Most of us have been in a plane, but how many of us have had a plane fly directly over us moments before it lands? The sound and sight of a 737 roaring towards the runway is something everyone should experience. Luckily, right near the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond such a place exists! Along a quiet road leading to Iona Beach Regional Park is a magical spot that turns adults into kids; at the intersection of Grauer Road and Templeton Street you’ll find an airport lookout spot. The gravel parking lot doesn’t look like much, but you’ll know you’re in the right spot when you see people lying on their cars and kids pointing up to the sky.
Make sure to bring your camera, some snacks, a hot drink and bundle up if it’s cold out, but it’ll be worth it. Every ten minutes or so, you’ll see something slowly emerge through the sky. As it approaches, you’ll see if it’s a propeller plane or jet and trust me, you’ll be able to tell the difference pretty quickly. The propeller planes aren’t as loud and don’t own the air like a massive jet plane does. As it gets closer, it seems to speed up and pretty soon it’s directly over top of you. The sound is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Whatever you’ve experienced at a concert or sporting event is nothing compared to the “WHOOOOSH” that makes you realize how truly big and powerful a plane is. You really can’t appreciate how big a plane is when you’re seated inside it, but when it’s right over top of you, you get the picture pretty quickly!
So for something fun, different (and free) in the Vancouver area, go be a kid again for an afternoon. Or better yet, if you have kids, bring them out, in addition to a “WHOOOOSH,” you’ll also hear some “Ooooh’s” and “Ahhhh’s.”