Auckland Plane Spotting Guide

A place for 'real world' pilots and aviation enthusiasts to discuss their hobby

Postby ardypilot » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:59 pm

A large percentage of kiwi aviation enthusiasts live in Auckland, so here is some information about plane spotting areas in the City of Sails.


------------------------------
1. What you need to bring

It is a good idea to bring digital camera along to snap lots of shots which you can show your friends and upload to the internet later. Try to bring a blank memory card so you don't run out of space, and set your camera to take the highest resolution images as possible to get the best quality captures.

If you can afford one, purchase an RF Scanner. There are a few on trademe, but DSE do an awesome little one made by Uniden that not only scans air traffic frequencies but other "action bands" like fire, police and ambulance services too. The scanners are very useful because you can what aircraft are coming into land, as well as the tower chatting to them telling them where to park up etc. Check out the specs here: http://www.dse.co.nz/cgi-bin/dse.storef ... View/D2764

Depending on your location, and how far you are away from the aircrafts flight path, you might want to bring along some binoculars so you can see objects in the distance clearer. This also depends on your eyeseght ;)

Always take a pen and paper, and write down the registration numbers of the aircraft you see, and then when you return home, enter the code into the "CAA Aircraft Register Database" here: http://www.caa.govt.nz/Script/Air_Reg_Query.asp to find out the exact details of the aircraft you saw.

Last of all, if you are going to an International airport, visit the website (http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz/fligh ... =A&range=I) or check teletext to find out what flights will be arriving and departing, and write down the airline's you are expecting to see, then when you see them for real, cross them off your list. :D


-------------------
2. Places to do it

Mechanics Bay Heliport is good place to start, right in the middle of the city, as you would know if you have REAL NZ Auckland City installed. Originally the countries only international airport in the 1930's, the base served as a seaplane terminal where flights from Britain that connected through from India via Singapore and Australia landed.

There is a rock jetty with a pathway along it which you can walk to the end of (See red circle on image below), and get great views of the Waitamata harbour as well as inbound helicopters and the whole heliport apron.

user posted image

Auckland International Airport is where "New Zealand touches the world" and of course has a lot of large jets coming into land regularly, as well as heaps of smaller domestic and private aircraft round the clock.

There is a purpose built lookout on Puhinui drive (See red circle on image below) with car parks and benches, which is usually full of just as many families having a relaxing day out as enthusiasts like us.

user posted image

TIP: If you continue to the western end of Puhinui drive, and take the first left of the roundabout, and park somewhere on the next short road, or the carpark next to the DHL freigh terminal, there are lots of fences where you can get close up with the aircraft.

Ardmore Airport, the busiest airport in the country has dozens of privately owned general aviation planes, regional airlines and lots of Warbirds (especially on Sundays) landing and taxing of. Peak time is between 12pm and 6pm, so take that into account for the long drive out into the countryside nearby Papakura.

There are numerous places around the airport which you get up close, but the only place I have been to is the car park of the Auckland Aero Club which is right next to the petrol pump, and if you stay there long enough you should be able to see some prop's up close as they come to refuel.

Two airports in the region that I am yet to visit are Whenuapai Air Force Base in Waitakere City, and the North Shore Aerodrome, so if anyone has been there- please share some good places for spotting!

I think that is all there is to share,
Feel free to add your own information to this thread
.

PS. Check out these pages for some neat planespotting photos from both here and abroad:

MyAviation.net -> http://www.myaviation.net/
Laasdaa.com "“> http://www.laasdata.com/
JetPhotos.Net "“> http://www.jetphotos.net/
Airliners.net "“> http://www.airliners.net/
Jetspotter.com "“> http://www.jetspotter.com/
Planespotters.net -> http://www.planespotters.net/
SpottersWiki.com "“> http://www.spotterswiki.com/
PlanePictures.net"“> http://www.planepictures.net/
Plane-spotter.net"“> http://www.plane-spotter.net/
Airline Pics "“> http://www.freewebs.com/airlinespics
Last edited by ardypilot on Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Intel Core i5-2400|8GB RAM|ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)|1TB Seagate Barracuda|Windows 7 64 Bit|FSX Gold Edition|24" AOC Widescreen
User avatar
ardypilot
NZFF Pro
 
Topic author
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 6779
Location: Auckland

Postby ZK-GPM » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:22 pm

For Whenuapai the main road runs right past the fence and you can see pretty clear from anywhere along it.

My favorite place is Wellington either on the hill near the Roundabout or standing on the Sea Wall ;) Just dont get caught and the shock wave from planes taking off is awesome :lol:
ZK-GPM
 

Postby FlyingKiwi » Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:13 pm

Depending on the direction of the traffic at North Shore you can just park at the edge of the road and have planes practically going directly overheard, and departing aircraft very close. It's not nearly as busy as Ardmore though, I've only been once to photograph the start of an air rally last year.
User avatar
FlyingKiwi
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 4:17 pm
Posts: 1565
Location: Auckland

Postby Zöltuger » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:07 pm

a tip if you want to get close to approaching aircraft at the auckland airport Puhinui drive lookout- you'll want the wind coming from a west / southwest sort of direction so approaching/departing aircraft will be using runway 23L. best to check before you leave!
Zöltuger
 

Postby ardypilot » Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:19 pm

Good point Zöltuger!

