In 2017 Sydney Airport Corporation (SACL) opened a new viewing area for plane spotters at Sydney Airport. Named Shep’s Mound in memory of Bruce C. Sheppard who was a regular visitor until his passing in 2005, it replaces a dirt hill and fence with new facilities including seating, grasses area, information area and shaded area, and parking. Late last year Moorebank Squadron made a visit to the facilities and Cpl Lachlan Hyde gave this report.
On Saturday 7th of October 12 cadets, their families and ab officer travelled into the newly opened observation mound at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport to have an afternoon plane-spotting and enjoying each other’s company during the school holidays. As it is Australia’s busiest airport we were able to see a wide variety of aircraft including Airbus A380s, Boeing 787s, Airbus A330s, Boeing 737s all the way down to regional Bombardier Dash 8s and Saab 340s.
A highlight for many of the cadets was waving at the pilots as they taxied past on their way to destinations like Dallas, Hong Kong, Fiji, South Africa and all the way to London. Every so often the pilots would wave back which made their days.
Some of the more exotic planes we spotted was a USAF C-17 Globemaster, RAAF 737 VIP Transport, various smaller private jets including Gulfstreams, Learjets and Cessna Citations. During the course of the afternoon we were able to spot many different international and domestic carriers including but not limited to Qantas, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Regional Express (Rex) and even the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS)
The atmosphere of the afternoon was incredible, the yougner kids had a grassed area there to kick a ball around while the others were watching the planes and enjoying a picnic lunch/ afternoon tea. Some of the cadets even at times tried to count the number of windows as the planes taxied by.
At the end of the day we all stopped in at the McDonald’s and had a soft-serve ice-cream, a great squadron tradition.
If other squadrons wish to visit the site they can find the site online, and I would recommend it for all as either a school holiday visit or in the summer time on a squadron night for some ‘golden hour’ (sunset) spotting when many of the large carriers arrive into the harbour city. Alternatively you can visit with your own family and friends whenever you want.
Special Thanks to Grahame Hutchison from 16Right.com (Aviation Images) for the use of his photographs accompanying this article.