AVIATION – IT’S A HEALTHY OBSESSION
Loving aviation is now such a popular hobby, it’s got an official name. If you love anything to do with planes, you’re an avgeek. The hashtag #avgeek is commonly used on Twitter to help identify stories about aviation or aircraft. But is ‘geek’ appropriate? Let’s face it, aviation is sexy, and everyone loves planes, so avgeekery is about as far from the nerdiness of trainspotting as it’s possible to get. If you always feel the urge to look up when a plane passes, wondering what kind of aircraft it is and where it’s going, the good news is that there are answers out there. You just need to forget the etymology and embrace your inner avgeek. We’ll show you how…
THE OLD SCHOOL ESSENTIALS
Air band radio scanner – So you can listen in on pilots as they chat with air traffic control.
Binoculars – Because airports will only allow you to get so close to the aircraft.
Reference books – We all remember the ubiquitous Observer’s Book of Aircraft. Publication has ceased, so pick them up in car boot sales whenever possible. Most referencing is done online these days, but there’s still a good selection of printed guides and coffee table books available.
FAVOURITE AVIATION WEBSITES
www.flightmemory.com – This neat website lets you track every flight you’ve ever made. All those air miles add up!
www.airliners.net – Photo database and forums, so you can chat with fellow avgeeks to your heart’s content!
www.flightradar24.com – Live flight tracking (screengrab below). We love this. Identify the plane that’s flying over your head. Free desktop version is amazingly interesting and the mobile app is just so cool, you’ll want to pay for the upgrade. Did I mention how we love this?
www.planefinder.net – Another live flight tracking service, this one is chasing FlightRadar24’s crown.
www.avherald.com – Incident and accident database.
http://notam-ireland.blogspot.ie/ – List of interesting aircraft visiting Dublin airport. Similar blogs exist for most major airports.
https://aviationvoice.com – Good news source, stories from across every aviation activity.
http://irishaviationresearchinstitute.blogspot.ie/ – Quality source for information on all things aviation, with an emphasis on Ireland.
AVGEEK NEWSLETTERS AND MAGAZINES
There’s a stack of really useful free email newsletter services, so sign up for a few and you’ll have the inside scoop in no time!
http://www.aviator.aero – Focus on airlines, daily newsletter.
https://avgeekweekly.com/ – Very avgeeky newsletter, focus on aircraft.
https://www.runwaygirlnetwork.com/ – Runway Girl delivers spot-on analysis of the passenger experience (#paxex), in-flight entertainment and cabin interiors side of aviation. Sign up for the weekly newsletter.
https://flightchic.com/ – Good blog and newsletter.
https://50skyshades.com/ – Fifty Sky Shades is a good all-round resource with a nifty, weekly newsletter.
http://info.arconics.com/offer-5 – The Connected Aircraft Newsletter from Arconics is the aviation industry’s favourite monthly newsletter about all things aviation, airline software, connectivity and the passenger experience.
http://www.airlinerworld.com – Airliner World is a very good avgeek magazine.
www.flightglobal.com – When you’re ready to turn professional avgeek, Flightglobal is the place to go. The publishers of Flight International magazine offer a comprehensive news service and – for subscribers – a searchable database of all the world’s airlines.
Hang around the airport at the weekend. Dublin Airport has some superb locations for planespotting – check out the R108 around the far side of the runway (airport side of IKEA roundabout off the M50) – and every airport has a similar offering. Hanging around the departures hall is not so much fun and you could get arrested.
Travel just for the fun of it! This might sound insane but, in the olden days, flying was considered a glamorous pursuit, an end in itself. Some LCCs may have tried to remove all the sophistication and excitement from flying but avgeeks know that they will never succeed.
Book specific flights just to fly on individual aircraft.
Bore all your friends by constantly talking about aviation…
FINALLY, BUILD A CAREER IN AViATION…
Get paid and build a career out of talking about aviation! It’s easier than you might think. For starters, there’s a major, growing shortage of airline pilots and cabin crew are always in demand. Then think about the legions of men and women who work on the ground to keep the aircraft flying and the airports operational 24/7. In Ireland, we’ve
got all the world’s top aircraft leasing companies, and they’re always looking for the right talent. Then you’ve got support companies like Arconics, the world’s leading airline software provider, working with some of the world’s most successful, profitable and best-loved airlines and always looking for talent, talent that’s not afraid to be called… avgeek!
Discover avgeek job opportunities with Arconics at: http://www.arconics.com/careers/
Very useful beginner’s guide to planespotting from CNN: