2013 Trips

23rd December 2013 to the 5th January 2014.
Orlando FL.

Christmas and New Year were spent in Orlando Florida this year.
It was a family holiday so visits to the airport were kept to a minimum.

We departed a wet and windy Manchester on board US Airways A330-200 N289AY for the 8 hour flight to Philadelphia ... arriving around half an hour late at 14.15 local time.

During the wet and dull transit in PHL only one "new subject" was worthy of a photo, American Eagle CRJ700 N529EA wearing the new American colours.

After a two hour delay we finally departed for Orlando on board US Airways 767-200 N251AY, my first flight on board the older -200 series!

We arrived in Orlando long after dark and then spent the two week holiday in a villa in the Kissimmee area, 
I made a few visits to Orlando International but not many photos were taken as this airport is not a good place for photography due to the distance from the aircraft and the ever present heat haze, The weather was very mixed with quite a lot of dull, cloudy days .... the following are a selection of what was of interest to me over the two weeks ..... but they are more "record shots" than quality photos

"Rouge" have now taken over quite a few of the Air Canada flights to MCO. 

An quick unplanned visit was made when I noticed that jetBlue A320 N615JB (wearing the special "New York Fire Department" red colours) was on its way in!!

My first jetBlue A320 with "Sharklets when N806JB made its way from the hangar to a stand.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 N918WN wears the special "Illinois" state scheme.

Sun Country have leased Transavia 737-800 PH-HZJ for the winter,

One of my first GOL 737-800's as PR-GUG taxies out in the sun,
sadly they seem to use the same few frames in to MCO as I saw GUK five times!!

Jetairfly have leased 737-800 OO-JAU to Sunwing for the winter, 
it has a hybrid colour scheme and is re-registered C-FJAU.

Volaris A320 XA-VOV wears a special Christmas Coca Cola scheme.

Sadly the heat haze was terrible for this "special" of Spirit Airlines, A320 N618NK featuring seasons greetings from Dallas Ft.Worth airport.

And one of the last ones of the trip ... taken from the departure gates whilst waiting to return home, Sunwing 737-800 C-GTVF in a special "Bahamas" scheme.

That was the end of our very relaxing holiday in Florida ..... US Airways A321 N154UW carried us back to Philadelphia where A330-200 N284AY was waiting to take us the final leg of the journey back to Manchester.
Over 330 new registrations in the book and one or two new subjects captured by the camera.


21st and 22nd July 2013.
London Heathrow.

A short two day visit to catch up on the new services and aircraft operating to LHR, 

Heathrow 21st July 2013.

They were landing on 09 Left for the most part and the following were seen..

Ethiopian 787 ET-AOS being towed to stand late evening.

Sadly the Arik Air A330 5N-JIC landed on 09 Right!

Heathrow 22nd July 2013.

Day two and they were once again on 09 Left for landing,

A "Dreamliner" pair with United's N26906 and Air India's VT-ANI virtually following each other in.

Ethiopian's 787 ET-AOS unfortunately arrived on 27 Right after a runway change and the clouds started to roll in!

A great two days in hot weather and mostly sunny skies and another 72 new numbers in the book between Fairford, Brize Norton and Heathrow. 


16th and 17th July 2013.

A short two day visit to Amsterdam to catch up on the new Dutch Airliners and some of the new carriers serving AMS, spent the time on the terrace where the following were seen..

Amsterdam 16th July 2013.

We arrived from Manchester on board Easyjet A320 G-EZUP just after 09.00 local and headed straight to the Panorama Terrace where the following were seen up until early evening......
The heat haze was fairly bad due to the high temperatures!

We stayed at the Ibis Hotel which is located on the outer perimeter of the airport. 

Amsterdam 17th July 2013.

Up early the next morning and back to the Panorama Terrace where the following were seen,

We departed late evening back to Manchester on board Easyjet's A320 G-EZUW,
A good two days with some new subjects passing the camera and another 64 new numbers in the book.

3rd to the 4th May 2013.
Palma on a Pullmantur 747-400.

Pullmantur Air 747-400 EC-KSM was flying out of Manchester for Monarch Airlines for a few days and with it down for operating the Friday morning Palma flight a last minute decision was made for my Son and I to fly out on it for an overnight visit.

We travelled "upstairs" on the Jumbo, I can certainly recommend the Business Class seats!
This was my seat for the 2 hour 10 minute trip.

Having departed Manchester on time we arrived in Palma at 10.30am,
After collecting our hire car we spent a little time over looking 06 Right until the sun moved too far round.

Was good to catch a couple of the Casa movements on 06 Right,
both a Search & Rescue and a standard Air Force example.

The highlight of the day was the new FlyNonStop Emb.190 PH-FNS, mid afternoon.

With the sun moving around too far we made our way over to 06 Left via a stop at the supermarket for refreshments, the following were taken before sunset.

