*UPDATED* Check out new video at the bottom of this article!
I believe we so often take the amazing accomplishment of flight for granted. Safe, fast and modern air travel is still really a relatively new thing when you think about it.
One sure fire way to appreciate the massive pieces of machinery that we’re slinging into the air by the second around the world is to stand at the end of a runway at an international airport on a rather windy day.
Planespotting is not for everyone. Many wouldn’t fancy standing around in an empty lot next to an airport, waiting for the chance to get close to an airliner. If the masses tried it as a Boeing 747 was closing in on being reunited with the ground, they would think differently.
Toronto Pearson International Airport in Malton/Mississauga, Ontario has several great locations for ‘plane spotting’ or checking out airplanes. The most popular spot is along Airport Road at the end of runway 23. A trouble free way to see the area is to park at the International Centre (convention centre), just north of the end of the runway. Parking is always free and safe.
An absolute gem of a website is Plane Spotting at YYZ. The site provides a great map of ‘spotting locations’ around the airport. The site also provides a ton of information on the hobby, the airport and on aircraft in general.
While roaming about, you may come across a person or people with an official looking ‘YYZ Airport Watch’ jacket. Fear not, this is a volunteer group working in conjunction with the Toronto Pearson airport to search out any suspicious behavior. These are airplane enthausiasts that probably know more about the day-to-day operations at the airport than actual official personnel.
The pictures shown here were taken in early March, 2012 at the end of runway 23 in a pretty heavy crosswind. More photos from that day of planespotting at YYZ can be found at the ‘P, T, A & B Photos’ page. This page, found in the top menu bar of ‘It’s About Travelling’ is an ever-growing photo collection of planes, trains, automobiles and boats.
The following video was taken that day in March and features an Air Canada Boeing 767 landing against a decent crosswind.