Aircraft spotting is a kind of activity which means to observe or to log registration numbers of gliders, aircrafts, balloons, helicopters, airships, microlights. When observers spot aircrafts they can notice a great variety of peculiarities: a special noise from the aircraft engine, its size, type of the engine, the position of its wings according to the fuselage, the position of the tailplane according to the fins. Observers can distinguish monoplanes, biplanes or triplanes.

          Nowadays spotters can use modern equipment like radar decoders with the aim of tracking the movement of aircrafts. The most famous devices are considered to be Kinetic Avionics SBS and AirNav Systems RadarBox series. They can read and process the radar data, register the movement on the computer screen.

          Spotting styles

          In the case of spotting some military aircrafts, spotters try to note or to compile airline logo or livery, national insignia, code letters. As a rule, spotters try to see all possible aircrafts of the given type. Some spotters may be interested only in Commercial Airlines, others prefer general aviation or military aviation.

          Additional activities may comprise listening to transmissions of air traffic with the help of radio scanners. Special Internet groups have appeared with the aim of helping aircrafts to communicate or clearing up some uncertainties. As a rule these groups cater to some regions (for e.x. North American Spotters) or appeal to wide audience (for e. x. Civil Spotters group). The pioneer of this type of communication is considered to be Oxford vax group. The result lies in the fact that the information about aircraft movement can be transferred worldwidely in a real time.

          It’s worth to say about the hobby when a person travels a long distance with the aim of visiting different airports, seeing unusual aircrafts. Some of the rare aircrafts may be seen in the museums. Many old aircrafts are just cannibalized with the aim of repairing others. Such aircraft databases as Aviation Database, Quantum Aerodata, Airline Data Unlimited permit spotters to record their interesting sightseeing in a database and to produce interesting reports.