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Thread: NYCA's Best Spotting Photos of 2012 Contest

  1. #1
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    NYCA's Best Spotting Photos of 2012 Contest

    Best Spotting Photos of 2012 Contest!!

    [ADMIN EDIT: Hey all, we’re going to make this thread into a contest! There will be one winner for each category (Commercial, Military and VIP/Special). Each person can submit a maximum of three photos per category.
    Judges: Phil, Matt and Jeremy (we are not eligible to win)
    Deadline: 23:59 on December 26th, 2012. Winners will be announced January 2nd, 2013.
    Prizes: NYCA Logo T-shirt, NYCA Hat and Planespotter Guide, to the winner of each category.

    Because this thread has already existed before it became a contest, you are allowed to change your photos, or add to them to reach your 3-photo max at anytime until the deadline.

    PLEASE continue to post your great stories along with the photos. We’re really enjoying them! Thanks! -Phil]

    Let's see everyone's best of 2012(Aviation)

    How about three images in each category

    1. Commerical Aviation
    2. Military/Air Shows
    3. VIP/Special Visitors

    Also if you have a story to go along with your photo lets here it.
    Last edited by eric8669; 12-12-2012 at 09:20 PM.
    It's hard to take chances but sometimes it's better if you do
    On Twitter @southpawcapture

  2. #2
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Only three per category? OK, I'll try...

    Commercial Aviation:

    1 - One of the last shots I took on my last visit to JFK before heading south.

    2 - Making the most of my new digs to get up close and personal with a LH A340 arriving at CLT.

    3 - In addition to really nice light, I learned later that our Favorite Futterman was making the landing. I had no idea at the time he was flying it, and almost left before they got there. It was just dumb luck I got the shot.

    Military / Air Shows:

    1 - Last of a four-ship of F-15s departs for a Veterans Day flyover of the Carolina Panthers NFL game. Finally got to meet NYCAer Adam Sheinhaus, and was contacted by the pilot of this aircraft for a copy of the photo.

    2 - Making vapor at Jones Beach

    3 - P-51 at the Warbirds Over Monroe airshow.

    VIP / Special Visitors:

    1 - Just a few days before I started the new job, I spent a few hours at JFK, and caught a Moroccan Air Force C-130, a Saudi 747SP, and this Moroccan government BBJ.

    2 - An-124 visiting CLT. Fortunately, I decided to work from home that day, and took a long lunch to get the shot. A couple of hours later it was gone.

    3 - Spotting highlight of the year - maybe of a lifetime. When they announced Enterprise was coming to New York, I knew they would use Runway 31L, and this was the shot I wanted, short final, ready to land, with the JFK Tower in the background. You have to love it when a plan comes together...

    And a bonus shot, because such a momentous occasion deserves another look, and because it's my favorite from that day...

  3. #3
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Well, I will add my $0.02 to this thread. Granted, depending on how my LAX trip goes, I may need to make some substitutions later

    On the Civil side...

    1st Place has to go to the first, and only, time I ever caught a Singaporean 747-400. She was a longtime favorite of mine, and to see her on her final JFK arrival was something special for me. I can remember many years ago while transferring JFK en route to San Juan, seeing this collossal plane taxiing to a gate at the airport. It was the biggest thing I had ever seen, and it said Singapore on the side. All these years later, I still had never seen her fly. So when Fasil proposed a JFK trip to see the first A380 from SQ, I couldn't wait. We managed to make it up a day early, and caught this wonderful megatop from Panera.

    2nd place has to go to my drag race between Etihad and the Airport Train at JFK back in early January. While may disagree, I think it is one of my better photos from the year. That JFK trip was absolutely amazing for me, and I hope to make it back up in a few weeks!

    I have always loved the MD-11, but sadly never seem to have the good fortune of catching them. I always enjoy looking at high flying jets overhead, and when this World MD-11 traversed the Moon, well, you could say I was over the moon. It quickly became one of my favoritre images, ever.


