Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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Cary
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Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

Post by Cary »

Use this thread to rant about bad spotting luck (aka Murphy's Law of Aviation Photography). I may be the only one to post in here.

My last 4-5 spotting trips in a row have all been terrible luck. Here are my last 3, all within the last 2 weeks.

Trip 1: Went to TTN for 3 planes. The first one, the Phillies Challenger taxied by just as a thin cloud blocked the sun. The sun came out after it passed. The second plane taxied by as a thicker cloud just came in and blocked the sun. The sun came out right after it passed. Then finally, a Frontier I wanted better pics of arrived, and you guessed it, blocked sun. I waited 50 minutes for it to depart and the sun was unobstructed the entire time. Then 1-2 minutes before the Frontier pushed back, a front of thick clouds moved back in and blocked the sun.

Trip 2: Drove 3 1/2 hours down to IAD for Fanhansa and what was supposed to be a sunny/mostly sunny day. It ended up being partly to mostly cloudy, and Fanhansa came during mostly cloudy skies (completely unlit). Then 3 minutes and 15 seconds later (according to my timestamps), the sun came out and stayed out for at least 15 minutes. I decided to go to Udvar Hazy to take some pics, before trying to get the Fanhansa departure. I got in position and all the takeoffs were coming by. There were clouds around, but they cleared by the time Fanhansa started taxiing. Perfect. Then, I noticed on FlightAware showed Fanhansa had departed. Unbeknownst to me, it made a Runway 30 departure, which is pretty much impossible to take pictures of. Every other time I've been at IAD, LH always departs where I was set up.

Trip 3: Another TTN trip and another fail. At TTN, it's pretty much only possible to get decent pics if planes land on 24 or take off on 6. A Falcon came in and landed on 6, so no pics. The CRJX I went for landed on 6, so no pics. Both planes were quick 15-20 minute turns, so I hoped they would use 6 to depart (after all, they landed on 6). The Falcon requested 6, but the tower persuaded them to depart on 24. Then, the CRJX taxied to 24 and I figured I'd use the 400mm to attempt a departure photo. It was lined up on the runway in bright sun but tower had it hold there for 8-10 minutes while Philly "checked on something". A very small cloud moved in front of the sun and sure enough, they finally got takeoff clearance and the sun was blocked again. :evil:

Anyone else have amazing (-ly bad) luck?
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Len90
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

Post by Len90 »

My last trip to PHL was to catch the BA 788 Dreamliner arrive. Thought it was all going well until it arrived 5 minutes after the sun dipped below the horizon.

My last trip to EWR was cut abruptly short by the parking lot security at Ikea.

Other than that, it just works out that whenever I am free to go spotting the past month, the weather is horrendous while it is absolutely gorgeous out whenever I have too much work and studying.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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Len90 wrote:My last trip to PHL was to catch the BA 788 Dreamliner arrive. Thought it was all going well until it arrived 5 minutes after the sun dipped below the horizon.

My last trip to EWR was cut abruptly short by the parking lot security at Ikea.

Other than that, it just works out that whenever I am free to go spotting the past month, the weather is horrendous while it is absolutely gorgeous out whenever I have too much work and studying.
I don't even bother if a plane is scheduled to arrive or depart within 45 minutes of sunset, because I know I will get screwed somehow :lolno:
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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1-2 months ago: Noticed that PT-ZHY (Legacy 500 proto) had been flying in and out of CMH, had a flightplan to/from CMH and was scheduled to land in x amount of time. I happened to get out of work early enough so this was my one chance to see it. Drove to CMH (30 minutes or so), only to discover, when I checked Flightaware around the original landing time that the plane had landed 10 minutes or so before I got to the airport, they had a flight plan to Florida and they were supposed to depart ~45 minutes before sunset, then they moved it to 30, then to 1 hour, then the flight plan disappeared, then they filed for 9:30 PM, so I left and went home. They left 20 minutes or so after sunset (I left the airport right around sunset).

Back in December: Got word that the Panthers plane was coming to CMH from CLT, with the schedule it had, no chance of me catching the arrival, but pushback was supposed to be 10 minutes or so before sunset. That day happened to be my last day of 2 weeks undergoing training at my employer's home office in the Columbus area, so I was 5 minutes away from my apartment and 30 or so from CMH, and from the office where I'm at regularely, my apartment is 30 minutes (32.5 +/- 90 seconds) and CMH another 30. I got delayed at the office discussing last minute things, which set me back 20 minutes or so, then I decided to check the traffic map, only to find out that one of the freeways near the airport is completely stopped due to a crash, so there's absolutely no way for me to even get close enough to take surface streets and catch it. That is the one plane I haven't caught.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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Drove out to JFK to try and get UN arrivals. Running 13L for arrivals (my least favorite). Found a decent space to spot only to be informed about how it is not allowed to take pictures of the planes by the NYPD around 90 seconds after my arrival. Left after pleasant conversation with the police and no pictures.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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Len90 wrote:Drove out to JFK to try and get UN arrivals. Running 13L for arrivals (my least favorite). Found a decent space to spot only to be informed about how it is not allowed to take pictures of the planes by the NYPD around 90 seconds after my arrival. Left after pleasant conversation with the police and no pictures.
Wow, what time were you there?
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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felipegcmh wrote:1-2 months ago: Noticed that PT-ZHY (Legacy 500 proto) had been flying in and out of CMH, had a flightplan to/from CMH and was scheduled to land in x amount of time. I happened to get out of work early enough so this was my one chance to see it. Drove to CMH (30 minutes or so), only to discover, when I checked Flightaware around the original landing time that the plane had landed 10 minutes or so before I got to the airport, they had a flight plan to Florida and they were supposed to depart ~45 minutes before sunset, then they moved it to 30, then to 1 hour, then the flight plan disappeared, then they filed for 9:30 PM, so I left and went home. They left 20 minutes or so after sunset (I left the airport right around sunset).

