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It’s not a major revelation to say that I travel… a lot.  Over the past ten years I have flown over a million kilometers, which is equivalent to flying twenty-five times around the globe, or to the moon and back (and halfway there again).  This happened over four-hundred flights with more than two months – day and night – up in the air.  I’ve been as far north as Iceland, down south to South Africa, east to Seoul and west to San Francisco.

Over these many years, I gradually hated hotels, airports, airline lounges, taxis, immigration queues, and most of all airport security.  Reading and having an iPod full of music and podcasts has helped with most of the hate-list… Hotel stays however are still an issue.

In all this travel, I never disliked flying.  Seeing planes in the air, no matter where I am, still excites the little (and thin) boy inside me. Between the years 2000 and 2005, I worked in a town south-west of London.  My daily commute from and to our house in West London, took me through Heathrow Airport.  One particular part of the journey was a real rush-hour highlight amidst all the horrible traffic.  The A30, Bath Road, provided me with the perfect ten-to-fifteen minute break to unwind before reaching home.  I saw almost every airline one could imagine, landing over the low street lamps.  Summer, winter, rain, snow, day and night framed my many sightings of what I like to call IFOs.  Every imaginable aircraft so low they seem close enough to touch.

I often saw people there with binoculars and cameras.  I finally managed to get to Myrtle Avenue this summer.  It’s a short walk from Hatton Cross station, but I took my car since parking (unlike the rest of London) is available just across the road.

The place is an interesting contrast of busy traffic on the Bath Road, a tranquil – albeit small – green field with houses in the background and low-flying airplanes.  There, the people are a mix of those who spend the odd afternoon there, and odd people who seem to be there every afternoon.

In the above shot, three of the queuing planes are visible.  Had it not been cloudy you will have seen at least one more in the far distance.  I remember one clear night when I counted six lights in one line.

For collecting images of different airplanes and airlines landing, this place is perfect.  Most airlines are present and the landing runway shifts weekly.  For one week, you can see the landings for the first half of the day (until 1530); and the following week you’d see all the evening flights coming in.  On the day, I just missed the Kuwait Airways plane which landed while I was parking!

There are also other locations for shots with airplanes banking, touchdowns and takeoffs.  I wasn’t collecting stock photos so I experimented with different lenses and many angles.  I spent a few hours watching, reflecting and capturing.  I’ll stop writing now, and leave you with a few more shots.

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7 Comments

    • onlooker
    • Posted 23 October 2010 at 8:36 am
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    great pics! and yes nothing to beat the magic of ‘flying in the air’, and i actually get nervous seeing them land or take-off up close. can never be sure theyre gonna do it right each time!!im more comfortable when im inside!!! :)

    • bitjockey
    • Posted 23 October 2010 at 10:48 am
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    I worked a job where I traveled around the south end of Atlanta, GA, near the airport. Incoming flights used two parallel runways. It would always amaze me to see the airplane landing lights at night, approaching in pairs, for as far away as the eye could see. I would watch them come in for 20-30 minutes, a pair dropping down ever 2-3 minutes, and think they should be all done. But, look back toward the horizon and they were still 8-10 deep. Always reminded me of the animals boarding the ark two-by-two. I never could stay long enough to ever find how many planes actually landed every evening but just thinking about how many places from around the globe they must have been coming from was always pretty mind boggling as well.

  1. ضربتني على الوتر انا الصور الطيارات الي ماقاومها طول عمرك استااااذ يا بويوسف

    • ali
    • Posted 28 October 2010 at 3:49 pm
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    what a great spot for shooting. good job on the pics they look excellent!

    • Summer
    • Posted 30 October 2010 at 11:39 am
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    I’m loving your pictures! so cool!

    • maitham
    • Posted 30 October 2010 at 3:08 pm
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    excellent! mashallah :)

  2. I can share your frustration with traveling as I travel to odd and different locations but not as much as you do, you are probably the only person I know that travels more then I do!

    But I have to agree I share your fascination with planes and flying, I always want to take pictures of planes but then there is the security aspect and I get hounded by police! And I always want to take more pics!

    Beautiful shots! Please keep them coming! I’m gonna try sneaking to that spot if I can figure out where it is to take shots of the planes!


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