Watching an Air China A330 land at #Dorkfest

Watching an China Eastern A330 land at #Dorkfest

What is more exciting than watching an airplane land? Watching it with about 100 other AvGeeks, of course! Last Saturday, many of us made our way to our way to the IN-N-OUT next to LAX to enjoy Dorkfest 2017, hosted by the great Brett Snyder (aka Cranky Flier).

A British Airways A380 coming in for landing

Dorks, geeks, nerds, cool dudes (or dudettes) – whatever. What you call this group does not matter. It is all about coming together to share a passion for aviation! Plus… burgers, fries, and shakes.

A Lufthansa Airbus A380 comes in for a landing

What is Dorkfest? It is pretty easy. No schedule, no events, just good, like-minded people, enjoying watching planes. And oh man, did we ever get to see a nice diversity of planes!

Map showing the different flights that came in during the day to LAX – Image:

For me (and many others on the west coast), the day started with an early flight. I caught the 6:00 a.m. Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle, with enough time to spare before the event starting at 11:00 a.m. Grabbed a car (drove over to Malibu after Dorkfest), got some lunch, and headed over to the IN-N-OUT.

It was great seeing all the people and planes coming in. I started to try to take photos, but then realized Francis (our Associate Editor) was already taking some. His are about a million times better than mine and we agreed I would make up these words and he would do the photos. Total win!

I do enjoy taking photos of airplanes, but it is nice just to enjoy the experience IRL (that means In Real Life, BTW).

Interaction with this group is pretty easy. Someone I was chatting with said something along the lines of, “if this were any other group of people, I would be off on my own not talking. But with this group, it is so easy and people actually want to talk about airplanes with me.” I love that — and it is so true.

Cool livery. Also notice the front cabin door.

Cool livery. Also notice the front cabin door.

The only thing breaking up the great conversation was another airplane landing. However, after a while, some aircraft got a little boring. “What, that another Southwest 737? Zzz.” That was until their special Colorado-liveried aircraft landed with a mis-matched door. Noticing (and caring) about those little details are what make AvGeeks, AvGeeks!

Plane after plane, burger after burger (I added a shake in there too), Dorkfest was soon over. The weekend continued with some sweet spotting with the folks with NYCAviation, but I unfortunately had to make my way back north to Seattle.

I know airlines get so much negative attention, but I just love the fact that I can make a cost-effective day trip from SEA to LAX. One cannot do that in a car, bus, train, or even horse.

This kid brought in his own paper planes. Probably the biggest AvGeek of them all!

With Dorkfest now over, I am super excited to see what Aviation Geek Fest brings this weekend. It is a different sort of event, with some super cool things planned. My favorite consistent — being around other AvGeeks, talking about airplanes!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Mike Harbour

Shouldn’t you have gotten lunch at In-N-Out? Sorry, couldn’t resist! Thanks for the post…looks like a good time was had by all!

Plane-Crazy Joe

The top/first photo is of a China Eastern 330 – NOT Air China.

The reflections on the underside of the BA A380 is quite something – what a photo 🙂

Francis is one amazing photog!


I know it’s early but when do we meet again, dorks

Hey Shams,

Cranky normally has it about the same time each year!


Maureen Allenza

My God! That looks like just plane fun! When and where is next year’s, so I can plan? What is the cost?

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