Plane Spotting | Yes it’s a thing | How do you tell them apart?

Toronto Pearson Airport Layout + Runways

Working for an airline, you get worked up about planes. The types and the specs of them. Some planes are easy to spot and understand the types of them. But some of them are super hard when just looking at them. There are little tips on figuring out what they are.

In Toronto, there is a couple of spots you can go watch the planes come in or take off. The most popular is Runway 23 where planes come in from the east and fly over the Petro Canada Gas station and land. Over by the Fed Ex complex you can watch planes on Runway 15. And you have planes landing on Runway 6L or 6R. It’s tricky since planes will be diverted to different runways depending on the winds and also the time of day. Runway 23 is Toronto’s longest, so that is where you see the big heavy’s come in and you can park your car behind the gas station and there is a Wendy’s if you need a snack. Quite not like LAX’s In-Out Burger where you can eat yummy food and plane spot. Download Flightradar24 to check out where the planes are coming in from. If they are coming in the other direction on runway 05 the vantage on Dixie Road is not the best like Airport Road.

Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-400 on final approach at Toronto Pearson on Runway 23

Boeing 747 vs Airbus A380

This is the easiest of planes to tell the difference between these two “heavy’s”. These two planes have upper decks. The Boeing 747 has it for the first 1/3 of the plane. In the old days, Pan Am made this a popular plane since the first class passengers could go up the stairs and enjoy a drink in the bar and lounge in the upper deck for intercontinental flights. The Airbus A380 has an upper deck that goes the full length of the plane. YouTube has a great documentary on the Airbus A380 from National Geographic which is worth the watch. If you want to watch another documentary on the A380, you can view this 3hr doc here.

The A380 was launched in December in 2000 and basically 10 years later Airbus has decided to stop production in 2021. It’s the largest commercial airline in the world. Check out Sam’s channel and his video about the rise and fall of this incredible plane.

So with these two… you just have to see if it has an upper deck and you can easily figure out if it’s a 747 or A380.

I flew on the Boeing 747 with Lufthansa (Class / Seat: Economy / 37A | Aircraft Type: Boeing 474-430 | Aircraft: D-ABTL / 17 Years Old)

I really want to fly on the Airbus A380 and I will have to get my ass to a city to fly Lufthansa at a discount to experience this flight. (LAX, SFO, NYC)

Boeings Queen Of The Sky + my personal fave the Boeing 747

Basics: Airbus vs Boeing Plane Spotting Tips

Let’s cover some basic tips before we start getting into some plane comparisons. Below you will see the nose differences and the cockpit windows. The Boeing windows have more of a “v” shape on the bottom and the Airbus is more straight and you will see the last window has a slanted edge in the top right corner.

Airbus on the left and the Boeing on the Right has a dorsal fin with more of an angle.
Airbus engines on the left compared to Boeing on the right
Airbus on the left is round and Boeing on the right is flatter at the bottom

Short Haul Aircrafts: Airbus A320 vs. Boeing 737

I’ve flown on the Airbus 319, 320 and 321.

Long Haul Aircrafts: Airbus A330 vs 787 Dreamliner

Boeing’s sexy jagged engine will help you determine it’s the Dreamliner with its big GE engine.
GE Boeing 787 engine with the sexy jagged design.

A year ago on a business trip, I was upgraded to business class on Air Canada’s Dreamliner which was my first experience to fly business class on an intercontinental flight.

Date: March 19, 2019 | Route: FRA YYZ | Flight No: AC877 / Operated by Air Canada | Class / Seat: Business / 8A | Aircraft Type: Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 3 Years old | Aircraft: C-FGEI

Airbus A340 vs Boeing 777

Airbus has four engines for this long wide-body plane. Boeing 777 has two big engines and no wingtip where the Airbus A330/A340 has a large wingtip.

Flew on the Airbus A340 from Lufthansa from Toronto to Munich on my way to Lisbon. I’ve flown the triple 7 once on a flight from Frankfurt to Toronto on my way home from Lisbon on Air Canada. I was told at the last minute to get on the plane and I had no idea what I was boarding till later.

Airbus A350 vs Boeing 777

Airbus A350 with it’s unique “Zorro” mask cockpit windows.
Airbus A350 sexy rounded wingtip.
Lufthansa’s A350 arriving in Toronto over Airport Road with it’s two big engines. 50% quieter and 25% more fuel-efficient making this aircraft the world’s airlines want to purchase due to its long-range and efficiency.

Wanna Try Plane Spotting?

If you want to try it. You can watch planes come in at London’s Heathrow Airport by watching this video on YouTube. I’m working on my personal notes and I’m going to update this post with more information and add some other aircraft that I didn’t mention. I’m looking forward to going plane spotting with my kids and see if I can get them to understand some of the differences. On our trip to Europe… Noah was making fun of me everytime I could hear a plane landing and I had to stop and watch it.

Craig Cardiff | Peterborough


Craig rolled into town for a sweet set in Feb in Peterorough.  Born in 1976 and from Waterloo.  He has released 16 albums.  A great Canadian folk singer.  His PTBO show was recorded, so I’m eagerly waiting for the release on Spotify.  His banter in between songs is lovley and his travels have given him many intimate connections throughout North America.  

