Sharjah,U.A.E. 2000
(Plane Spotting)

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

SHJ Plane spotting
Father and son out on a trip together again, gone plane spotting in the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah in particular.
This was in April and you can almost feel the heat rising from that ramp, eh?

SHJ Plane spotting
We were keen to score on operators from the Middle East and Central Asia, airlines which we didn't get to see in Central Europe. Operators flying into London (LHR & LGW), Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris (CDG) were well represented in our collections, but the many Russian-manufactured aircraft were welcome additions.
 

SHJ Plane spotting
We spent two days on the Sharjah ramps, then hired a car and drove to Ras Al Khaimah, only to find a ramp pass for that deserted airport much too expensive and made do with a few photos over the fence. We also spent some time photographing planes landing at Dubai, that airport was too busy and did not allow airside access for photography.
And indeed we spent time at the pool of course!

 

SHJ Plane spotting
We'd applied and paid for a photography permit, and were allowed to walk to the ramps where aircraft were parked.

SHJ Plane spotting
It is obvious that quite a number of these will never fly again, but parts of it may serve as a repair on other planes.

This visit to Sharjah coincided with my start of building this website on aviation photography, concentrating mainly on multi-engined propellor transports; among the initial pages were these pages Antonov AN-8 & AN-12 and Ilyushin IL-18 at Sharjah. And, when finding out some of these planes were used for illegal purposes, this led to Victor Bout dossier.

 
 
 

SHJ Plane spotting
We actually had to watch out for aircraft crossing!
They'd taxi out or in from that runway for departure or arrival.

SHJ Plane spotting
The arrival and departure of a huge Antonov AN-124 was a highlight. Much of the day there was hardly any traffic.


 
 
 

SHJ Plane spotting