O'Hare draws young 'plane spotting' enthusiasts

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Plane spotters' photos are beautiful, capturing big lumbering machines taking people to and from far off places. (WLS)

O'Hare International Airport is not just the world's second busiest airport for travelers. It's also a favorite spot for a unique hobby called plane spotting, which has attracted some young fans.

A plane spotter, camera in hand as an incoming airplane descends, has only a few seconds to snap the perfect shot of the miracle of flight.

"Getting to see these giant machines that should not fly but they do, it's just amazing," said Parker Davis, a plane spotter from Dallas.

On a recent afternoon, Chicago spotter Greg Linton, just 14 years ago, led a group of fellow young spotters from Texas and Alabama.

"It's a line of planes. One from Tokyo. One from Dubai, London, Paris, Dublin, Seoul. It's all over. It's truly amazing," Linton said.

Linton may be young, but his photos of planes have attracted more than 46,000 followers on Instagram.

His hobby has also introduced him to more than a few new friends, including Justin Lieber, 12, who has nearly 4,000 social media followers of his plane pictures.

"If you post a photo, almost immediately people say 'Wow, nice photo' and with me it just goes to your heart," Lieber said.

Another spotter from Texas said also enjoys the fellowship with aviation enthusiasts.

"I get to meet people from Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Seattle - all across the US who has the same passion as I do," said Asher Kniering, a spotter from Dallas.

Images of rare or exotic birds are the best. In a recent spotting, the rare bird was an Emirates flight from Dubai. Another gem includes the Lufthansa Cargo MD-11, a rare, three-engine plane.

Their photos are beautiful, capturing big lumbering machines taking people to and from far off places. Sharing those moments for other aviation enthusiasts to see.

"Just think about inside an aircraft there could be up to 500 people, they're just frozen in time, they don't even know you're taking photos of them, which I guess sounds a little creepy but it's also very artistic," said Nicholas McGowan.

O'Hare is an attractive spot for spotters because it's busy, but they also like its diversity. One spotter said it has the most international plane sightings anywhere in Chicago.

"There's always new traffic coming into O'Hare. Iceland Air. China Eastern is starting service in March. It's really expanding," Linton said. "And I always want to be there for the inaugurals, the first ones, the expansion."

And that's what keeps them coming back and clicking away.
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hobbiesairport newsohare airporthobbiesChicago - O'Hare
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