    Story time- For the benefit of those of you who may not know me very well, I feel like now would be a good time to mention the fact that I am a perfectionist, and that I can be incredibly hard on myself when I feel like I've messed up. 3 days into Red Flag 12-4, where I was working on a piece covering the Colombian Air Force, and I was getting quite concerned. I'd seem my images thus far in the exercise, and was rapidly realizing I wouldn't have enough for a story unless something changed, or unless my Tanker flight the next day went exceptionally well. No worries- then the tanker flight was cancelled. I was panicked. They made the offer for a Monday or Tuesday flight for the next week, while I was scheduled to leave at the crack of dawn that same Monday. I had no money to extend my ticket, was too young to rent a car, and was seemingly out of luck. Without any other options, I decided to go for the Hail Mary. I had one free round trip voucher on Air Tran Airways from a travel snafu the previous winter, and after some phone calls, finger crossing, and some luck, managed to find an available seat leaving on Wednesday morning- my Tanker was scheduled for Monday. Monday, miles of walking and buses, to the tune of about 3 hours one way, I was sitting aboard the 767 MMTT aircraft. We were aborted due to weather. I was disappointed to say the least, but was offered the chance to try again on Tuesday. After a repeat of the same trek from across the city, I got my lucky break. And even though my wallet was stolen on the way home that night (there went the last $60 to my name at the time) I'd say it was well worth it!

    2nd place for me has to go to the Darth Vader CAG jet of VAQ-209. Having always been a huge Prowler fan, this bird was an awesome treat!

    3rd place has to go to the B-52H shot that recently became my first photo published in Smithsonian Air & Space magazine (check out this months issue )

    Special Visitors

    Once again, no contest for 1st, the arrival of the Space Shuttle Discover at Dulles in April. It was awesome getting to finally meet Manny, and linking up with William again in time for this historic event.

    2nd has to go to Air Force One, which I caught on two separate occasions at 2 separate airports, in a 2 month period. Despite being convinced I was going to be detained in Richmond when I took this shot, and only catching him in Colorado Springs due to the tower messing up the ILS approach, I managed to pull off two unique shots. Sadly the same airframe both times, so I am still missing half the fleet...

    And in a last minute substitution, 3rd goes to my first F-35A Lightning II, who paid a surprise visit to Ft. Worth Alliance Airport. As a civilian airport, home to a FedEx Hub, and a recently closed American Airlines Maintenance Facility, America's newest stealth fighter was the last thing I expected to see. However, while clearing a Learjet to depart, I heard the tower instruct "Traffic on a 10 mile final is an F-35". That certainly got my attention. He picked the best light of the day to land too!

    Hope Y'all enjoyed

    Last edited by NickPeterman; 12-20-2012 at 07:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)
    Awesome year.

    The day the first Singapore A380 came in, this beauty also arrived

    Even my Mom came out to see this one...1st Hawaiian Air into JFK

    After an initial disappointment, finally got the elusive Boxing Kangaroo:

    Always wanted me some Phantoms- Atlantic City 2012

    Raptor demo @ Jones Beach

    Bad to the Bone, baby- Joint MDL 2012

    Special Visitors/VIP's
    787 into EWR

    Space Shuttle Discovery/SCA @ IAD:

    Been chasing a Careless for 7 years now. Slovak Gov't Tu-154 during UN Week

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
    Good stuff guys. I'll post mine later today.
    It's hard to take chances but sometimes it's better if you do
    On Twitter @southpawcapture

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Commercial Aviation:

    Smokin Virgin in Las Vegas


    Harrier at KIWA

    P-51 "Never Miss" shot at night during Jones Beach Airshow weekend

    Blue Angels at El Centro......I only wish the haze hadn't been in the skies in the afternoon

    VIP/Special Visitors:

    Great catch for my final full day of a Florida vacation

    Working on a project for Pratt & Whitney made it possible to get tipped off about this visitor. Being friendly with BDL airport OPS made it possible to photograph it's departure from the side of the runway.
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cary's Avatar
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    Sep 2007

    Unfortunately, this year was marked with more near-misses and bad luck than good. But here is some of what I got:

    It was like the hand of God made me go to the Mounds, to get this closeup of the TAM nose gear incident.

    787 Dream Tour in BOS

    I had tons of bad luck with this plane, and finally was about to get it in nice light at my favorite spot (the Mounds). I was worried it might go to the 13s, but was relieved to hear it call in for 22L. About 3-4 planes before the Qantas, the BA 744 that arrived got a cargo fire warning light upon touchdown, declared an emergency, and shut it down on the runway (what are the odds? ). They started moving arrivals to the right, so Manny and I headed over and got it there.


    I had taken this day off work well in advance, but when I heard there was an IL-76 at BWI, I had to go down there to see if I could catch it leaving. The departure was planned for a time that had great light, but as that came and went, it was obvious there was an issue. Someone on the field said there was a MX problem, and the engines were open. As the light continued to fade, and the plane was 2 hours delayed, some people started leaving. Just as I thought there was no hope, I saw the tail move above the horizon, and it departed about 30 minutes before sunset.

