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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 12:03 AM
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I've always liked the approach to HNL.

And I guess I'm biased, but yeah, I've always liked the approach to LAX... and whenever I experience the approach to LAX, I always think, 'I'm home.'
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 12:58 AM
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When Austin's airport was located just across I-35 from the university, coming in over the west side of Austin was one of the best in the country. The approach came in very low over high, wooded hills, deep and narrow valleys, and the river, all in west Austin. It also meant a lot of turbulence from the terrain. The current airport, which opened in 1999, is located in flat to rolling farmland, and there's no scenery down below. However, if you're coming in from the north and are on the downtown side of the plane, the view of the skyscrapers with the hills as a backdrop can be beautiful.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 1:03 AM
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My current favorite is the approach pattern to O'Hare, where you often go way out over Lake Michigan and then come back over downtown. It's best to be on the left side of the plane to get the spectacular views.

If you're coming into Houston's Hobby Airport (the city airport, not the larger one), the views can be great depending on the approach and what side of the plane you're on. It's highly variable, but at times you get an outstanding view of Uptown, Greenway, Med Center, Allen Parkway, and Downtown. If you like skyscrapers, it can be a great approach due to the sheer number of talls all over the city. If you come in on the south side of Hobby, you only get to see sprawling suburbia.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 1:40 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Atlanta stands out as a city that was really impressive the first time I flew in. I came in from the NE going SW and I saw the entire length of the skyline from downtown to Buckhead. It was insane and something I wasn't expecting.

Last edited by jtown,man; Jan 20, 2019 at 1:57 AM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 1:50 AM
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If only for the views (I've heard the pilots hated the landing), it's a shame Hong Kong Kai Tak is no longer around.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 1:59 AM
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I like the takeoff from LAX better than the landing. The views of the Malibu coast as the plane climbs away from the runway are pretty stunning.

I like to watch the aerial view going into SFO because it pretty abruptly changes from mountainous/desert wildnerness to an urbanized area. It literally looks like someone drew a line and said "nothing is ever to be built past here."

Flying from the east coast, Detroit also abruptly changes when you cross from Canada to the U.S., but it's not quite as pretty lol. On the Canadian side, it's farmland as far as you can see, but on the U.S. side it's sprawl for as far as you can see.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 2:07 AM
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This thread should have tons of pictures!

The Barrow, AK pic is great. How many people have ever seen the final approach to Barrow?!
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 3:42 AM
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^^^ It should have. At least a few. But I agree that flying into LA from the east is impressive.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 6:24 AM
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I've flown to airports all across the nation, and in my personal opinion not one holds a candle to my current hometown of San Diego. To the best of my knowledge there is a single approach in the world that gets closer to the downtown city center, and underneath the ground slopes upward until the tops of buildings feel like they'll nearly skim the landing gear (in fact a parking garage once had to have a portion of its roof removed as a hazard)

Skip to 7:45 or so for the good part
Video Link



In certain parts of downtown you actually look down at the aircraft as they land
Video Link
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 7:43 AM
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Boston and San Diego both have amazing, almost scary-close downtown views, and at Logan, on some landings, you feel like you’re absolutely going to graze the top of Eastie’s triple deckers and splash down in the harbor.

Honolulu is stunning too. I love SFO if you end up in a holding pattern above those colorful salt flats in the South Bay.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 7:56 AM
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LAX comes to mind first. It's pretty intense from any direction, even coming in from the Pacific.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 8:41 AM
Will O' Wisp Will O' Wisp is online now
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On the topic of airliners flying close to skyscrapers, San Diego, Boston, and Phoenix are the major US metros with the closest airports to their downtown. Las Vegas International is right next to the strip, but a fair distance away from downtown Vegas (and not technically even in Las Vegas, but that's another thing entirely).

San Diego:


Boston Logan:


Phoenix Sky Harbor:

(Phoenix is so flat it's not obvious just how close the airport is to the city center)

Las Vegas:










Internationally the most famous are London City, Congonhas, Taipei Songshan, and of course the legendary (and now closed) Kai Tak.

