Have others poked fun at you because you like to take photographs of airplanes?
Do not be ashamed. Your hobby -- "Plane Spotting" is the official term - has been recognized by Buzzfeed, American's newest go-to news source. This is a good thing. Buzzfeed has become so important that President Barack Obama recently gave the news outlet an interview.
Buzzfeed freelancer Andrew McMillen has written an astonishingly long piece about plane spotters, meeting up with a group last summer at Brisbane's airport. One of the men he meets is Luke Amundsen, founder of something called the Brisbane Airport Movements blog.
Amundsen knows these routes and schedules particularly well, as he lives nearby. “If I could live closer, I would,” he says. “I can be lying in bed at midnight and hear the Emirates 777 come over, and know exactly what it is, straightaway. I don’t even have to look up.”
McMillen met up with the the spotters before the November G20 summit in Brisbane, when Amundsen and a friend were planning to look for President Obama's plane.
These two will be among the crowd attempting to gather somewhere near this airport, cameras in hand, searching the skies for Air Force One in the hope of capturing a once-in-a-lifetime event: the president of the United States of America landing at their home airport. An intense Australian Federal Police presence surrounding the miles of wire fences day and night for the duration of the summit mean that shooting Air Force One is an unlikely event indeed. But still, the possibility is there.
And possibility is what drives planespotters — otherwise known as “jetrosexuals,” “aerosexuals,” and “cloud bunnies” — a niche group of obsessives whose intense interest in flight paths, travel schedules, and colorful jet livery occasionally overlaps with the concerns of the general population.
McMillen notes - with some surprise - that a single four minute YouTube video of airplanes at Skiathos Island National Airport in Greece has received more than 7.5 million views.
I confess I am not an airplane spotter. I leave that to the Wall Street Journal's Jon Ostrower, who somehow finds time between scoops to update his Flickr page. I do sometimes write about spotters, though. Two years ago, I wrote a story about the best place to watch airplanes near Los Angeles International Airport.
I'm guessing many of you are spotters. Or perhaps you call yourselves "jetrosexuals" or "aerosexuals" or "cloud bunnies," as the BuzzFeed story suggests.
I'm curious. Where is your favorite place to watch planes?