Trip Report 5/23 to 5/30

Message posted by Gregos on June 01, 2006 at 15:44:11 PST:

I went up to Creech AFB today to watch the Thunderbirds practice. I got up there at exactly 12pm and minutes after getting out the car they rolled in over Hwy 95 from the South. They went right into their show. Two Solo Pilots but only 3 formation Pilots flew. Did the 4th have the day off? I parked off the South Bound lane just across from the side gate. Wow!

$8.00 for 4 rolls of film,
$43.00 for a tank of gas,
Having a Thunderbird “Buzz” you car at nearly 400 Mph –Priceless!

They Flew for 30 minutes exactly then landed. During the show I fumbled thru the scanner but could not find them. When they landed I tuned KINS Ground and still nothing. When they started to taxi I switched to the Tower and still nothing but did see a big plume of white smoke from behind the buildings. After about 15 minutes I U-Turned back up passed the Base. As I reached the main gate, there were local police to direct traffic. In the KINS NOTAM, It said it was Indian Springs Appreciation Day, so I guess it had something to do with that. I did not try to enter the base.

I then pulled over to the North end of the base and could see the Thunderbirds all lined up on the flight line. I snapped a few more pictures when I noticed a Predator UAV in the air. It circled around and then landed. I waited a little while longer then left. I burned about a roll and a half of film for the day. I figured I’d burn the rest on the JANETs later…

Since it was a holiday weekend, I figured I could get a picture of all the JANETs on the ground. So I went to the airport to get a shot. There is some new construction right next to the terminal. However, there isn’t a NO TRESSPASSING sign until you hit the airport fence, so I went on the construction zone road. I parked right up against the airport fence. I grabbed the camera and cut thru the new construction right up to the JANET terminal fence (I was probably trespassing now)! Nobody came after me so I quickly left. As I went by the terminal, I noticed there were a lot of cars in the parking lot for a holiday. Now I got a dilemma, a holiday weekend with almost no moon and lots of workers but no Janet flight since Thursday? Hmm, right up to Area 51 we go!!!

We got up there at 9:30pm for a night of car camping just after you pass Groom Lake Rd. No one was there but someone did leave wood and a few cow pies in the fire pit. We bought some wood too. It is blacker than black out there. The stars are amazing. It’s hard to make out constellations because of all the background stars. I Wish I had bought my star chart. We saw 2 satellites pass over just after 10pm. We saw countless shooting stars, then around 11pm some aircraft to the North. The NOTAM from before said ongoing night vision training in Desert MOA. I did hear about 6 dull thud sounds coming from the base direction around the same time. Here we go –hopefully…
Sadly, nothing -no nothing! Not even anything over the scanner. At 2am, we did see a strange light coming from the base direction which did some strange things. After watching for about 5 to 10 minutes we decided it was some campers on Groom Lake Road throwing some campfire logs up in the air. I assume they made the thuds earlier as well. Oh, well. After that it was quite…

I still had half a roll of film so I planed to burn it on the JANETs in air. From Google I scouted some parking structures that would yield some good shots. I think I was right. I just wished I had a cellular card for my laptop. I was calling my wife at work to check flightaware because of no Internet. Hope I didn’t get you fired Honey!

WWW267 (N5294E) on final at 12:43pm (parking lot 1)

WWW376 taking off at 1:20pm (parking lot 1)

WWW278 (N4529W) on final at 2:33pm (parking lot 2)


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