Tag Archives: plane spotting

Air Force One Drops In To L.A.

Air Force One returns to LAX Thursday afternoon.

As I’ve previously mentioned, it’s pretty exciting when Air Force One is at LAX. It is, after all, probably the most recognizable 747 in the country, if not the world. In addition to being exciting to see, it can also be a tremendous pain in the ass. If Air Force One is here, that means the President is, too. And that likely means especially bad traffic on L.A.’s streets.

If you’re a fan of plane spotting, I’m here to give you the hot tip. Pick your spot on the lawn next to In-N-Out on Sepulveda on Thursday afternoon. If all goes according to schedule, Air Force One will cross directly in front of you as it comes in to land at 2:45pm. I always recommend getting there at least 30-60 minutes early, as this flight sometimes runs ahead of schedule.

If you’re not a fan of plane spotting (or heavy traffic,) I’m here to give you the hot tip. Stay the hell away from West L.A. on Thursday afternoon! President Obama arrives in mid-afternoon and will be heading to Sony Studios in Culver City to appear at a fundraiser for his reelection campaign. The Secret Service has worked closely with LAPD and LADOT to mitigate the traffic caused by the presidential motorcade, but seriously, how much can they do? Traffic in that area is typically bad anyway. Add the President to the mix, and things could get ugly.

President Obama will spend the night in southern California, then depart on Friday morning. Scheduled departure is 8:55am, if you plane spotters would like to see AFO in flight again. Remember to set up at the opposite end of the airport, as departing flights head out over the ocean.

Plane Spotting: Wrap-Up

Clickably gigantifiable.

Last week I mentioned an opportunity to have a (semi) up-close gander at Air Force One as it arrived at LAX yesterday. Did you go?

The President and his posse arrived about 40 minutes ahead of schedule Monday afternoon, which worked out really well for those of us who had gotten there early. It meant beating the worst of the afternoon traffic coming back up through downtown.

Now, speaking of the traffic, I heard it was terrible virtually everywhere yesterday. The Pres flew via Marine One from LAX to Beverly Hills, but once he got into the car bound for the DCCC fundraiser in Hancock Park, Secret Service street closures for the motorcade turned all of L.A. into one giant traffic clusterf*ck.

The obligatory snapshot with the plane.

For the record, I was there for the arrival. I had nothing to do with the resulting traffic.

If you were there, how was it from where you stood? In addition to the grassy knoll at In-N-Out, I saw a bunch of people perched above Imperial Highway on W. Imperial Avenue, which gave the advantage of being down toward the end of the runway where Air Force One was parked.

The rest of the photos from my vantage point on the runway can be found in this Flickr set.

Plane Spotting: The Presidential Edition

Air Force One, by Burns!

Los Angeles International Airport is a busy place, with flights coming and going to all corners of the world. If plane spotting is your thing, it’s a great place to see some interesting aircraft that you don’t get to see everyday. For instance, have you ever seen that beast, the Airbus A-380, come in for a landing?

If you’re interested in seeing Air Force One, Monday and Tuesday are the days. President Obama will be in Los Angeles for about 16 hours next week, so you’ve got an opportunity to see the First Aircraft (I don’t know; I just made that up) arrive on Monday afternoon and depart on Tuesday morning.

I’m told that the lawn in front of the In-N-Out on Sepulveda Blvd. is a great viewing spot, as it is just at the eastern end of the runway (where most flights touch down.) As Julia pointed out in a recent blogging.LA post, another good place to take in the action would be the observation deck atop LAX’s Theme Building.

What: Air Force One at LAX
When: Arriving approximately 4:10pm Monday.
Departing approximately 8:40am Tuesday.

So, if planes are your thing, here’s one that doesn’t come to town all that often. Go check it out. Of course, LAX will be crawling with extra security and a few Secret Service marksmen, so don’t try to get up close and personal for a snapshot like this one:

Photo by Angela Daves-Haley