Back in December: Got word that the Panthers plane was coming to CMH from CLT, with the schedule it had, no chance of me catching the arrival, but pushback was supposed to be 10 minutes or so before sunset. That day happened to be my last day of 2 weeks undergoing training at my employer's home office in the Columbus area, so I was 5 minutes away from my apartment and 30 or so from CMH, and from the office where I'm at regularely, my apartment is 30 minutes (32.5 +/- 90 seconds) and CMH another 30. I got delayed at the office discussing last minute things, which set me back 20 minutes or so, then I decided to check the traffic map, only to find out that one of the freeways near the airport is completely stopped due to a crash, so there's absolutely no way for me to even get close enough to take surface streets and catch it. That is the one plane I haven't caught.
Yup, I've been there with the big traffic jams going to JFK. Twice, I got stuck in an extra hour's worth of traffic and missed the plane I wanted by 30 seconds each time.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

Post by Len90 »

Cary wrote:
Len90 wrote:Drove out to JFK to try and get UN arrivals. Running 13L for arrivals (my least favorite). Found a decent space to spot only to be informed about how it is not allowed to take pictures of the planes by the NYPD around 90 seconds after my arrival. Left after pleasant conversation with the police and no pictures.
Wow, what time were you there?
About 2:30pm to 2:32pm. Was hoping to take in some of the international heavies and catch the Qatar Amiri A342. Heard everyone who went to the T5 garage was able to get away with a few hours of spotting before being asked to leave at the very end.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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Len90 wrote:
Cary wrote:
Len90 wrote:Drove out to JFK to try and get UN arrivals. Running 13L for arrivals (my least favorite). Found a decent space to spot only to be informed about how it is not allowed to take pictures of the planes by the NYPD around 90 seconds after my arrival. Left after pleasant conversation with the police and no pictures.
Wow, what time were you there?
About 2:30pm to 2:32pm. Was hoping to take in some of the international heavies and catch the Qatar Amiri A342. Heard everyone who went to the T5 garage was able to get away with a few hours of spotting before being asked to leave at the very end.
Bummer. That's the issue with things like UN Week. There are lots of spotters and lots of hanging around outside of cars, acting like they own the place. Not you obviously, but I'm sure that was the case at T5. There are some regular spots where NYPD are comfortable with us being at and there are spots (like anywhere near the 13s) where you have to lay out of sight. Wouldn't be surprised if spotters were kicked out of wherever you were just prior to you arriving.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

Post by Len90 »

Cary wrote:
Bummer. That's the issue with things like UN Week. There are lots of spotters and lots of hanging around outside of cars, acting like they own the place. Not you obviously, but I'm sure that was the case at T5. There are some regular spots where NYPD are comfortable with us being at and there are spots (like anywhere near the 13s) where you have to lay out of sight. Wouldn't be surprised if spotters were kicked out of wherever you were just prior to you arriving.
Thanks for that Cary. NYPD actually told me there are no spots you can spot at as it is not allowed. Funny thing was I had two or three NYPD cars drive by late July when I was in the field by the mounds and they smiled and waved as they drove by. It is what it is.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

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Len90 wrote:NYPD actually told me there are no spots you can spot at as it is not allowed.
They lied to you. It is perfectly legal, they just can't be bothered dealing with "concerned citizens" who report anything and everything.
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Re: Your Luck Is Better Than Mine

Post by Cary »

Took my first trip out to TTN in about 2 weeks, because a nice Challenger was coming in and I was taking a late lunch anyway. It had been mostly sunny all afternoon, then as I went out, the clouds started building up. When the Challenger landed, it was about 50/50 clouds/sun, but the sun came out from behind a big cloud just as it was about to taxi past me. The sun hit me when the Challenger was 10 seconds away, but the sun line advanced toward the taxiway and just stopped halfway between me and the plane, which was 350 feet away! 10 seconds after the Challenger was past me and unshootable, the sun came out fully and was completely unblocked for the next 30 minutes. This exact scenario has happened to me too many times to count :evil:
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