When I tell my friends that I am going to fly to a city for a day trip, most of them think I am crazy, but I love it. On Saturday, I got up at 4:00am to start my journey to Los Angeles to hang out with some airline dorks at the LAX In-N-Out.
Brett Snyder (AKA CrankyFlier) organized the event and about 30 people from around the west coast came to talk planes, eat some good food and spot for airplanes. I was heading down with my friend Mal and even though it is pretty easy to get from the airport to the In-N-Out, he was able to get a great deal on a Ford Mustang Convertible, so we decided to cruise in style. Problem is that we were requested to pick up @danwebbage and @briadavi and a convertable gets a bit tight with four guys in it, but we made it work.
I had never been to this In-N-Out (I know crazy right), so I was very excited. I have seen many photos and heard great things about the ability to spot, but photos and words can really not do it justice. The planes get so darn low!
After hanging out at the In-N-Out, it was time to head over to the other side of the airport: Imperial Hill. It was definitely challenging making sure poles, lines and trees did not get in the shot (it is almost like people do not design infrastructure with spotters in mind), but the views were great.
The planes were exciting, but it is hard to beat talking to other aviation dorks about airlines. I am surely looking forward to next year’s event. Now, it is time to put my energies into Aviation Geek Fest 2013.
Here are some additional goodies from the event:
* 43 of my photos of #DorkFest
* Cranky’s story
* Images from @Braniff747SP
If you attended #DorkFest and have photos you want to share, either leave a comment or email me (da***@ai*************.com) the link and I will add them to this story.
That first picture is pretty cool how low the plane gets.
I sometimes work at an office just north of the airport on Sepulveda, about 0.4 miles from the In’n’Out runway. I get some AWESOME views!
Man, you’re killing me! I live in Germany now and haven’t had a Double-Double with animal fries in a whole year!! My business travel had been taking me from BOS to LAX every other week for the past 5 years, every visit started with picking up a car at Hertz and driving straight to the In-N-Out (what? OCD? weight issues? denial? nope…). God I love that place!!! The only thing better is to park up on the roof deck of the parking garage behind the drive-through, open up a bag of hamburger perfection, blast some Alt-rock tunes on 88.9FM KCRW and watch the Heavys make their approach and landing. If that’s not heaven it must be darn close 🙂
Nice shot of SQ12 A380 from NRT. Seeing the multiple landing lights beyond the billboard brings anticipation of what’s next!
The IN and OUT sounds good, but there’s a few other spots that are great for airplane viewing up close and personal. Right along highway 83/Elmhurst Rd in Illinois is another great spot. There’s an industrial park right at the edge of RWY 14L with the highway between the east most buildings and 83/Elmhurst. The best place ever though is the infamous beach at SXM. I should know. I used to fly in there with my 757, dragging it in on approach just to scare the living daylights out of the folks crazy enuf to stand there. Even better, we’d do a static takeoff using max power which means the airplane stands there with me on the brakes, apply 80% thrust while on the brakes, release them and then go to 100%. Not only does the airplane go like a bat out of Hell, but the pitch attitude can exceed 30 degrees which in a large aircraft like that even scared some of my copilots!!!! Sadly, the company eventually limited the pitch angle to 25 degrees max for takeoff. 🙁