Mid-Summer Spotting Part #1: A Recent Look at the Widebody Traffic at Chicago O’Hare Airport.


The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect air traffic and the airline industry globally. Air Travel is slowly recovering with most airlines adding flights and putting aircraft back into service, but there is a very long way to go yet. I recently spent a few days spotting down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and this downturn in traffic was very evident.

On a typical day landing traffic will use up to four runways for simultaneous approaches, during my visit the traffic flow was light enough at times that all arriving traffic was easily accommodated on one runway. Despite this downturn in traffic, O’Hare still offers the aviation enthusiast plenty of interesting aircraft types and airlines to be seen on a daily basis. In part #1 of this three-part series, we take a look at the some of the recent widebody or “heavy jet” movements. It is worth noting that since the downturn in air travel begin some of these aircraft are not carrying passengers but have been turned into freighters flying cargo and mail.

Delta Airlines is one of those airlines that are not flying passengers on its 777’s out of O’Hare to Frankfurt Germany, they are hauling cargo and mail. Chicago O’Hare has always been a major hub for air travel, and will continue to be even in the midst of a pandemic.

In part #2 we will take a look at the common and not so common freighters that can be seen at Chicago O’Hare, until next time, “Blue Skies To All!”


Scott Jankowski

Scott Jankowski - Franklin, Wisconsin Like so many others my love of aviation started when I was young, very young. I was only three years old when my Parents took me to my first air show here in Milwaukee, the rest you could say is “history”. I would read aviation magazines instead of Comic Books. I would prefer my Dad take me to the airport to watch airplanes instead of throwing a Football around. I grew up watching Convair 580’s, DC9’s and 727’s from the terminal here in Milwaukee, no Stage Three noise compliance back then! I started to seriously take pictures in the Mid 1980’s , for my birthday that year I finally had my first decent camera. I would head down to the airport with my pockets full of Kodak Film and take pictures of anything and everything. It did not matter if it was a Air Wisconsin Dash-7 or a 128TH ARW KC-135E if it had an engine I took a picture of it. I would drop those rolls off to be developed and three days later tear into the envelopes to see the results, which to be honest were not that good but there were a few keepers every once and a while. Fast forwarding to today with much better equipment and skills I spend as much time as I can at both General Mitchell International and Chicago O’Hare which are my Hometown Airports. While times and aircraft have changed the excitement is still as great as it was back all of those years ago. It makes no difference if it is 737, P-51, F-16, or Lear 35 I will not pass on any photo opportunity as you may not get that chance again. Even though my primary focus is on Commercial Aviation I still frequent as many Air shows as I can in the short Summer Season. I am fortunate enough to have EAA Air Venture in my backyard only being only an Hour and Half from my home. I routinely attend Air shows here in Milwaukee, Rockford, Chicago, Ypsilanti and the Quad Cities. I am very fortunate to be part of the Photorecon.Net and PHX Spotters Team and am looking forward to bringing everyone some Air show and Airliner action from the Midwest Region!

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