Another Successful Dorkfest


If you didn’t come to Dorkfest on Saturday, you missed out on a great time.  We had well over 100 people show up — probably closer to 150 — to eat burgers, watch airplanes, talk shop… and take home a bunch of swag.

What you see above is just a sampling of what we had to give out.  I want to thank Ben Granucci from NYCAviation and Ian Petchenik from Flightradar24 for helping me give all this stuff away.  And I want to also give special thanks to all the swag donors.

  • Alaska for a new livery 737 model as well as a Salmon-Thirty-Salmon model
  • American Airlines for passes to the Admirals Club, Flagship First Dining, and Five Star service along with a 777 model, retro hats, and AA socks
  • British Airways for a 747 model
  • Delta for a 757 and 747 model and some other goodies
  • DFW for a whole potpourri of stuff
  • EVA for a 747 model, pajamas, amenity kits, and coveted Hello Kitty goodie bags
  • Flightradar24 for three free Gold subscription plans and t-shirts
  • Southwest for some of the last 100 bags of peanuts, carrying bags, and other goodies
  • Spirit for one of the grand prizes — two free tickets — an A320 model, and a bunch more swag
  • United for the other grand prize — a real 747 window cutout — and a 787 model

We had everyone put their names on raffle tickets and spent a lot of time giving things away.  Of course, it took even longer than it should have because we had to pause every time an airplane came by.  This one required an especially long pause.

Perhaps my favorite winning moment was when Andrew Nocella’s name was chosen as a winner of an Admirals Club pass.  Andrew, if you don’t know the name, is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at United, but he used to be with American.  Unfortunately he was inside In-N-Out when his name was chosen, so his pass went to someone else instead.  Something tells me he didn’t need it.

Thank you once again to everyone who came out this year.  It was really an excellent day.  I love to see that there are so many others out there who think spending the day watching airplanes with a burger in hand is a good plan.  I look forward to doing it again next year.

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23 comments on “Another Successful Dorkfest

  1. I want to come next year, do you need name and address, e-mail? Here is all I have, I’m retired United. xxxxx Can’t wait for my first visit to Dorkfest in 2019, only 365 days away! Thank you!

    1. Thomas – I’ve removed your personal information from this comment. None of that information is needed. Just read the blog, see the date, and show up. There is no registering at all.

      1. …Sir, I probably sent that info in error, can you please delete from your web site so I won’t be hacked! THANK YOU very much. TB (…I will be at Dorkfest 2019! )

    1. Re: Dorkfest on the road, great idea, where next ?

      San Diego has good viewing of take offs and landings, but not a lot of variety of airplanes coming and goiing. I have never made Dorkfest yet, but it sounds like it is growing.

      Was there any media there ?? LA Times, TV, public radio ??

      1. Chicago O’Hare would be nice. But if you want diversity of aircraft, Miami is in the place, especially if you can find a spot overlooking the maintenance center.

    2. But where is there another major airport with a burger joint so close to the sweet spot of the runway?

    3. He has. I was at a mini Dorkfest in Tempe, Arizona, near the old US Airways headquarters building. It was a great place to spot, but it doesn’t have nearly the variety of aircraft one can see at LAX.

  2. I finally got to one and it was even better than I expected, which says a lot. Can’t wait til next year!

  3. I’m very much hoping my plane-nerd son (age 10.5) and I can get there next year! We were on Alaska DEN-SEA instead and as part of deplaning, a first-class FA tried to give him yet another set of wings, Felix joked, “can I trade in ten sets for a pilot’s hat, please?” The pilot leaned out of the cockpit and invited him in. Thanks, Captain Jim; “just” a few minutes in the 739 but he got to watch them do the checklist to turn the plane around. No hat, but they did give him some of the printout nav charts, and my son has quite a collection of those going, so even better than a hat, really.

    1. Julia,

      I’m sure your son is already on it, but in addition to this blog and others I’m a big fan of the VASAviation channel on YouTube (, which features captioned ATC conversations overlaid on radar footage and airport diagrams. I’m not affiliated with that channel, but its content is appropriate for pre-teens, and it’s quite dramatic listening (and seeing, via the radar images and animations with the airport diagrams) to pilots and ATC calmly and professionally do their thing when after a birdstrike or go-around.

      The Captain Joe YouTube channel is another one worth watching, as that channel is run by a pilot who is pretty good at explaining aviation topics in plain English.

      Also, the annual summer EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh is worth hitting if you haven’t already, basically a private pilot’s Disneyland, but a lot cheaper, and there are reps from lots of companies and agencies there who are happy to speak with anyone interested in aviation, especially younger people interested in aviation careers.

      Best of luck.

  4. Looks like someone got an inflatable Alaska Air “hat”, too, unless they brought it with them. I’m gonna have to get myself one before I ever make it to DF (not too hard here in Portland). Looks like you all had a great time there, with awesome weather.

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