Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Plane Spotting at Chicago O'Hare

     My parents and I went on a little weekend trip up to Chicago for St. Patrick's Day Weekend. In the city, we were fortunate enough to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, but one night we got to stay at the Chicago O'Hare Airport Hilton. The awesome part about this is that we opted to pay a little extra to get a runway view room. My room on the top floor(10th and HHonors floor) looked out towards the Southwest at 10C, 10L, and 14R. This provided an excellent view of both the ramp area and runways! However, don't expect good lighting conditions if you plan on doing any video or photography from your room. They will most likely be back lit any time of day.

The view from our room(10074)

Time lapse taken from my room(Runway 10C and 10L ops)

     Earlier that day, I spent almost six hours spotting at a few different locations around the airport. When O'Hare was running West Flow I parked in a limousine lot for little bit without being bothered by anyone but a few drivers. However, the winds flip flopped and O'Hare switched to East Flow, so began my journey to find a new spot. Eventually, I made my way over to around 10C at the end of Gateway Rd in a small parking lot. After being there for about 30 minutes, a few other spotters began to show up wondering if this was a good spot for the new runway(10C). It was great because planes flew over at only a few hundred feet and most of the heavies were sent to 10C. However, there were a few tall trees making photography a little bit more difficult than usual, but definitely doable. The only other issue is that the planes were coming a little bit "head-on" so the angles for some shots were a little iffy and "straight up" which isn't really desirable. All that aside, this was a great place to see a constant flow of amazing airplanes!

My spot depicted on Google Maps

One of my favorite shots of the day(B748F)

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