Planespotting Plane spotting guide: Los Angeles LAX

Have you ever stumbled across the term “plane spotting” and wondered, what that really means? In our new news category, AVIPEO.COM will explain what plane spotting is, why you should start, and what you should take care of when beginning.

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Welcome to the sixth part of our plane spotting series here on AVIPEO.COM! After you have learned what plane spotting actually is, what you should take care of when starting, what camera settings you should choose and how to do plane spotting at Hamburg, it is now time to show you one of the most popular airport in the world for plane spotting!

Today, we will show you around at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) and will show you the best locations for plane spotting!

Los Angeles International Airport opened its gates at 1930, 88 years ago. It is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, California, and is often referred by its IATA airport code LAX. The airport is located 18 miles (30km) southwest of Downtown Los Angeles.

Last year in 2017, LAX handled over 84,500,000 passengers with over 700,000 aircraft movements. These figures made the airport the fifth busiest in the world, and the United States´ second busiest airport after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Regarding plane spotting, LAX has several locations to offer. At first, the most popular location might be the famous In-N-Out Burger restaurant located at the S Sepulveda Blvd road. From here, you can see aircraft approaching RWY 24R. Light conditions are the best between afternoon and the evening hours. From the In-N-Out location you can take close ups and body-shots of all incoming aircraft.

The next popular spotting location at LAX we would like to share with you is the Imperial Hill. Located at the southern part of the airport area, you will have both parallel runways in sight. Most of the time, aircraft will land and depart from the runways 25R and 25L, so that you will be able to take pictures. In the summer months you might want to check for heathaze. Due to the rather long distances and the heat, the air will start flickering and possibly destroy the quality of your pictures. Just as the In-N-Out spot, the Imperial Hill can be used from afternoon to the evening hours in order to have nice sunlight on the aircraft´s fuselage.

Next up is the Quick car parking. From here, you can take pictures of aircraft approaching to most northern runway, RWY 24R. This location is on top of a car park. Regarding the lighting conditions, you can use the spot over the whole day. In the summer, evening hours might see you ending up in backlit conditions, so you might change positions then. From the Quick car parking, you can take skyshots of smaller planes, while larger aircraft will have background while approaching.

The fourth and last spot for LAX we want to show you is the Westchester Parkway. From here, you can see 24L departures and 24R landings. We would recommend to use this spot in the summer only, as the light will be good only in the evening hours. During the winter months, the light won´t come around as it already is too low! The spot is located near the Westchester Golf Course. You can park the car in the W 94th Street. From the Westchester Parkway spot, you will have the terminal in the background of your pictures.

In this small spotting-guide, we especially concentrated on locations, which do not require a ladder to take pictures. If you have some time to spend in Los Angeles, you can easily just drive out and enjoy the aircraft movements. Be sure to send us your best pictures to and we might feature the picture as Snapshot of the week!

In the next part of you plane spotting series here on AVIPEO.COM, we will show you around at other famous airports for plane spotting, so stay tuned!


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