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 Post subject: AMS Schiphol Airport, 7th-10th August 2011
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:03 am 
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Hi and welcome to my trip report from a few days at Amsterdam

We were booked on the early easyJet flight from MAN-AMS but it was delayed due to a member of cabin staff being ill. The plane was boarded and we sat around waiting for the cover to arrive. When they arrived, the doors were shut and we pushed back immediately.

Due to maintenance work we could not start at the beginning of the runway so we entered at holding point JA and took off from a rolling start. The flight itself was relatively calm and the mixed sky resulted in some rather nice cloud patterns. The rough route went from Manchester to Skegness, over the North Sea and along the Dutch coast until lining up for landing. Only being a 55 minute flight, we were quickly beginning our decent to Amsterdam.

Landing on the far runway, or Polderbaan (18R-36L) [1], we evacuated the runway and began one of the longest taxies from runway to gate there is. Luckily easyJet only fly from the low-cost H-pier of Schiphol, which is the closest to the Polderbaan.
Once we had reclaimed our luggage we headed straight for the airport's viewing terrace. As some of you may have noticed, there is now a KLM F100 [2] sitting up there and to walk out and see it there is odd. However not as odd as when you look at it from the other side of the airport.

On that first afternoon there was the amount of KLM to be expected, with much of the long haul returning from the morning flights. On that one afternoon however, every livery that is to be seen on KLM were in attendance including:
Both Sky Team aircraft: the 737 and 777 (PH-BXO, PH-BVQ)
Old scheme ‘Retrojet’ 737 (PH-BXA)
‘Flying Tiles’ Logo-jet 777 (PH-BQP)
Also on display was the Martinair retrojet (PH-MCL) and a Delta Sky Team aircraft. Some other aircraft of note was a Centurion MD-11F (N985AR) and an Emirates Cargo 747 (N459MC)

We were staying in the ‘Camping Het Amsterdam Bos’ campsite. It is situated on the east side of the airport and is only a 5 minutes bus drive away. We took the 199 from outside the main entrance, costing 2 Euros per adult. The staff are friendly and the rates are reasonable and it provides a great base for visiting both the airport and the city. You can, like we did, hire bikes direct from the Camp. The web site is at the end of this report. [3]

The next morning and we were up just early enough to catch the LAN Chile Cargo 767 and Estonian 737. With a radio tuned in to the AMS tower, we heard of a visitor requesting use of the smaller, ‘Oostbaan’ (04-22). After a brisk cycle over to the approach path, the visitor turned out to be a Polish Air Force, Casa 295. After the landing of this transporter we turned our attention to the main arrivals on the ‘Buitenveldertbaan’ (09-27). Amongst the passers by was 2/3’s of the group of three Transavia 737s leased from Gol, (PH-GGW and PH-GGX) noticeable by their orange winglets, a China Airlines Cargo 777 (B-2077), and a Jade Cargo 747. In the afternoon we went over to a small car park just off the A4, just before the tunnel underneath a taxiway. Here you can come within 30 yards of aircraft as large as 747s, with nothing but a canal between you and them. It is an excellent spot for taking photographs and I have included it’s location at the end of this report. [4] Later that day we made our way to the Viewing Terrace and there was the usual assortment of European airliners and Asian long haul, including a China Airlines (Dynasty) 747 and a China Southern A330 in Sky Team colours, (B-6528).

The next day and the weather took a turn for the worse. Stopping by 09-27 we had to take shelter under a tunnel for bikes and pedestrians under a road junction. Despite occasional breaks, it was mostly solid rain although a few blue 747s did make for some interesting shots. In a break in the rain we made our way over to the “Spotterplaats” situated parallel to 09-27, just next to the McDonalds. When the rain returned we headed inside and made use of the free Wi-Fi to visit the Schiphol website [5] to catch up with some registrations from the day before. Sadly the positioning of this area is not ideal for photographs and the traffic was mainly KLM Fokker 70s, 100s and 737s. A few of their 747s appeared and also Singapore and Martinair Cargo aircraft, but these both diverted late to use the Kaagbaan (06-24) due to it’s proximity to the Cargo Terminal. After a few hours spent at this location the rain had barely eased off so we called it a day and returned to camp.