We stayed in C'an Pastilla for the night and after rising early we went back to the spot overlooking 06 Right for a few hours but the weather remained cloudy.

Was very nice to finally catch up with the "Haribo Goldbaren" having seen the Haribo Blue so many times before!

Hamburg Airways provided both an A319 and an A320.

we made our way back to the terminal around 09.00 to return the hire car and check in for our return flight back to Manchester, this was on board Monarch A330 G-SMAN,
we departed slightly early and I managed a quick shot of one of the Search & Rescue Casa 235's on taxi out.
We landed back at MAN on time around 12.35 PM, A very enjoyable short trip with some new subjects caught on camera and another 68 new numbers added to the log book!

25th to the 29th April 2013.
A return to Sharm-el-Sheikh.

After visiting Sharm-el-Sheikh last November, my Wife and I decided to take another trip for a relaxing long weekend, we flew out of MAN on Thursday 25th April on board Monarch A330 G-EOMA and landed just over five hours later.

We stayed at the Hilton (Sharks Bay) once again which has a view over the airport, unfortunately this time round they were using Runway 04 Left for all movements which is a little further away from the hotel than 04 Right (which was in use on our last visit), this combined with the very high temperatures (highs of 38 to 41 degrees C) meant that the heat haze was quite bad after 08.30 each morning.

There were some nice movements seen each day during my "looks over the fence" in between relaxing in the sun & pool!
The following were all taken from the hotel, some are a little dodgy due to the heat haze but were good to see.

Sharm-el-Sheikh 26th April 2013.

A trio from early morning,

And the Saudi Embraer was one of two that landed late afternoon,
as you can see, the heat haze is pretty bad!

Sharm-el-Sheikh 27th April 2013.

Another handful from early to mid morning,

Always good to see a Tu.154 flying these days .........

And a trio from the evening including Nordwind's 1st 777-200 which only entered service a couple of days before!

Sharm-el-Sheikh 28th April 2013.

The usual early morning movements.......

The AMC 737-800 was a nice surprise,
one that I have been after for so many years!

And a couple of late afternoon arrivals.

Sharm-el-Sheikh 29th April 2013.

Our final day here before leaving late afternoon, very quiet first thing but the Air Memphis departure certainly made getting up early worthwhile, not many places left to see the old DC9 departing just after 6am !!

A pair of nice 757's mid morning but the heat haze had already got far too bad!

A last catch from the departure lounge before boarding Monarch Airlines A300-600 G-OJMR for the five hour ride home...........

Another very nice and relaxing trip out in the sun,
a further 52 new additions to the log book and some nice subjects caught by the camera, I am looking forward to our next visit already!!


20th to the 28th January 2013.
Tokyo (Japan),
via an extended stay in Germany.
We departed MAN Sunday 20th on board A320 D-AIQL arriving FRA at 10.30 local,
Frankfurt 20th January 2013.

We arrived in the snow where we were then due to travel onwards to Tokyo Narita on board A380 D-AIMC and despite boarding for an on time departure a series of “issues” caused our flight to be cancelled despite sitting on board the aircraft for FIVE hours....we then had to wait a further two hours before being able to get off the a/c due to problems with the airbridges!

Frankfurt 21st January 2013.

Following a night in a hotel we were back at the airport very early to try and sort out another flight and after queuing for a few hours we were rebooked on to the All Nippon 777-200 direct to Haneda.

Frankfurt airport was very quiet due to the terrible weather.

After yet another delay we finally departed for Haneda on board ANA 777-200 JA716A, departing at 14.10 local, around two hours late.

Tokyo Haneda 22nd January 2013.

We finally arrived (over a day late) direct in to Haneda on the All Nippon flight from Frankfurt (B777-200 JA716A) around 09.00, where the weather was pretty awful with very low cloud and rain.
We made a quick visit to the viewing deck on the International Terminal before making our way to the Terminal 2 deck (ANA) where we met up with the three others who had travelled out on Air France and KLM (with no problems!!). The weather cleared early afternoon to leave sunny skies for the rest of the day.

The following were seen from 09.00 until darkness set in.

Tokyo Haneda 23rd January 2013.

Having stayed at fairly local hotel we caught an early bus back to the airport and spent a few hours on the T1 deck (JAL) where the following were seen before the sun moves around too far.

We then moved over to the T2 Deck (ANA) for a while.

Before making our way over the International Terminal Deck for a short visit,

Finally, we returned to the ANA Deck for a couple of night photos before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Tokyo Haneda 24th January 2013.

Our final day at Haneda before heading over to Narita for the rest of the trip,
This morning saw dull skies once again although it cleared again quite quickly, we started off on the ANA Deck (didn't have to worry about shooting in to the sun!),

Unfortunately, due to the grounding of the 787's we didn't really get chance to shoot any up close although it was great to at least get some shots of them, especially the pair in the special scheme, JA801A and JA802A.

