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It’s probably no surprise that here at TPG, we are huge AvGeeks. We browse through aviation videos on YouTube in our free time, we know to grab a meal at the In-N-Out Burger just outside Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to watch the planes take off and land and we love flying as much as (or sometimes more than) the actual destination. You get the idea.
Nor are we alone: There’s also a decent number of AvGeeks on Instagram that we love to track. Of the thousands of accounts that contribute to the more than 3.7 million #AvGeek posts on the app, here are eight of our favorites.
Eric has one of the best jobs any AvGeek can ask for. Working for LAX airside operations, the aviation enthusiast has access to some of the most restricted areas of the airport, including walking down an active runway. On Instagram, Eric is regularly seen driving his ops Rover down the taxiways, taking photos as he yields to aircraft taxiing across in close proximity. We love his up-close shots of aircraft taking off and landing on one of the four runways at LAX, some of which have been shared by airlines and LAX’s official social media account.
Kyle’s Instagram handle is a giveaway: He’s a 20-year old from South Africa (springboks are medium-sized antelopes found mainly in southern and southwestern Africa, while 1997 is his birth year). What it does not tell you, however, is that this young lad is actually based in London. Besides the usual aircraft photos, Kyle gives us a glimpse into his previous job as a British Airways employee. On his Instagram profile are close-up shots of jet engines, a couple of which have been opened up for maintenance and repairs. (He also happens to be a big fan of TPG contributor Alex Macheras!)
Don’t be fooled by Isaac Shenoy’s young age. The London-based plane spotter — who’s been hanging out around Heathrow airport’s (LHR) runways since he was 15 — has quickly amassed more than 52,000 followers in the short span of two years. Follow him for an occasional peek into an airline hangar, or the must-do visit to the aircraft flight deck whenever he’s on board.
Matthew Lee is part of a group of Canadian aviation photographers who identify themselves by Matt’s Instagram handle. Based in Montreal, the University of North Dakota graduate was a former air traffic controller who is now working as an airline manager. Perks of working for an airline? Exclusive invites to aircraft launch events and flying in the jump seat on a four-hour hop across the country.
Jan Gerrit Heine is yet another 17-year old who’s part of the growing pool of next-gen aviation enthusiasts, plane spotters and photographers. His Instagram handle is a clever combination of the words “aviation” and “FRA”— the three-letter airport code for Frankfurt International, where the teenager frequents. Jan’s beautiful pictures didn’t go unnoticed; two summers ago, Lufthansa flew him to Hamburg to cover Airport Days, a celebration of all things aviation in the city.
Ever wonder how old the planes are that transport you across the Atlantic? Or what engines they’re powered by? Fret not. Guss, otherwise known as @aviatorlondon on the Gram, details the specific information of the birds (as planes are known in the AvGeek community) that pay Heathrow (LHR) a visit. The pharmacy student has also managed to spot some lesser-known aircraft, such as Air New Zealand’s special hobbit livery, and some of royalty, including Brunei government’s and Abu Dhabi Amiri’s 747-8s.
What started out as a way for Simeon Lüthi to document his plane spotting memories turned out to be a hobby that has made him an Instagram celebrity with 125,000 followers awaiting his daily posts — something he has religiously done for the past five years. An aviation photographer who is based in Zurich, Simeon counts Amsterdam (AMS), Munich (MUC) and Los Angeles (LAX) as some of his favorite plane spotting locations. Back home, he can be seen attending Swiss International Air Lines press events and participating in exclusive opportunities like touring the Singapore Airlines A380 during its turnaround in Zurich (ZRH).
In a hobby that has generally been male-dominated, Melanie is one of the few female aviation photographers with a sizable following on Instagram. The Brit, who is a self-confessed AvGeek, shoots mainly at Manchester Airport (MAN), but also frequents Heathrow and other nearby European airports. In addition to her magazine-worthy photography, we love how she includes the aircraft tail numbers in the captions, allowing AvGeeks like ourselves to identify the exact aircraft that’s being featured in the photo.
Are there any other AvGeeks on Instagram that you love? Tell us about them in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy of Andreas Miller / EyeEm via Getty Images.
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