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Thread: Research project: Plane spotting at London Heathrow Airport

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    Research project: Plane spotting at London Heathrow Airport

    Hi,

    My names Phil Im a masters student at a university in London. As part of a methodology course that Im taking Im conducting a study on the experiences of plane spotters/aviation enthusiasts at London Heathrow Airport. Specifically, Im hoping to explore the following:

    The changing nature and practices of plane spotting (flight apps etc)
    The social and community aspects e.g. enjoying the hobby with others and sharing images and videos online
    The ostracization of plane spotters following an increase in security and surveillance at airports and the closure of observation decks (particularly since 9/11 and anti-Heathrow expansion incidents)

    The study will involve me spending time with plane spotters/aviation enthusiasts and visiting plane spotting locations around Heathrow e.g. Myrtle Avenue. As someone who is interested in aviation and uses flight apps (although Ive never been plane spotting), Im hoping that some members of the plane spotting community at Heathrow might kindly be able to take me under their wing (no pun intended) for a morning/afternoon of spotting. The study is ethnographic e.g. immersion in the culture/activity, and thus interviews and focus groups are not required. The aim is to learn about the culture/activity through participation, observation and informal conversation. Data/information that I collect will be made anonymous.

    If anyone is interested in my study (I can provide more info) and would like to share their knowledge, stories and experiences of plane spotting, Id be delighted to hear from you. Im happy to meet in person at the plane spotting locations or over tea/coffee somewhere first. Likewise, if there are any plane spotting group meets Id be keen to join. I live in west London which makes travelling to and from Heathrow easy.

    My email is p20@live.co.uk or I can be contacted on here.

    Thanks

    Phil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    "Where the fruit is"
    Posts
    4,892
    Are the plane spotters now to be... spotted? Howdy guys, raise your colors!

    All my best wishes for this endeavor, Phil.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    South East Essex
    Posts
    4,902
    Or as those in ATC affectionately call them, swivels.

    The one and only time I went spotting at Heathrow, was when you could go on the roof of the Queen's building.
    Last edited by ~Alan~; 25th December 2017 at 20:48.
    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2
    Thanks Tom and Alan. Same for me re Queens Building! Shame the deck closed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,589
    Some airfields are actually starting to embrace them as they see them as an added level of security, they recognise your average spotter may spot something out of the norm around the perimeter so it makes sense to avail themselves of the facility.
    Last edited by TonyT; 13th January 2018 at 00:22.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    South East Essex
    Posts
    4,902
    I think that's the case at Stanstead.
    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

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