Talk:Aircraft spotting

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Greece and Plane spotting[edit]

"Aircraft spotting was not until recently recognised as a legitimate hobby in Greece where the military authorities remain concerned about note-taking and photography on or near airfields. This attitude resulted in an international dispute in 2001/02 between the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Greece following the arrest on spying charges of 2 Dutch and 12 British plane spotters travelling together, who had been invited to the Hellenic Air Force Open Day at Kalamata. After they had spent over a month in prison, three judges sitting as a Panel in Kalamata reduced the charge on 12th December to "accessing national secrets" and on payment of bail the 14 spotters were allowed to travel home. A trial was eventually held in a local Greek court and on 26th April 2002 they were found guilty of espionage. For some of the group a three year jail sentence seemed likely, all were allowed to travel home on payment of bail money pending an Appeal.

All except one of the group (who did not return to an Appeal court in Kalamata for medical reasons) were acquitted of all the charges on 6th November 2002. Some media continue to suggest that they had taken photographs on or of military facilities or operational aircraft. At least one is still fighting to recover his bail money."

Is this even worth mentioning in an encyclopedia?It's not hugely relevant to the history or specifics of plane spotting, it is a partial account of a complicated event ,it takes more than one third of the article without really informing anyone about planespotting and the way it is worded seems to accuse Greek authorities.Not to mention being a testament of human stupidity( Both the authorities for turning this sort of incident in a international legal incident, and the tourists for just shooting away without at least asking somebody if it was OK)."

Also, "Aircraft spotting was not until recently recognised as a legitimate hobby in Greece" is the writer's idea and not a fact, since there is no legislation against it, hence why these people were arrested on charges of military espionage and not some imaginary "Anti-Planespotting" law.Planespotting is fine and legal everywhere - besides inside military installations. --Jsone 07:38, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Maybe good to inform in Wikipedia that plane spotting can be dangerous in some countries and specially inside military bases —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.77.228.94 (talk) 11:24, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Lots of things can be dangerous but Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a guide to behaviour. The article has a section on the Greek spotting incident which should remind people of the fact. Dont think we need anything else. MilborneOne (talk) 13:15, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

All of the commercial external links have been removed. There really was no justification for them per our policy on this at WP:EL. The remaining link to DMOZ is a neutral directory which IMO is superior to anything we can offer here anyway. Please: no more links! —Moondyne 00:44, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

You know I think you have been draconian. DMOZ is updated very badly nowadays. It's a really poor shadow of its former self. I think you should emulate other areas where, if external links are contested, they should be looked at individually on the talk page here. Fiddle Faddle 23:15, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed external links[edit]

In view of Moondyne's wholly ethical action I believe it is appropriate to propose links for inclusion, here Fiddle Faddle 23:12, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


Plane Spotting World[edit]

I wish to propose Plane Spotting World as a practical and growing example of a site dedicated to web 2.0 style communities and plane spotting. It is not a source as such, since much of its initial material comes form WP, but is an example of a site that is non encyclopaedic, but that caters wholly for the community of hobbyist spotters. I believe it to be wholly in accordance with the WP ethic to use it as an example. Fiddle Faddle 23:12, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

In view of the lack of comments I am adding this back to the article page as a resource. Fiddle Faddle 10:13, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


US Army manual[edit]

I propose a link to a public domain article dating from the late twentieth century that indicates the practical need for aircraft spotting talent to be engendered in military personnel, particularly in conscripted or part-time/volunteer units. The publisher is the US Army. I suppose that later editions of this manual are not yet in the public domain. http://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/fm44-80(96).pdf is the link and could be titled "US Army aircraft recognition manual". 82.44.186.93 (talk) 14:41, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Bruce's Planespotting Guide[edit]

I would like to propose adding an external link to Bruce's Planespotting Guide. This is a totally non-commercial page that is also aimed at the community of aviation hobbyists. It is a page where people can learn how to distinguish different kinds of aircraft that they might see at their airport and also a map of some really good hassle free airports to watch planes at. The subject matter is directly related to the topic of this article. 06:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)Bleibo

