new member introduction, and some KPHL thoughts


Sorry, I hope this isn’t a waste of people’s time, but I wanted to introduce myself and thank FA for this great site.

I recently moved to Garnet Valley in Delaware County, PA, and I live in a weird nook on top of a hill right in the approach path of 9R into KPHL.

When the winds are coming from the east, the planes on approach fly right over my house, sometimes they even have their gear down. I can usually see the livery (unless the weather is an issue) but I was wondering where the flights originated. This led me to FlightAware, which is a great resource.

I’m not a pilot, but I’ve always loved flying, aircraft, etc. When I see the Lufthansa A343 coming in over my house, the BA 772, a UPS MD-11F, hell even a US A332, it makes my day! That probably sounds lame, but it seems like people here can relate.

Another interesting time is later at night when a bunch of UPS flights fly into Philly, and then depart in the early morning hours. I often check to see what kind of aircraft they are and where they’re coming from.

PHL is much maligned as an airport, and for good reason. It’s very, very cramped. I lived in Colorado for years, and KDEN is in a completely different ballpark. You could probably fit 4 of the Philly concourses into one of Denver’s. Also, US Airways appears to be widely loathed. I must say I haven’t had much to complain about with them, but I never had had to connect in PHL, as all my flights have originated or arrived there.

I know Philly doesn’t have the level of international service that some of the other east coast airports provide, but it is cool that we at least get some international traffic here. Also, we are close to many other airports, I often get a ride up to Newark to catch flights. I’ve also caught international flights out of JFK, I usually rent a car when I do that and drop it off up there.

It will be interesting to see if PHL can pull off a runway expansion project. I was up there spotting a bit a few days ago over by the big UPS facility, which will probably need to be moved for an expansion. It seems like just a big corrugated metal building, so relocating UPS shouldn’t be too much of a problem–but Philly should really try to keep their business here, because they employ a lot people.

I will try to post about any interesting activity I see, diversions, emergencies, etc. Thanks for your time.


Welcome aboard!
FA also hosts a great photo section. From your vantage point you could probably snap some interesting aircraft. Camera, Tripod and Scanner will help.


Welcome aboard!
FA also hosts a great photo section. From your vantage point you could probably snap some interesting aircraft. Camera, Tripod and Scanner will help.

Thanks! With the right camera, hopefully I can get some good pics.


I have done a bit of spotting at KPHL. My brother works for US Air and he lived 5 minutes from the airport for a year and then moved to northern DE for another year before just recently relocating to the Charlotte area. I would go spot every time I went to visit him.
Both ends of the runways are great spots. To the west by the railroad tracks where there is a nice little pull-off lined right up with the runway. You just can’t see the planes until they take off, but they are close. To the east near Fort Mifflin(which in itself is a nice little bit of history). Worth the small price of admission. If you stand on the knolls there it gets you just that much closer! Both locations are within a few hundred feet of the runways.

Enjoy the spotting for me when you make it up there. I will not get to now that my brother is in Charlotte. Philly is just too far from NH to go to spot planes for a bit. LOL

Welcome to FA!


Welcome to FA.

I’m on the other side of the river from you in NJ and, depending on the active runway at PHL, I have aircraft coming right over my house most days.

(In fact my son mentioned today that on his way home to PHL from PBI on Thursday he flew right over my house and lake.)

They’re a bit higher when they go over me than you, but I don’t anticipate I’ll ever tire of the aerial parade.

Get your spotting in at PHL now before they begin any construction on runway additions. UPS will be moving and the access road will close in the near future.


JHEM: So where you are located, you probably get to see incoming flights more often than me? The flights come in over me only during east operations, which I’ve read occur about 30% of the time (and that sounds about right, based on my personal experience). I’ve had some nice views of PHL landings at a place in Jersey called Riverwinds–a new development with a fitness center that’s sort of like a YMCA. I’ve played in a few basketball tournaments at the gym at Riverwinds, and you can see the planes very well because it’s right across the river from the airport.

Thanks for the welcome wishes misschristys and JHEM! It’s nice to know that other people enjoy PHL spotting as much as I do.


I agree with slgordon about PHL being a crowded, not very fast airport. One time, we had to wait 2 hours at baggage claim for our skiis to come up out of a freight elevator…PHL could really use that runway expansion, along with some updating of the terminal, just to make it more speedy.

JHEM, you’re from the Lumberton area? Flying W’s a pretty neat airport. Nice hop to up there from down here in Cape May.


I’m actually in Medford, which has the distinction of sharing both N14 and KVAY with our tiny neighbor, Lumberton.

I hope success won’t spoil Cape May and they’ll be able to keep their National Historic Site designation.


Yeah, me too. But even if the city can’t manage to keep its designation :confused: many of the individual sites will still have their designation.

Okay, off- topic!