| Spot A: Planeview Park – East Elmhurst

Views: Great view of runway 4 arrivals and departures, as well as 22 departures. Runway 22 arrivals are a little more distant.

Directions: If coming from the west, get off of the Grand Central Parkway at 94th Street, turn left at the light and get back on the GCP in the opposite direction and follow the direction for the east-comers. If coming from the east, exit the Grand Central Parkway at the Marine Air Terminal/Steinway Street (Exit 5). At the light on the exit turn south, away from the airport. Proceed to the next light (23rd Avenue) and make a left. Planeview Park is on your left a few hundred feet down.

By public transportation, you can take the 7 train to Main Street/Flushing, then go topside and you’ll find the first stop of the Q48 on the southwest corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue on the Roosevelt side. Another option is to take the La Guardia-bound M60 bus that can pick you up at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan (transfer fromt he 4,5, or 6 trains), or at various points in Astoria. $2 each way with a Metrocard.

Security: NYPD and PAPD have visited fellow spotters here, with usual kindness. Avoid climbing trees and the fence. As always, carry your ID.

Photography: You can use a full range of lenses here, as the planes come in from far and pass very close to you. The light is good form sunrise until early afternoon in all seasons.

Notes: You might want to bring a stepladder to see over the fence. Also, if you walk one block back towards 83rd Street, you’ll be at Landing Lights Park, which allows for photos from directly underneath for some more angles to enjoy. Once the sun crosses over to the far side in the early afternoon, utilize the northwest corner of Landing Lights Park until sunset.

Some photos shot from this location:

Photo by Tom Turner
Photo by Tom Turner
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.

| Spot B: Grand Central Parkway Pedestrian Bridge – East Elmhurst

Views: Good view of runway 13 departures.

Directions: If coming from the east, get off at the 94th Street exit, turn south and cross the overpass and hang a left onto Ditmars Blvd to go east. From the west, get off at 94th Street exit, but continue straight east, you’ll exit onto Ditmars Blvd already. From there, proceed until 27th Avenue. You’ll see a walkway that leads to a pedestrian bridge over the highway. Go to the far side for a high vantage point.

By public transportation, you can take the 7 train to Main Street/Flushing, then go topside and you’ll find the first stop of the Q48 on the southwest corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue on the Roosevelt side. $2 each way with a Metrocard.

Security: NYPD and PAPD have visited fellow spotters here. As always, carry your ID.

Photography: Although the banking angles are beautiful, you’ll need a 400mm lens for this location, and then you’ll need to crop a bit for anything smaller than a 767. Late is only good past noon, but best late in the day. Planes pass left to right.

Notes: Continue down the ramp and check out the entire boardwalk, or even go further to work your way to Point C.

Some photos shot from this location:

Photo by Ron Peel
Photo by Ron Peel
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Melanie Rose
Photo by Melanie Rose

| Spot C: World’s Fair Marina Boardwalk – Flushing

Views: Great view of runway 31 arrivals, distant view of runway 13 departures.

Directions: From the east, get off the Grand Central Parkway at World’s Fair Marina. From the west, get off of grand Central at the Wan Wyck/Whitestone Bridge exit, and then get off at the next exit, Shea Stadium/World’s Fair Marina. Follow the small roads to the airport side. There will be multiple parking lots, some open and some not, for your to park in. Walk anywhere along the boardwalk.

By public transportation, take the 7 train to Willets Point/Shea Stadium. You’ll be standing on Roosevelt Avenue. Walk east to the next corner and turn left (north) and walk straight. You’ll see the water after a long block. Another option is to go to the Grand Central Pedestrian Bridge (Point B) and walk the boardwalk to the other end.

Security: NYPD’s Harbor Unit has stopped fellow spotters here. As always, carry your ID.

Photography: If you walk close to the flagpole at the far east end of the boardwalk, you’ll have a nice view of aircraft coming in on the Expressway Visual 31 approach from right to left. Often, they are still in their bank when they are close to you, for you can get some nice angles. When at their closest, you can use any lens that covers at least 70-100mm. But as the plane approaches the runway more, a long lens is good to try to get runway 4 departures in the same frame. Light here is good from late morning until sunset.

Notes: Watch your position for taking photos. You can easily get too close for your lens’ capabilities for larger aircraft. Wear a smile for passing joggers.

Some photos shot from this location:

Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Ryan Hemmings
Photo by Ryan Hemmings

| Spot D: College Point/Herman McNeil Park – College Point

Views: Runway 22 arrivals, or runway 4 departures in the distance.

Directions: Get off of the Whitestone Expressway at Exit 14, Linden Place. Get onto the southwest-bound service road (if coming fro the south, you’ll have to cross under the highway once you exit) and proceed to College Point Blvd. Make a right turn, going north, onto College Point Blvd and continue until you are forced to make a left turn onto 5 Ave (also posted as Poppenhusen Avenue). The park will be on your right side. Park towards the end of it once you see the skyline.

By public transportation, take the 7 train to Main Street/Flushing. Go above ground and you’ll find the College Point-bound Q25 bus on the east side of Main Street between Roosevelt Avenue and 40th Avenue in front of the Foot Locker. Take it to the last stop and you’re at the park. $2 each way with a Metrocard.

Security: NYPD has visited fellow spotters here. As always, carry your ID.

Photography: You’ll need at least 300mm from this location. Planes pass from right to left and if you have the range, will pass in front of the skyline for a nice backdrop. The skyline shots will require a full 400mm and some cropping, so use the fence to stabilize your arm as a pseudo-tripod. Light is good until late afternoon.

Notes: If parking on the side of the houses, make sure you respect the neighbors by not blocking their driveway at all.

Some photos shot from this location:

Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Phil Derner Jr.
Photo by Tom Turner
Photo by Tom Turner