Inclusion of Sites[edit]

So we can all just suggest sites to be included into the article. But who really decides what is and isn't suitable for inclusion into the article? Are we going to let the folks at DMOZ do the work we're supposed to be doing? I think that as long as WP:EL is generally followed, there shouldn't be any problem. We just have to make sure that there aren't so many external links, and that the ones that are on are the most informative about the subject (so no Neil's Weekend in LAX and that type of thing). Why bother with DMOZ or other external projects? Heck, we should have a wikimedia project for directories or something. Syamil (talk) 04:50, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Registration vs. serials[edit]

I changed "serials" to "registration numbers" in the lede, because they're not the same thing. For example, the registration of my (Canadian) Piper Warrior is C-FBJO, printed in huge letters on the side. The serial number is 28-7916067, stamped on a tiny metal fireproof plate, too small for a planespotter to see without standing a few inches from the empennage. The registration changed when a previous owner imported my plane from the U.S. into Canada; the plane will keep the same serial until it is scrapped. David (talk) 18:51, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Amongst hobbyists registration is generally applied to civilian aircraft, such as the Piper Warrior you mention, whereas serial is used when making reference to a military aircraft. What you call a serial is generally termed a construction number or manufacturer's serial number by an aircraft spotter, traditionally prefixed by c/n, cn or msn, according to habit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.44.186.93 (talk) 14:33, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Extraordinary rendition[edit]

MilborneOne has twice removed this (to me both innocuous and helpful) addition to the article (headed Extraordinary rendition):

In 2007 journalist A.C Thompson and 'military geographer' Trevor Paglen published "Torture Taxi", a detailed account of the contribution made by planespotting to the discovery of Extraordinary rendition by the United States[1].

As I don't like being accused of "promotion" (for the record I have no connection or indeed knowledge of the authors/publisher etc) I will rewrite and put something back. Unlike MilborneOne (who lists a lot of planes on his/her User page) I don't know the pointy end of a plane from the flappy flappy wing things. But I do have some understanding of why people other than airplane enthusiasts might want to refer to this article. To remove all reference to the recent (generally unintended but nonetheless substantial) political contribution made by planespotters strikes me as unencyclopaedic. This article is surely not some private circulation sheet for plane geeks but a general reference point, including those with wider interests. Testbed (talk) 07:20, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I have no objection to a mention similar to your re-write but sorry the original wording was promotional which basically said go read this book without providing any information in the article. MilborneOne (talk) 12:46, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
All clear (note your first removal had the comment not relevant which is what I disagreed with). You've left a typo (repeated full stops) and also slightly muddled the events. I'll have another go. Testbed (talk) 13:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I dont have a problem with the section after your latest edit. Thanks. MilborneOne (talk) 17:29, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Introduction needs work?[edit]

I wonder if the introduction could be improved a bit? On reading it I am very confused as what it is trying to say -- it seems to be all about what features of 'planes people might observe, but nowhere does it say what the subject of the article (Aircraft spotting) is actually about. Why is it done? What is it for? Who are the people that do it -- are they observers in the military? etc.

Thanks quota (talk) 09:27, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

The activity is performed for pleasure and amusement alone, it has no civic, intelligence or economic function when undertaken by civilians. It follows traditions established by bird spotters, bus spotters and train spotters. 82.44.186.93 (talk) 14:45, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Airport Spotting Blog[edit]

I wish to propose Airport Spotting Blog as one of the most regularly updated and useful sites on the subject. Visitors get both news and guides on aircraft spotting around the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.194.184.38 (talk) 14:49, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

It would not add anything to the article as it is news and guides about aircraft spotting at airport one of many hundreds of such blogs. Blogs are not really acceptable as external links and this one does not really add any value to the article so really would be not allowed under the External Links guideline. MilborneOne (talk) 15:09, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Torture Taxi, Trevor Paglen and A.C.Thompson, Icon Books, UK 2007