Re: Possible Pyramid location (and maybe PYR too)

Message posted by Ron on January 02, 2006 at 18:08:01 PST:

Lone wolf,

I went to maps and did some more plotting.
I think you should see that from BTY060030 (Pyramid) to LAS295052 (Planet) is pretty much a straight north south line so there should be no aircraft turning going on between these two waypoints. The only turn would be over LAS295052 (Planet) and it would be one to the north so you can fly to the BTY060030 waypoint. If they are entering the R4808 airspace at LAS295052 they are entering from the south end if the airspace and are flying north to BTY060030. This is just the same when they are heading back to Las Vegas if they are cleared Pyramid to Planet. Then they will be flying south between BTY060030 and LAS295052. Now when I looked at this location you suggested where they intercept the localizer at N37.15039 W115.75302. I think you have the right direction for the turn you would make a right turn at Pyramid to intercept the localizer for runway 32. The problem is N37.15039 W115.75302 is a bit far to the east you would fly past the localizer beam going to that waypoint. And after the pilot gets to Pyramid he is already close to landing. So I am sure he is being told or knows to be a cretin altitude when he is over Pyramid for a runway 32 landing. Then after Pyramid he gets radar vectors from the Groom ATC to intercept the localizer to land. So if this is the case you might here Groom ATC say things like this.
Traps 42 cross Pyramid at one zero thousand (that means 10,000 feet) and report gear check. ( This is a landing gear check as the pilot lowers the gear there are lights for all three wheel stations on the aircraft. If all three lights are green it means the landing gear is down and locked. This is not a normal civilian airline to perform these gear checks over the air this more of a military thing) the pilot would respond with something like this.
Control Traps 42 cross Pyramid at one zero thousand and we will report the gear. Now the Groom ATC controller is waiting for the pilots report over Pyramid. So now as the pilot is over Pyramid he would say something like this. Control Traps 42 is ten thousand over Pyramid with 3 green. Now the ATC would say Traps 42 roger turn right now heading 070. Then the pilot says roger heading 070 Traps 42. Then you will probably hear ATC give them another altitude to go down to. So you would hear Traps 42 descend now seven thousand. With the response for the pilot roger down to seven thousand. Now from this point the ATC might say Traps 42 turn left heading 305 cleared to land runway 32 winds are 279 and 12. And the pilot would say roger cleared to land runway 32 Traps 42.

I think you will see that Pyramid is pretty close to Groom Lake. So it would make since not to have these flights still up at there cruising altitudes over Pyramid of they are going to be making a runway 32 landing. Also that is right the localizer beams can extend some distance from the ends of the runway. But this dose not mean the aircraft have to intercept these beams out at there very ends. And where Iím suggesting they intercept the localizer beam for runway 32 is about 10 to 15 nautical straight out off the end runway 32. Also every vector the ATC tells the pilot fly in the direction of does not need a name and is not even really a waypoint. Itís just a direction from you current location to intercept the localizer or set of for a visual approach to land.

I have also noticed sometimes Janet flights do enter and exit at or near Indian Springs. But I donít think itís very common at all. The reason for that may be I bet is. As you suggested itís a shortcut in the flight plan. And this is probably possible because certain ranges were not active at the time. It is not uncommon for ATC to allow or give a pilot a shortcut. Some pilots really like this as they are in a hurry to get there distention for what ever reason.
I would not be so fast to right off the use of GPS in ranges. It may be jammed as you say so GPS canít be used as you said. And I totally agree with you as you said the entire range does not depend entirely on GPS navigation (and it is very possible they may not even use GPS at all). If it is jammed there many other navigation ways to navigate in the area one of these is in the aircraft. Itís a called a FMC flight management computer. This can be programmed with all the waypoints so it is very much like a GPS but its not. Also you have radars at Groom Lake for air traffic control. And of course you sill have the use of the BTY VOR. Iím sure these are not jammed because they are in civilian airspace. And to jam the BTY VOR would be hazardous to all civilian air traffic coming into and out of Las Vegas from the North West because civilian aircraft use the BTY VOR for there approach and departures out of Las Vegas KLAS airport.

And I also agree with you I bet they do have a TACAN out there. I think they pretty can handle any kind of approach out there.
I donít know if the TACAN is the place on Badger Mountain I see in the photo you posted. I can tell you a TACAN is usually located with a VOR. And are combined together and itís called a VORTAC. VOR and VORTACS look like an upside down ice cream cone sticking out of the top of a small building. The only way you can tell if itís got TACAN is you will see some more antennas off the cone. Now this Badger Mountain site to me dose not look like a VORTAC to me all. With the shape of the antennas that are on the towers I would assume this place to be some kind of microwave relay site of some kind. Also if you are going to have an aircraft making VOR or TACAN approaches. You really want to have the VOR , TACAN or VORTAC as close to the runways as possible. I would say within a couple of miles from the runways at the max ideally you would want it as close to the runway as possible. So having a VORTAC or TACAN station say ten miles away from the airport would make making these TACAN approaches VOR approaches pretty much impossible.

In Reply to: Re: Possible Pyramid location (and maybe PYR too) posted by lone wolf on January 02, 2006 at 9:41:11 PST:


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