I always scan the airwaves until I hear the words 'two three left' before getting out the camera ;)

Mind you- it might make some good landing shots if 5L was the active, with the in bound jets coming towards you..?

As for Ardmore, here is a quick tip: There is no security that I know of, and you can wander anywhere you want. There are a lot of people just strolling up and down the taxiways and across the aprons. I suggest going to the grass area near the end of runway 03 (when it is the active), right next to the Flying School apron to get some close up, unobstructed shots of the landing GA.
Intel Core i5-2400|8GB RAM|ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)|1TB Seagate Barracuda|Windows 7 64 Bit|FSX Gold Edition|24" AOC Widescreen
User avatar
ardypilot
NZFF Pro
 
Topic author
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 6779
Location: Auckland

Postby Zöltuger » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:31 pm

i live too far away from the airport to hear any ATC communications on my scanner :(

actually there's a nice viewing platform in the auckland international terminal if you go upstairs (no need for a ticket apparantly), you should be able to see aircraft approaching on runway 5R/L
Zöltuger
 

Postby Jimmy » Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:59 pm

What kind of camera should be used for plane spotting?
we just have a lttle digital camera with a slow response time :angry:
I imagine it would be hard to get good photos of aircraft when you clik and have to wait 5 seconds for it to take! lol
Jimmy
 

Postby Zöltuger » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:03 pm

more expensive is generally better. can't give any specific model numbers or anything.

i will say that watching heavy metal close up on approach with your own eyes is always far more awe inspiring than doing it through a lens. a camera can never really replicate what you really see, even if you do get a good photo at the end
Zöltuger
 

Postby rAj » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:16 pm

Anyone have Info on Spotting at Whenuapai Air Force Base..??
Like best Spot and Guide's to these Locations..
As well as some info on what Kind of Traffic??
thanks..
rAj
 

Postby ardypilot » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:37 pm

Anyone have Info on Spotting at Whenuapai Air Force Base..??
Like best Spot and Guide's to these Locations..
As well as some info on what Kind of Traffic??
thanks..


There is a main perimetter road with a low fence right next to the runway perfect for spotting. I went there on a sunday avo once but there was only gliders and a few cessnas there, I believe weekdays 0800 to 1200 are the most active times.
Intel Core i5-2400|8GB RAM|ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)|1TB Seagate Barracuda|Windows 7 64 Bit|FSX Gold Edition|24" AOC Widescreen
User avatar
ardypilot
NZFF Pro
 
Topic author
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 6779
Location: Auckland

Postby rAj » Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:00 pm

Thanks for the Info Trolly..
Can i please know the Name fo this Road??
rAj
 

Postby ardypilot » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:40 pm

user posted image
Brigham Road
Intel Core i5-2400|8GB RAM|ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)|1TB Seagate Barracuda|Windows 7 64 Bit|FSX Gold Edition|24" AOC Widescreen
User avatar
ardypilot
NZFF Pro
 
Topic author
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 6779
Location: Auckland

Postby rAj » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:30 pm

Hey Trolly, Thanks Once again for the Info..
Just another Questions, Is a Radio Scanner legal or not in New Zealand??
Just want to confirm this..thanks.
rAj
 

Postby ardypilot » Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:32 am

Are they legal?

Hmm, not sure about that one. I have seen loads of people with them, and even NZAA security have watched me spotting with it in my hand, so I think it is alright... although I know that they are not allowed to be used inside the airport terminal at Auckland International.

As for listening to the police with the scanner, I remember reading that is legal to listen in on what is going on, although it is illegal to act upon what you hear.

BTW- I saw an RNZAF 757 coming into land yesterday when I was at my mates house in Greenhithe... pretty good place to plane spot I rekon ;)
Intel Core i5-2400|8GB RAM|ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)|1TB Seagate Barracuda|Windows 7 64 Bit|FSX Gold Edition|24" AOC Widescreen
User avatar
ardypilot
NZFF Pro
 
Topic author
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 6779
Location: Auckland

Postby ardypilot » Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:48 am

Just thought I would post a link Raj showed me the other day: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~airdata/In ... rlines.htm

It is a very helpfull page, listing all the airlines and types of aircraft, and what day they arrive at NZAA.
Intel Core i5-2400|8GB RAM|ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)|1TB Seagate Barracuda|Windows 7 64 Bit|FSX Gold Edition|24" AOC Widescreen
User avatar
ardypilot
NZFF Pro
 
Topic author
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 6779
Location: Auckland

Postby Zöltuger » Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:43 am

Trolly wrote: Are they legal?
[...]
As for listening to the police with the scanner, I remember reading that is legal to listen in on what is going on, although it is illegal to act upon what you hear.

consider this: if they weren't legal, then you wouldn't be allowed to sell them
i heard the same thing about it being illegal to act on what you hear. that rule is really to stop people who have broken the law and try to escape the cops
Zöltuger
 

Postby rAj » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:56 pm

I guess it's fine then to Use a Scanner at the Airport..
Has anyone been told of for having a scanner with them near the Airport??
Last edited by rAj on Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rAj
 


Return to New Zealand Aviation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests