As long as I can remember I have loved all things aviation. When picking people up at the airport as a kid we would always drive around the back of the airport to watch the plane land and anything else that was coming in at the same time.
If in London I would always trek out to Terminal 2 at Heathrow and watch the Concorde take off (on Saturdays you got two flights in the morning) not the normal way a 12 year old would spend their mornings on holiday in London.
Plane spotting tends to be a bit of a solitary hobby. As it’s pretty hard to drag people out of bed to “watch the big ones come in at 7am” until now at least…..
JFK is one of the busiest airports in the world and one of the best places to see aircraft of all shapes and sizes arriving and departing to all corners of the world. The best bit is you can watch them from somewhere everyone loves…. the beach!!
Rockaway beach is just beside JFK and on the days when the right runways are in use the views are second to none. There are a couple of ways to get there either by subway or the new NYC ferry which leaves from Wall Street. Sadly it has been pretty crowded the last couple of weeks but when you are on it the views are stunning.
There are various parts to Rockaway with lots of food and drink options along with the most important thing – great views of planes. Beach 98 is particularly good when flights are coming in off the sea to land. As you can see below they come in right over your head.
Flight Radar 24 is a great app to download so you can see what runways are in use and what planes are on the approach. Depending on the time off day you get arrivals from different parts of the world, early afternoon is perfect for all the wide bodies from Europe.
So the next time you are in NYC and someone suggests the beach. Mention the cool bars, the great boat trip and the views of Rockaway. Nobody even needs to know your favourite hobby is plane spotting!!!