Story and photos by Scott Jankowski

The calendar indicated it was June 11th, 2023, but the weather on this day made it feel more like an October or November day. It was a raw and windy day with a strong Northeast wind, temps in the 50’s, and intermittent rain showers, but that did not stop our decision to spot down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. O’Hare was in East flow due to the wind direction with arrivals primarily on Runways 10 Center and 10 Right due to the low visibilities. As a result of the lower visibility at times, quite a few of the arrivals on Runway 10 Right used Taxiway Zulu to reach the terminal. This taxiway runs directly in front of the primary spot we use on this side of the field.

Once the visibility improved, we made the decision to move to a new spotting location that is directly between Runways 10 Left and 9 Right and is directly above the Central Deicing Pad. This new location provides a different vantage point than our usual location with much better views of aircraft back taxiing to the terminal on Taxiway Papa that will turn at either the Delta Delta or the Charlie Charlie intersection. This vantage point also provides a much closer view of departing aircraft that would need the full length of Runway 10 Left. This location also gives you a close-up view of taxing or towed aircraft that use Taxiway Zulu to reach the hanger area or Northeast Cargo. On days with much better weather and visibility City of Chicago Skyline will provide a fantastic backdrop for photos.

Despite the weather conditions it turned out to be a great day of spotting with plenty of special color schemes and airlines I have not photographed prior to this day. Those included the Denver Air Connection EMB-145, Icelandair Cargo 767-300F, and the Atlas Air 747-8F with the Kuehne & Nagel titles. You should not give up a potential day of spotting due to the weather conditions as they will sometimes give you opportunities that you normally do not get in good weather. 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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