The next day was our last and as such, we returned the bikes, put down the tent and said “Tschüs” to our German friends and got back on the 199 to the main Plaza. Before leaving the campsite we were treated to the sight of a Chinook transporter helicopter arriving at AMS, and an Apache departing, both headed over the campsite.
Before seeing what was around, we found our way to easyJet check-in and learned that we could not check in until 7:10. Up on the terrace it was much the same as the first day, however of interest was the Saudi Cargo MD-11 (HZ-AND) and the China Airlines (Dynasty) 747 that was new for me (B-18201). Also worthy of note were 4 737-800s. One of which belonged to XL Germany, (D-AXLJ) and two belonging to ArkeFly, the Dutch branch of TUI group (N738MA and N739MA), all 3 of which are former Miami Air machines, and still bear some evidence of their time there.

At 19:20 we headed inside and before heading to drop off our bags, we visited the Planes@Plaza store, located next to the Burger King. It is easy to spot by the giant B777 engine and Fokker 70 nosecone sitting outside it. Inside there are a great variety of models and souvenirs, and for a reasonable price you can pick up snap-fit models for less that 15 euros, including Sky Team colours and even retro aircraft such as DC-3 and Constellations.
After a lengthy walk we came back to easyJet check-in and dropped our bag off. We were then told of a several hour delay on our flight. We were not told why so we made our way to security and through to departures.

Here we discovered a major flaw in the layout of Amsterdam airport in that you need only have a passport and boarding pass to get airside. You only pass through security either entering the pier of your flight or in some cases only at the gate. Until this point anything can be taken through which could be a major security risk but hopefully somebody in high power at the Schiphol Group will address this issue before it is taken advantage of.

Due to the lengthy delay we made our way to the end of pier G, where you get views of the: Polderbaan (18R-36L), Zwanenburgbaan (18C-36C), Aalsmeerbaan (18L-36R) and the Buitenveldertbaan (09-27). After an hour or so, and with the arrival of an El-Al 737 and the neighbouring gate (4X-EKJ), we walked back down to the entrance of the H-Pier for low cost carriers. The terminal/pier is very minimal and there is little in the way of luxuries. We made ourselves comfortable on some of the few chairs and waited. Whilst we were there, several other easyJet aircraft came and went, and we made some acquaintances with some other Manchester spotters who were on a day trip. Our flight arrived at approximately 23:45, (Scheduled departure time: 21:50) and took off shortly before half past midnight. We were told that due to another easyJet aircraft going “Tech” our aircraft had been roped in to cover and subsequently other flights had been affected including ours.

With little to do on this flight we slept briefly until we were beginning our approach to MAN. Spotting out various landmarks on the return flight, we were quickly over the airport and landed on 23L, a first for me, and after turning around and backtracking up the runway, we arrived at gate and departed the aircraft a little after 1.

Overall it was a most enjoyable trip and after two years visiting it, I can definitely say that Amsterdam is one of my favourite airports and I look forward to visiting it again.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the report as much as I did during my trip. Hopefully it gives you a rough idea of the ease with which you can spot a great deal of varied airlines and A/C to be seen at Schiphol if you have never been, although i am fairly sure Paul has visited once or twice...

Feel free to comment or ask any questions below,

Chris Bryan

[1] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...l-overview.png

[2] http://blog.klm.com/lift-me-up/1754/

[3] http://www.campingamsterdamsebos.nl/

[4] http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=amst...h&z=17&vpsrc=6

[5] http://www.schiphol.nl/


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 Post subject: Re: AMS Schiphol Airport, 7th-10th August 2011
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:31 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Maarssen, The Netherlands
Great report Chris!

Fun to read something about the struggles of a fellow spotter at AMS.
The weather, ATC decisions and many runways always make for a great trip :lol:

I was wondering what spot you mean at [4]. I tried to use the Google Maps link but it doesn't work for me. Could you please let me know which spot you mean?

Regards,

Twan

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Twan van Baaren
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