Friday, May 25, 2012

Plane Spotters Park Coming to Dorval

Airplane Watching and Recognition

A few good observation spots near Dorval International Airport-

Click on the letter in a circle for a site description, best time for observation and a picture showing a plane as seen from this spot. (Most pictures taken with a telephotolens. Always bring your binoculars).



Birds and planes don't go together.

If you go near the airport to observe airplanes, be sure not to leave behind any objects, especially food that mignt attract birds.

Seagulls are easely attracted by waste.

These birds (like any other) are dangerous for engines, planes... and their passengers!

You can help prevent this, by making sure you leave the site clean, this should make authorities more tolerant for plane spotters and others.

Dorval Airport Terminal

Air Canada Airbus A319
Since the 70's, the Airport terminal is not the best place to take pictures of planes (due to the reflexion in windows) but it certainly remains a very good spot to see them close.

Dorval Airport top of multilevel parking

Air Canada - Canadian C-GQBH fin CP734
On those rare days when the wind is clam or coming from the east, landings can be seen on the 06R runway. Lighting from this spot in the parking is best from mid-afternoon. (Bear in mind that in these wind conditions, the 06L runway will be used by jumbo jets and other international carriers the Thorncrestviewing point will be best if that is what you are looking for).



Pitfield street's dead end

British Airways Boeing 747

At the dead end, you have on the west side, just on the other side of highway 13, one end of the north runway [24R].

Looking east, watch out fo those planes coming in just above you!

The most spectacular of the spots mentionned in this page!

Pitfield (A340 Sabena)

Poirier street corner Beaulac

Air Canada Airbus A319

From Côte-Vertue, turn North on Beaulac along Place Vertue and go to Poirier street. Your view to the East is unobstructed for planes coming for final approach on the north runway [24R].

Lighting is best from mid-day.

Poirier & Beaulac

Griffith street just east of McArthur

Griffith & McArthur
AirNova BAe-146

Some planes can almost exclusively be seen landing on the south runway [24L] (due to the location of boarding gates in the southern part of the terminal). It is the case of these two planes. To have a chance to see them coming in, take a look to the landing schedule on the Airport web site.

Lighting is best in the first half of the day.


Gougeon street just north of Reverchon

F-28 Canadi>n RegionalLearjet 45

Like the Griffith street observation spot, this one is located near the east end the south runway [24L].

Corner of Gougeon and Reverchon, planes are just over your head. You can move just north on Gougeon to give you a good side view in the afternoon and at the end of the day.

If your lucky, you might just see an exotic logo (for Montréal) on a plane landing here as Bombardier Regional jets are tested prior to delivery)

Gougeon & Reverchon1900D AirAlliance

Ryan street corner of Renaud


This spot runs along the eastern extremity of the south runway [24L]. The pictures, taken a long time ago with a 400 mm lens, shows a 747 near touchdown on the north runway {24R].

A recent visit confirms that taking such a picture is not going to be easy these days (opaque fencing, Bombardier plant...) but if you look around, you will find one or two good spots as shown on the picture below (taken with a 500 mm lens though).Airbus A320 (Canada 3000)

Cardinal street Train stop


This site is near the western end of the south runway [06R]. Far from ideal although you can park easely and for free. When the wind is down, incoming traffic can be massively directed to this spot.

Lighting is good until noon.


Hill at Thorncrest street north end

ThorncrestDC-9 Air Canada

What a beautiful site (shame on those who planted those poles with electric lines running between us and the incoming planes).

On the west end of the north runway [06R], you can see planes landing on cloudy days and when the wind is down.

Lighting is difficult after supper because of sunset. But it is OK for pictures of planes touching down on preparing to take off.

Boieng 767 British Airways
Airbus A340 Sabena
Boeing 767 Air Canada
Boeing 747-400 Air France

Jenkins street corner of Avoca

Dorval Int'l (YUL)

Jenkins street is a good spot to see planes taking off [runway 24L/06R] (specially in the morning with the sun in your back giving adequate lighting).

We can also see the south end of the airport terminal and the de-icing zone (in case of freezing rain in the winter).

Boeing 737-200 (Canadi>n)

You remember a few characteristics of the plane but can't remember the name?
Try this visual guide. I hope it will help you.

Click on the drawings to go to the visual identification guide.

B 737
Texte / Text : Jean-Pierre Bonin © 1999-2003


Les F said...

....and from today's Gazette the announcement of the Plane Spotters Park ( and no they don't mean people who crap their seats when they fly) - hf&rv - Les

Plane-spotters get their own park in Dorval, the only one of its kind in Canada
Alycia Ambroziak
The Gazette
Friday, May 25, 2012

One web definition of plane-spotting is the observation and logging of the registration number and characteristics of aircraft as they take off and land.

But if some of the people at Dorval airport’s new park dedicated to plane-spotters is any indication, the true definition of a plane-spotter is more akin to the Spanish term aerotrastronados, loosely translated as aero-crazy or airplane addicts.

"You have to be passionate about aviation," Patrick Cardinal, president of the 45-member Montreal Airport Watch Association, said at the official opening of the park, the only official plane-spotting park in Canada.

Located on Aéroports de Montréal-owned land at the intersection of Halpern And Jenkins St. in Dorval, the park faces runways 24-L and 06-R, giving plane- potters an advantageous position to keep track of planes as they come and go.

The park, which was established to commemorate the airport’s 70th birthday, is equipped with a five-tier aluminum bleacher-type stand, benches, trash bins, newly-laid lawn, trees and shrubs, as well as signs that show the various runways at the airport and the kinds of planes that can be spotted.

"We like the noise, when the planes take off," said Pierre Castilloux, who comes to the park about three times a week from his Brossard home. He and his wife are equipped with state-of-the-art cameras and video equipment, as well as a radio that monitors the control tower.

"We used to come here before it was a park," he added. "This is a lot better than just standing in a field."

The park is aptly named after Jacques de Lesseps, pilot of the first airplane flight in Quebec which took place on July 2, 1910. The flight took off from an area near where John Rennie High School is located, circled Mount Royal and returned to the West Island, a 50-kilometre flight that took 49 minutes.

Les F said...

Wow this is cool:
The park is aptly named after Jacques de Lesseps, pilot of the first airplane flight in Quebec which took place on July 2, 1910. The flight took off from an area near where John Rennie High School is located, circled Mount Royal and returned to the West Island, a 50-kilometre flight that took 49 minutes.

.I can rememebr as a kid my oldman taking us for a ride out to Dorval to watch airplanes coming in,then jets became the cool thing...... HF&RV - Les

Les F said...

I wonder if old Jacques ever landed or took off from the Lasalle Airport ?

.Cheers ! HF&RV - Lasalle

Les F said...

Wow how's this for more history on Jacques de Lesseps ,he was the son of the builder of the SUEZ Canal, that is some history, there is also a monument to Jacques the pilot in Gaspe (which is where he lived)

1883- - 1927
Son of the famous builder of the Suez Canal, Jacques de Lesseps was born in Paris and trained in 1909 at the Blériot flying school on an Anzani-powered Blériot XI. He qualified for F.A.I. license no.27. In March 1910, he purchased one of the first Gnome-powered Blériot XI and named it “Le Scarabée”. In it, on 21 May 1910, he made the second aeroplane crossing of the English Channel. Only 5 weeks later, de Lesseps brought his 2 Blériots to Canada's first aviation meet (and Quebec’s first aeroplane occurrence ever) at Lakeside, near Pointe-Claire. There, in “Le Scarabée”, he made the first flight over the city of Montreal by an aeroplane, on 2 July 1910. The exploit made him an instant hero. De Lesseps was to serve as a military aviator throughout WWI. Flying mostly at night, he defended Paris against raiding Zeppelins and assumed command of a bombing unit in 1918. In that year, not counting reconnaissance and photography flights, he completed 95 bombing missions. In 1919 his former squadron commander formed “La Compagnie Aérienne Française” (CAF). Recruited by his friend, de Lesseps became proficient in flying boat operation and aerial photography. In early 1926, the Quebec Government negotiated a contract with the French company for a complete forest aerial survey of the Gaspé peninsula. It would be carried out by a new organization, “La Compagnie Aérienne Franco-Canadienne”. De Lesseps was named Directeur d'Exploitation and chief pilot. A base was established at Gaspé. Operations were expanded in 1927 with a new base at Val Brillant on Lake Matapédia. On 18 October, an important meeting was held there which brought the CAF president from France and the provincial Minister of Lands and Forests from Quebec. De Lesseps was expected to fly there from Gaspé. In unusually bad weather, he and his mechanic lost their lives in an apparent attempt to land in thick fog on the Saint Lawrence River. Only de Lesseps' body was found, on the Newfoundland coast. He was buried in Gaspé on 14 December, 1927. An impressive monument was erected in his memory.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 6th 20