Plane spotters sometimes talk about grabbing a "Wayne's World" moment.
If you've seen the 1992 movie, you may remember when Mike Myers as Wayne and Dana Carvey as Garth are parked near an airport runway. They're reclining on the hood of a funky AMC Pacer, discussing "Babe-raham Lincoln," when suddenly a huge airliner swoops by just a few feet overhead.
That's when they begin screaming above the airplane's deafening roar.
Phil Derner admits it. "I've done that. There are so many times when I just want to ... lay down near the approach lights and watch the planes go overhead and just take it in."
He's talking about plane spotting. Beginning around the mid-20th century, countless plane spotters have been trotting the globe to view and photograph the world's most impressive aircraft.
"Some people like cars," said Derner. "But we like something that's bigger and faster, and it freaking flies."
Derner, who created the plane spotting site NYCAviation.com in 2003, said the hobby is growing more popular as more people are lured in by the magic of flying machines.
Think about it, said Derner, "Something that weighs up to a million pounds is taking to the air, and you know the next time it comes down is going to be on the other side of the world. I think that's fascinating."
"It's a passion that keeps me sane," said Chicago-based spotter Kevin Koske.
Intrigued? We've listed some tips and suggested vantage points below. But first, let's talk about what's arguably the most famous plane spotting destination on the planet: Maho Beach on the tiny Caribbean island of St. Maarten.
You may have seen Maho in unbelievable interweb photos showing giant airliners flying just a few dozen feet above the beach.
These photos went viral years ago, and no, they aren't Photoshopped. They're real.
"If you like airplanes, Maho is like the cherry on top" of a beautiful beach vacation, said Justin Schlechter, a 747 pilot who's visited Maho several times. For Koske, Maho is the "mecca of airplane spotting."
The beach sits at one end of a short runway at Princess Juliana International Airport.
The short runway forces approaching planes to come in low, about 30 to 50 feet over the beach.
Larger planes need to touchdown as close as possible to the end of the runway because they need as much runway as they can get.
As a result, plane spotters get one of the world's closest public views of giant airliners as they take off and land.
"It's a lot closer than you can get at a typical airport, in the States especially," said Schlechter. Read more about Schlechter's trips to Maho.
There's a bar on the beach, the Sunset Bar & Grill, where customers cheer with each flyover. "They go crazy," said Dianne Carbon, an employee there.
"People literally try to see if they can touch the planes," she said. "In our office, when they're taking off or coming in, it's almost like it was an earthquake."
But paradise for plane spotters also has its dangers.
When airliners prepare for take off and rev their engines, daredevils will stand against the airport fence and hold on. The jet blast is powerful enough to throw people off the fence and onto the ground.
Spotters say their hobby is more than a celebration of aviation. It's about fully recognizing the majesty of machines that give us the super power to defy gravity.
And, perhaps surprisingly, it's also about camaraderie.