I have always liked aviation. I probably should have gone into it as a career. Even though I used to be scared to death as a child of flying, I love it. I think because of my fear, I immersed myself in it as much as possible. Using a scanner at the airport to watch planes and listen to the communication. Reading a blog of a former United captain. Understanding the elements of flight iteself.
I have long enjoyed looking at pictures on http://www.airliners.net/ When I am at the airport and I see a couple or a small group of people traveling together and they say their connecting gate, i.e. "F12", I find myself guessing where they are going and looking at the monitors to see how close I was. There is logic in this of course...time of day (dictates where remaining flights might be going), age, how they are dressed, etc. Of course, in the MSP terminal where I am so often, I kind of have figured out NWA (read: Delta) has arranged their gate patterns. Indianapolis mostly goes from the low C gates. Omaha, the low F gates (unless it is a CRJ or Embraer). West coast flights from the high Gs.
OK, not done with the story and just reread to this point. My geekiness is even scaring ME a little.
My new favorite site out of all of this is http://www.flightaware.com/ I find myself looking up all kinds of flights to see where they are, how much time they have left, etc. I look at airplanes going to busy places to see if they are doing loops to get in line for landing. On their home page, they have a time lapse quicktime of every flight over the US for 24 hours. I could watch it loop forever I think. The patters of east to west, flights incoming from Europe and then Europe bound is so neat to me. Quite possibly just to me.
Here are some images of my flight from Indy last night and then one from 10/9 from DTW to LGA with some holding circles in it. At least I think it is cool.
Detroit to LaGuardia with 2 loops to await congestion
Nice flight from Indianapolis to Minneapolis - had a great view of Chicago out my window and you can see why! Big turns going into MSP to come in from the west!