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Helpful Guides to Be Planespotters for Beginners

Helpful Guides to Be Planespotters for Beginners
Plane Spotting Activities at Kuala Lumpur Intl Airport
Planespotters is a term used to describe person who has interest in spotting plane or aircraft. It is a great hobby for someone who wants to learn or enjoys the airplanes, airlines, and aviation industry, as well as people who favor air travel.

There are a few different types of planespotters – which have different purpose and tactics each. The simplest type of all is to watch the airplanes that fly overhead. They do not regard the aircraft type or the operator. Some people like to photograph aircraft as many as they can, then share the photos to the online communities. Some others prefer to log or remember aircrafts that they’ve spotted as many as possible, by recording the registration number of the airplane.

Essentials Things to Know by Planespotters

Interested in trying this new and unique hobby of being planespotters? Here are several things to keep in mind for, before you go your way out and attempt your hand on it:

1. How to start out
For a beginner, the easiest way to start plane spotting activity is to watch airplanes in the nearest airport. It is also possible to photograph them if you’d like. Certainly, there are plenty of guidelines and unwritten rules that you have to follow, in order to not disturb the airport management team, the law enforcement, or fellow planespotters.

To find information about this particular activity near your area, it is recommended to looking on online guidance or directions. That way, you may meet people with the same enthusiasm about this specific avocation. For example, if you are based on New York, then the best way to do online research is by looking at and asking questions at NYCAviation message boards.

2. How to find the location
It can be quite a challenge to choose a good location if you’re not familiar with it yet. For your information, it is totally legal to spot aircraft just about anywhere, as long as you’re not putting your foot in restricted area and opt for public property instead. Doing aircraft spotting is also possible in private property if you have gotten permission from the owner.

However, keep in mind that it is highly important for planespotters to cooperate with local authorities. You have to leave when the security personnel in the airport or local police asked for it, no matter if they are on the right or wrong side. You can always take action after seeking legal advice later, in case you feel like your rights have been violated.

3. How to identify place
Once a good location has been secured, it is time to look for aircraft. For a starting point, you might just want to sit and watch, with nothing to look for in particular. The next time after, you might want to join, chat, and learn with experienced planespotters about aircraft.

Some characteristics that you could take a note for are including the registration number, color, size, livery designs, wing shape, engine location, and many more. To look for particular aircraft model, try public flight plan database that allows you to track flights, search the departure and destination for airports and aircraft, such as FlightAware.

4. What equipment is needed
What you need to bring during plane spotting is depending on what you wish to do with this new hobby of yours. For example, decent camera and memory cards are essential if you are going to take picture. A notebook or sheet of paper is needed if you want to keep the aircraft log.

Plenty of planespotters are incorporating useful additional equipment to spot and track the airplane. At minimum, a good pair of binoculars and a foldable chair will be beneficial to bring. Transceiver is a popular tool that’s used to listening to the communication between aircraft and air traffic controllers. To locate the aircraft, they use ADS-B receiver at times.

Rules and Advices for New Planespotters

Being aware of the environment and practicing common sense are something that important to be possessed by planespotters. Here are some advices and rules that you might like to know:

•Remember to bring your identification each time. Nowadays, it is very common for airport security personnel and law enforcement to observe people that roam around the airports closely. When you are doing plane spotting, it is usual to expect law enforcement to approach you, even some time awhile after the activity if someone has reported you.

•Do research about flight schedule before you’re going to airport. Knowing rare aircraft that may be flying from and to the airport is very useful information. It is also beneficial to know about the runway that’s going to be used especially if you want to take photo of the aircraft.

•Feel free to choose any location, but make sure you stay away from restricted area in the airport. As it has been mentioned before, public property is always free and available to use. To do spotting in your desired airport, search for online information for other spotters about the location.

•Make sure you are respectful to the property and business owners. It will give you advantage in the future in case you want to visit their places again.

•Respect the safety rules in the particular area that set by airport authority. Some airports allow aircraft spotting and even have designated special spotting areas, so it is best to use them.

•Make effort to interact with other planespotters. Finding fellow enthusiast will benefit you to know if there’s any spotting event in your local area. Try to browse popular online page for airplane spotting communities such as

•Share your photos in databases or forums in online platform. You can easily upload, share, and organize the photos of aircraft that you’ve taken in websites like or

•Report immediately if you found any suspicious activity. Reporting and calling the authorities as fast as you can when you find suspicious things will help to improve airport security. It is common for aircraft spotter to notice something unusual first because they are used to explore the area. Always remember to be alert and aware on yourself.

Being planespotters is a really fascinating hobby and can be very rewarding if you are invested in it. Now that you know the basic things about it, there is no better time to start than now.

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