Airplane Watching and Recognition

- A few good observation spots near Dorval International Airport-

Click on the letter in a circle for a site description, best time for observation and a picture showing a plane as seen from this spot. (Most pictures taken with a telephotolens. Always bring your binoculars).



Birds and planes don't go together.

If you go near the airport to observe airplanes, be sure not to leave behind any objects, especially food that mignt attract birds.

Seagulls are easely attracted by waste.

These birds (like any other) are dangerous for engines, planes... and their passengers!

You can help prevent this, by making sure you leave the site clean, this should make authorities more tolerant for plane spotters and others.

A Dorval Airport Terminal

Air Canada Airbus A319
Since the 70's, the Airport terminal is not the best place to take pictures of planes (due to the reflexion in windows) but it certainly remains a very good spot to see them close.

A Dorval Airport top of multilevel parking

Air Canada - Canadian C-GQBH fin CP734
On those rare days when the wind is clam or coming from the east, landings can be seen on the 06R runway. Lighting from this spot in the parking is best from mid-afternoon. (Bear in mind that in these wind conditions, the 06L runway will be used by jumbo jets and other international carriers the Thorncrest viewing point will be best if that is what you are looking for).



C Pitfield street's dead end

British Airways Boeing 747

At the dead end, you have on the west side, just on the other side of highway 13, one end of the north runway [24R].

Looking east, watch out fo those planes coming in just above you!

The most spectacular of the spots mentionned in this page!

Pitfield (A340 Sabena)
Pitfield Pitfield

D Poirier street corner Beaulac

Air Canada Airbus A319

From Côte-Vertue, turn North on Beaulac along Place Vertue and go to Poirier street. Your view to the East is unobstructed for planes coming for final approach on the north runway [24R].

Lighting is best from mid-day.

Poirier & Beaulac

E Griffith street just east of McArthur

Griffith & McArthur
AirNova BAe-146

Some planes can almost exclusively be seen landing on the south runway [24L] (due to the location of boarding gates in the southern part of the terminal). It is the case of these two planes. To have a chance to see them coming in, take a look to the landing schedule on the Airport web site.

Lighting is best in the first half of the day.


F Gougeon street just north of Reverchon

F-28 Canadi>n Regional Learjet 45

Like the Griffith street observation spot, this one is located near the east end the south runway [24L].

Corner of Gougeon and Reverchon, planes are just over your head. You can move just north on Gougeon to give you a good side view in the afternoon and at the end of the day.

If your lucky, you might just see an exotic logo (for Montréal) on a plane landing here as Bombardier Regional jets are tested prior to delivery)

Gougeon & Reverchon 1900D AirAlliance

G Ryan street corner of Renaud


This spot runs along the eastern extremity of the south runway [24L]. The pictures, taken a long time ago with a 400 mm lens, shows a 747 near touchdown on the north runway {24R].

A recent visit confirms that taking such a picture is not going to be easy these days (opaque fencing, Bombardier plant...) but if you look around, you will find one or two good spots as shown on the picture below (taken with a 500 mm lens though). Airbus A320 (Canada 3000)

H Cardinal street Train stop


This site is near the western end of the south runway [06R]. Far from ideal although you can park easely and for free. When the wind is down, incoming traffic can be massively directed to this spot.

Lighting is good until noon.


I Hill at Thorncrest street north end

Thorncrest DC-9 Air Canada

What a beautiful site (shame on those who planted those poles with electric lines running between us and the incoming planes).

On the west end of the north runway [06R], you can see planes landing on cloudy days and when the wind is down.

Lighting is difficult after supper because of sunset. But it is OK for pictures of planes touching down on preparing to take off.

Boieng 767 British Airways
Airbus A340 Sabena
Boeing 767 Air Canada
Boeing 747-400 Air France

J Jenkins street corner of Avoca

Dorval Int'l (YUL)

Jenkins street is a good spot to see planes taking off [runway 24L/06R] (specially in the morning with the sun in your back giving adequate lighting).

We can also see the south end of the airport terminal and the de-icing zone (in case of freezing rain in the winter).

Boeing 737-200 (Canadi>n)

You remember a few characteristics of the plane but can't remember the name?
Try this visual guide. I hope it will help you.

Click on the drawings to go to the visual identification guide.

B 737
Texte / Text : Jean-Pierre Bonin © 1999-2003

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About the author

Web site conception and production , text, pictures and illustrations : Jean-Pierre Bonin     © 1999-2003
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Web site created on August 8th 1999
Page created July 4th 2000, last update of this page June 24th 2003

If you use my pictures or illustrations, please send me your web page address by e-mail.
If you use these images for a school research, then don't forget to mention the source of your document (and I wish you a good grade!)

 Autres sites du même auteur /
Other web sites created by the author

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Techniques d'électrophysiologie médicale /
Medical Electrophysiology Techniques
[in French only]