Planespotting and investigative reporting

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Planespotters photographing a 747 at Zagreb airport. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

I became interested in planespotting some years ago, after viewing the clever video posted by the Tunisian blogger Astrubal, who put together planespotters’ photographs of the Tunisian presidential plane’s comings and goings.

Planespotters are hobbyists who have a passion for planes: they track, photograph and record aircraft takeoffs and landings, taking note of registration numbers and other markings. Some follow just particular types of aircraft, others just an airline or a national insignia. A lot of them take photographs of their sightings, and like other hobbyists, they post the photos online. The Open Directory Project lists nearly 60 websites that  collect planespotting pictures. Many of these sites have searchable databases, where one can search planes by make, airport sighted and, more importantly, by tail number. Read the rest of this entry »

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