I created a little playlist of the songs that I enjoy of his.  I’m slowly going through his older releases and will be adding to it.  I will put in his PTBO show recording when it’s released into this post.  If Craig rolls into your little town or city… please grab that special someone and go and see him live.  It’s a nice little intimate set and his wit in between songs is lovely.  He is a great storyteller.


Looking forward to supporting him again the next time he rolls into town.


#20 of 101: Movie Bucket List | Watch the Before Trilogy with a Woman all in one day


The Before trilogy consists of three films directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as lovers Jesse and Céline at three different parts of their lives. The trilogy consists of the films Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013).

The idea of the Before Trilogy came when Richard Linklater spent the night walking with a woman he met called Amy. They lost contact throughout the years. He tried to find her again, but unfortunately he found out in 2010 that Amy had died in a car accident several years ago.

Before Sunrise (above), the first film in the trilogy is set in a single night in ViennaAustria. Jesse, an American student traveling Europe, and Céline, a French student returning to university after visiting relatives, meet on a train traveling to Vienna from BudapestHungary. The two wander the streets of Vienna and become romantically interested in each other. At the end of the film, they part, but agree to meet again in the future.

“I want to watch this movie with a woman all in one day. Hell, inside a blanket fort with snacks and sexintercoursemissions in between.”


2nd Movie: Before Sunset takes place nine years after the first film, and is set in a single afternoon in ParisFrance. Jesse, now a best-selling author, has a chance encounter with Céline while on tour in Europe promoting his latest book, an account of their prior meeting in Vienna. They lament that they had not followed through with their prior plans to meet again, and wander Paris having conversations similar to the first film. At the end of the film, Jesse returns to Céline’s apartment and intentionally misses his plane to return to the U.S. to spend more time with her.

3rd Movie: Before Midnight takes place nine years later, and is set in a single afternoon in at a seaside village in Greece

Below is the three blended together to give the back story (spoilers)

“Oh my heart…”

What Five Artists That Would Travel Across Canada With You?

If you could travel across Canada with someone you want to kiss. What five artists would you bring to listen to on your 2 week journey? …

I always find it interesting to ask people this question. I ask everyone. People at work, people I meet online, friends, etc. It’s also fun to ask since it puts fear in their eyes since they think I will judge them. I ask them to rank them and sometimes they forget.

It’s a big question. I tell them that just think of the artist and it’s like having all their work to listen to on one big CD. Maybe they like the artist for their earlier work or maybe their current stuff. I thought I should type mine out and ramble on why I picked who I picked.

Here are the five artists that I would bring:

Ben Howard

1. Ben Howard w/ the lovely Lady India Bourne

Ben ranks for me as my number one artist. It all started with the Every Kingdom album and that album would be perfect for a road trip. Ben’s new work is a bit different and I would welcome it as well. But, I’m in love with his earlier work. Below is a playlist that covers Ben Howard for beginners. 😉

2. The Rural Alberta Advantage

Love this little Canadian Indie band. I think of them as the “new” Tragically Hip. So to me, this would be a perfect band to listen to and if the person coming with me didn’t know them… I would love to see them whaling away on the air drums on the way home since they would be singing along. Below is a little Spotify playlist with the songs that I personally love. Great for a long car ride with the windows down.

3. Caamp

Third would be Caamp for the summer twang that would slow down the Rural Alberta Advantage and let you get into a casual flow as you look out at the windows as the country passes by. Below, is a playlist that has a whack of Caamp inside if you want to sample.

4. Bon Iver (Old + New)

Bon Iver to me is broken down into “Old Bon Iver” and “New”. Old Bon Iver would be played in the early mornings and it’s calm and reflective and allows you to be quiet inside. New Bon Iver is different and it takes a while to understand and appreciate it. New Bon Iver is hard to explain. It’s like listening to music against the grain. You expect music to be a certain way and the thought process with the new stuff is “so against the grain” it’s genius and beautiful. Watch this on youtube to get what I’m talking about with the “new” Bon Iver. Watch this on youtube to get what I’m talking about with the “old Bon Iver”. So they would be perfect for a road trip to “hear the quiet” and the new stuff to let you hear things differently and the more it’s played you will hear some incredibly beautiful songs. Here is my playlist on Spotify when I want to hear the old Bon Iver. Here is my playlist that has the new Bon Iver

5. U2

Number five was hard. Some people don’t like them…. or they only like the old stuff of them. So, I’m picking this band since it brings me back to High School. In 2001, they came out with a song that represents my Daughter, since it played 4 times that day the day before she was born and it actually played on the radio when bringing her home. (Beautiful Day). It also reminds me of my Brother who passed away since one of their songs was played at his funeral. So with U2 changing so much along their journey… they would have longs of different vibes on the road trip.

So that’s my five artists. I wish I could give you 10. What’s yours? Tell me in the comments if you want. I love to know what they are and why you would pick them. Don’t be scared 😉 I won’t peg you to them.

My mind is becoming a little AVGEEK hangout

the circle with the flying crane inside who started flying in 1919 allowed me to start looking into the world of avaitation and i’m thankful

from travel, airports, planes and the business of flying has lit a little light inside to travel and explore… it’s such a interesting industry that is ever changing and also challenging.

can’t wait for the next adventure