriving one after each other.

    For spotting locations, the UHC parking lot is great for 1R arrivals. You get a different angle from all around the lot too. Here are examples of the different angles you can get from the lot (They are all geotagged):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7625662394141/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7622770467707/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7624036335568/
    For 19R, it's a little trickier. If you don't have a car, just stick to the parking garage. Its not ideal for the afternoon, but its great for morning Asian arrivals. Examples:
    (Morning)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7624414339577/
    (Afternoon)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7624827549622/
    If you do have a car, I would go to the Five Guys off Waxpool Rd, or you can go to the Ashburn Ice House for a side view.
    (Five Guys view)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7618652485964/
    Finally for 19L, you can go to the purple lot. This is my favorite spot because of the view. They have buses running from the terminal to the lot every few minutes. If they are doing northern ops, I would stay at this location. You'll get more United T7's, but the International traffic is hit or miss.
    (Purple Lot)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7624827549622/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2622340...7622756656910/

    I think that covers everything, if you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cowens727's Avatar
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    Well, Sunday it is! Thanks for the heads up....I'll probably spend all of my time spotting at the SUH lot, unless runway 1R isn't in use that day...fingers crossed!

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