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An Oriental Trek

Discussion in 'Trip Experiences' started by Shawn White, May 25, 2013.

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What do you think about plane spotting in Beijing?

  1. You just got to find the right spots and get a $10000 camera!

    0 vote(s)
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  2. I've never been to Beijing!

    100.0%
  3. It is pretty terrible!

    0 vote(s)
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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Shawn White

    Shawn White Hangar Silver Member I

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    My trip started off with a 5:30am taxi ride to the airport, where I would see my Mom and sister off to Ukraine, and hopefully get do do some plane spotting. Proving the unreliability of the weather men, we had total smog and fog instead of clear skies like predicted. We went first to get checked in for Lot Airlines Flight 92 (Beijing to Warsaw), and found out the flight was delayed an hour for some reason, so we walked around the first part of T3 that I could still be in without a ticket. Just the first part of T3 is huge! It's like 500meters wide and 40 meters tall! Pictures weren't great because they were through the glass, but it was still closer to planes than other spots outside. Here are a couple shots from inside. IMG_3571.JPG
    Check in Luggage: 2 suitcases and a girl --Pressurized cargo hold preferred... IMG_3572.JPG

    IMG_3587.JPG
    After my Mom and sister went through security and farther through the airport, I started my twenty minute jog to an empty parking lot near the south end of the runway, where I hoped to get some good pictures of takeoffs. Unfortunately, the wind changed direction, and just as I got there all the planes started going in the other direction. Now they were taxiing up right in front of me, turning around, and going the other way. Due to their double fences, my camera wouldn't focus on the planes, and none were landing overhead. Grrrrr I grumbled, and proceeded to my secondary objective, inconveniently located on the opposite side of the airport.
    On the other side of the airport there is a small hill in a park where I was able to get an unobstructed view of the runway, just a very distant one. It seriously feels like the airport managers don't want you to get close enough to see anything. There is a long displaced threshold, a field, then a fence, another field, and finally another double fence. Any pictures had to be taken on full zoom, and no planes felt like landing and flying directly over me. Here is what the view was like on normal zoom. IMG_3593.JPG

    Although my camera is a fairly cheap and compact PowerShot SX150, I have managed to do great things with it, and I still managed to catch an Air Koryo, Delta 767, Air China 747, and a Lufthansa A380 landing. This was actually the first time I had seen an A380 myself.
    View attachment 272
    (My picture quality is bad because of the smog and 23X zoom, but how many others have personally taken pictures of an Air Koryo?) :)
    IMG_3602.JPG
    IMG_3622.JPG
    After a few more shots there, (I'm limited to uploading a total of ten:( ) I trekked back to inside the terminal, hoping to be able to get a video of my mom's LOT plane taking off. I could see a group of five or so planes which from her description sounded like she was nearby. Unfortunately, she still listens to instructions and turned off her phone before takeoff. Her plane was being blocked by the A380, and I didn't know if she had already left yet, since her phone was turned off. I just decided to wait for an hour. By 10:00, I still had not seen her plane leave, so I just gave up. I got some food and took the shuttle bus home. According to flight aware, her plane left at 10:06. AAAARRRRRR!!!!!!

    On the bus going back home, we still stopped by T2 to pick up people, so I got another A380 along the way before finally getting home around 7 hours after I left! (My house is two hours away from the Capital Airport.) Altogether, it was a failed attempt to film Mom's takeoff, but a mixed and partially lucky day for other planes. I still dream of the day when the airport officials let me onto the tarmac to take pictures or when I purchase an invisible stealth helicopter for some close up pictures :(
    IMG_3655.JPG


    Blurry Snapshot of the Lufthansa A380 from the video I took of it before it sank behind T3!
    vlcsnap-2047264.png
     

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    KennethHolland and Edward Jeszka like this.
  2. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    And I would say that is dedication. Good job.
     
  3. KennethHolland

    KennethHolland Hangar Silver Member IV Staff Member

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    Nice pics Shawn! Thanks for posting them!
     
  4. David Barnshaw

    David Barnshaw Hangar Gold Member I

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    Great shots-well done.
     
  5. Oggie

    Oggie Hangar Bronze Member IV

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    Your enthusiasm and dedication are well presented by your narrative and photos. You are to be applauded for your efforts and I look forward to seeing photos from you when smog and haze are not present and you have access to a camera with a longer lens...no doubt they will be spectacular.
     
  6. Shawn White

    Shawn White Hangar Silver Member I

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  7. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    Great Job
     
  8. Shawn White

    Shawn White Hangar Silver Member I

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    Beijing Airport plane spotting, Ice cream, and GoPro filming!
     

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