We then went back over to the International Deck to catch the lunchtime rush,

...... and one final stint on the ANA Deck.

Very nice of them to tow one of the "regular" scheme 787's out too!

..... and that ended three great days at Haneda, the place is awesome with three fabulous viewing decks and so much variety in colours schemes, the registrations repeat very quickly and for anyone that does numbers I made 167 new ones on the first day, 67 on the second day and only 27 on the third!

We left Haneda on the local train heading for Narita, a very easy journey and took us around two hours (due to the peak time traffic) and only costing around 1,500Yen.

Tokyo Narita 25th January 2013.

We stayed at the Narita Rest House hotel which is situated just a five minute walk from Terminal 1 (ANA Terminal) so we made our way to the viewing deck just in time for opening at 07.00 .... however .... due to the freezing conditions the deck was closed and remained so until around 09.30, not great when it is full sunshine and the best time for photos is 07.00 to 10.00 from this point!!

Once we finally got on to the deck the following were taken between 09.30 and late evening, the skies clouded over late morning which meant the spot was ok for shooting all day.

Unfortunately the Mongolian 737-800 (EI-CXV) was late leaving so it was well on the way to being dark so only a dodgy shot was possible!! 

The terraces remain open until late evening so night shots are possible although a lack of decent subjects parked in this area (usually Delta Airlines) means there isn't much to bother with.

That was it for day one at Narita, we had a late dinner in the terminal and wandered back to the hotel for the night.

Tokyo Narita 26th January 2013.

Up early again and back to T1 (via a breakfast stop) where full sun greeted us and the terraces were open!!
We spent most of the morning here until we were met by a Narita local who very kindly arranged to show us the local spots around the perimiter.

Once the sun had started to move around, our very kind host took us around to the end of runway 16 Right but unfortunately they switched ends while we were on our way ...... we then went down to the end of 34 Left ...........

You also get a view across to where four of the 787's were in temporary storage including United's N20904,

It proceeded to cloud over meaning photos from here were not great so we then made our way across to the other side of the airport alongside runway 34 Right ..........

Unfortunately the stubborn cloud along with bright sky in the background meant we gave in and made our way back to the T2 Deck where the sun came out for the last couple of hours of the day although distance can be issue from here with a little heat haze on the subjects.

We made our way back over to the T1 Deck for a bite to eat and to carry on logging numbers until late evening before retiring back to the hotel.
My thanks to Shingo for his very generous hospitality during the day, it was great to meet you!

Tokyo Narita 27th January 2013.

Our last full day in Japan so we were up early once again and on the T1 Deck by opening time at 07.00, blue sky and sunshine all day today so the following were taken before moving over to the T2 Deck just before noon.

The afternoon and evening were spent on the T2 Decks (Japan Airlines Terminal), there are two terraces, one either side of the shopping / food court level with a good walk between them. As said before, distance can be a problem with heat haze being noticeable in some areas.
The following were taken between the two decks until very late evening.

Back to the hotel (via a tasty dinner in the terminal) for our last night.

Tokyo Narita 28th January 2013.

Our final day in Japan and we were rudely awoken just before 4am by an Earthquake shaking the hotel !!  It was a 4.9 Magnitude Quake...... After that excitement it was back to sleep for a couple of hours with the alarm set for 6am, drew back the curtains after getting up and .... oh no ..... it was snowing hard!!!

We trudged to the terminal through the thick snow to get ready to check in for our flight home, this was the scene from the terminal windows and we didnt hold out much hope for an on time departure!!

Having checked in we wandered through the terminal and the snow melted surprisingly quickly and the sun came out !!

Our ride back to Munich, Lufthansa A340-600 D-AIHY arrived on stand on time however due to the weather the outbound crew were delayed so we eventually left just over two hours late!

After an eleven and a half hour flight, in darkness nearly all the way, we landed back at Munich for our short stopover, it was dark so no photos taken but a few number went in the book before Lufthansa A319 D-AKNI took us on our last sector back home to Manchester.

That ended a fantastic trip (with the exception of the bad start!) in Tokyo, the airports at Haneda and Narita really do have some of the best facilities in the world for watching aircraft.

I finished with over four thousand photos on the memory cards and nearly six hundred new registrations in the book!

A big thank you to my Son Ashley and to Adrian, Gav and Karl for their company!!



  1. Great pictures NIk, of all your trips which was the best, I might go planespotting there

  2. It all depends what YOU want from a trip .... each place is very different.

  3. I think Schipol is the place for me, any spotting locations that you reccommend?

  4. Schipol is a great place with plenty of variety, Again, it depends what YOU want out of your visit, whether it be photos or just to watch the aircraft and spot registrations?
    The Visitors Terrace is a great central location and you won't miss too much but photos are better from various spots around the runways.
    The best thing to do is "Google" for what you want, such as "Spotting at Amsterdam Airport".

  5. Thanks Nik, i will have a look on google