London City:


Congonhas in Sao Paulo


Taipei Songshan:


Kai Tak:

I just want to emphasize this image has not been edited in any way. The approach procedure at Kai Tak involved flying directly towards a large-ish hill and making a hairpin turn less than 100' over densely packed midrises. Passengers found it so disturbing it was nicknamed the Kai Tak heart attack.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 8:50 AM
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Los Angeles LAX: I love both the approach and take off from LAX. Coming in on a clear day is just mind blowing and the night approach makes my head explode. Taking off just after sunrise is glorious, I love looking down after airborne and seeing the shoreline and the land turn to sea. I love when the plane makes its turn over the ocean and head north and watch the city to the right as the day begins. If you are heading back east, the plane typically turns left over the ocean and flies over the massive LA/Long Beach habor (which by the way is a sight to see both day and night). You also get to see downtown Long Beach and its shoreline.

London Heathrow The city is massive and makes me think of a well manicured dense garden, it really is the most beautiful city IMO from above.

Dallas Love Field: I love both the approach and take off day or night. I’m also impressed with how brightly lit it is at night. It gives you a sense of how big that city really is.

San Francisco SFO and OAK: Flying up from LA is just awesome seeing the coast line, but when you arrive in the Bay Area I really love just seeing San Jose from above, it looks so well maintained suburban sprawl with beautiful homes and swimming pools. I figured that’s how LA’s San Fernando Valley use to love back in the early 70’s. But even better seeing all of the iconic bridges and especially at night the city and the bay shining through, makes me think of the song by Journey.

NYC La Guardia: My favorite city, I love the approach when you’re sitting on the right side and the airplane is going down the Hudson, that is the best view one could hope for. You really get a sense of how dense and built up Manhattan is. I also like leaving out at night from JFK, and heading back to LA. Flying over the NY metro and seeing all of the lights, I believe it’s sprawls further than Los Angeles, just not as brightly lit up.

Long Beach, CA LGB: I know it’s part of the LA metro, but it has its own airport. The approach is quite awesome, especially coming from the Bay Area, you get to turn over Catalina Island, and seeing the beautiful coastline and the city’s skyline from afar is fun to see.

Video Link

Last edited by ChrisLA; Jan 20, 2019 at 11:41 AM.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp View Post
I've flown to airports all across the nation, and in my personal opinion not one holds a candle to my current hometown of San Diego. To the best of my knowledge there is a single approach in the world that gets closer to the downtown city center, and underneath the ground slopes upward until the tops of buildings feel like they'll nearly skim the landing gear (in fact a parking garage once had to have a portion of its roof removed as a hazard)

Skip to 7:45 or so for the good part
Video Link



In certain parts of downtown you actually look down at the aircraft as they land
Video Link
Wow, no wonder the FAA get down on their asses over there. Despite this, give San Diego a reason to increase density. I gotta take a train ride to drive down there some time. It looks very nice.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 2:47 PM
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While not always the final approach path, many of my flights into Hobby airport in Houston approach directly between Downtown and the Galleria area and it sometimes feels like you are low enough to be "splitting the uprights." Right after 9-11 it was a little nerve-racking to be that close.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 5:20 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp View Post
Internationally the most famous are London City, Congonhas, Taipei Songshan, and of course the legendary (and now closed) Kai Tak.
Aeroparque Jorge Newberry in Buenos Aires is also pretty intense. The flight paths in and out are unsettlingly close to residential towers nearby.



One of my favorite non-U.S. is Santos Dumont in Rio de Janeiro. The airport is in the middle of the city, and the runways are visible from many of the tourist attractions on the hills in the city. I took these two shots from Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) a few years ago:



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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 5:37 PM
JAYNYC JAYNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp View Post
London City:
Wow. Never traveled through London City. Looks incredible - major "oh shit!" factor going on in that view.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisLA View Post
I also like leaving out at night from JFK, and heading back to LA. Flying over the NY metro and seeing all of the lights, I believe it’s sprawls further than Los Angeles, just not as brightly lit up.
Video Link
Very interesting perspective.

Mine is the polar opposite - seems like you're essentially in or out of the NYC metro within 10 miles of any of the three airports, whereas the SoCal sprawl seen on the approach to LAX appears to come into view 25-30 minutes before landing.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 6:04 PM
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This never gets old...Congonhas Airport São Paulo
Video Link
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 6:12 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimondpark View Post
This never gets old...Congonhas Airport São Paulo
Video Link
The high density sprawl of São Paulo is a little Tokyo-ish. Just noticed that when watching this video clip.
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