    There was a group of about 5 of us at the Mounds, and I swore I heard something strange checking in for 22R. When no one wanted to come with me, I wondered if I just heard wrong. Of course, as it was coming in, a big truck came and rolled very slowly right in front of me. This was one of the few shots that survived the dust/truck heat haze storm.

    After getting this on the left side, I missed the Tupolev I've been trying to get for 3 years (spending about $1000-1500 on gas/tolls/hotel) on the right.


    Just one military pic from me, courtesy our friends at the American Air Power Museum.
    AeroPX Aviation Photography - Website | Facebook
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Delta777LR's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
    Here mine of what little I did this year
    2 VIPs

    1. Military. I went through alot of hussle trying to catch Air Force 1!

    3. Commercial Aviation
    I manage to catch my very first Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8H4 approaching runway 22 at La Guardia Airport while shooting from Soundview in the Bronx

    I finaly got lucky being at Bayswater at the right time, ending TC-JJI off my list!

    My luckiest catch ever at La Guardia Airport was this Air Canada Retro A319 approaching rwy31
    Last edited by Delta777LR; 12-14-2012 at 06:48 PM.
    Sergio has been a huge Delta Air Lines fan since 1992!!

    Sergio Cardona

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Oct 2006


    Special Visitors:

    Last edited by Chris102; 12-26-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2006
    Commercial Aviation

    1. D-AIMC, KMIA, 1/9/12 -- I decided that I had gotten enough shots with the El Dorado angle, and as Lufthansa's Big Bertha started rolling down the taxiway towards RWY9 I debated whether to try a new spot and risk missing the A380 in golden light altogether, or staying safe and getting some shots with the El Dorado line-up shots. I ended up deciding to risk the new spot. As I got to my viewpoint, all was quiet, and I assumed that I had missed her. Suddenly, out of nowhere a loud roar and out comes "Beijing" in all her sunset-lit glory.

    2. N528VA, KFLL, 1/8/12

    3. A6-EHH, KJFK, 1/2/12

    Military/Air Shows

    1. KFRG, 5/27/12

    2. KFRG, 5/27/12

    3. RCSS, 7/28/12

    VIP/Special Visitors

    1. ET-AOQ, KIAD, 8/15/12

    3. A7-HHK, KJFK, 1/2/12
    Last edited by heeshung; 12-25-2012 at 12:17 AM.

  11. #11
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    May 2006
    Long Island, NY
    1. Commercial Aviation

    My first time at LAX. Took these while enjoying an In N Out burger as the sun was setting.

    2. Military

    3. VIP / Specials

  12. #12
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    Air France 777 at SAT, came as a diversion from IAH

    United A320 Retro at SAT

    UPS A300 at SAT

    P-63 King Cobra at HYI

    Stearmans at HYI

    F-18 sitting at Landmark-SAT

    VIP/Special visitors;
    N1 at SAT

    M-ERCI at SAT

    N771RS, The Wild Thing!

  13. #13
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Queens, NY

    Hey all, we’re going to make this into a contest! There will be one winner for each category (Commercial, Military and VIP/Special). Each person can submit a maximum of three photos per category.

    Judges: Phil, Matt and Jeremy (we are not eligible to win)
    Deadline: 23:59 on December 26th, 2012
    Prizes: NYCA Logo T-shirt, NYCA Hat and Planespotter Guide, to the winner of each category

    Because this thread has already existed before it became a contest, you are allowed to change your photos, or add to them to reach your 3-photo max at anytime until the deadline.

    PLEASE continue to post your great stories along with the photos. We’re really enjoying them!
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  14. #14
    Senior Member Iberia A340-600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Commercial Aviation:

    D-ABYA, IAD, 6/1/2012: Inaugural flight of the 747-800i

    N8307K, IAD, 12/13/2012

    D-ABYA, IAD, 12/13/2012


    VP-CBE, IAD, 12/13/2012

    CS-TQK, LIS, 8/12/2012

    Space Shuttle/747, DC

  15. #15
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    Sep 2006
    A word to the wise...keep it under your one is to know...
    You can have awesome ramp access...

    Or be in a tower with good friends...

    You can get your special schemes...

    And you can piggy back your Space Shuttles...

    But NOTHING will beat the sight of a 1909 Curtiss Pusher taking to the skies!!!
    R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013


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