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Hickham Spotting

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MRTT
Posts: 6397
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:43 pm

Hickham Spotting

Post by MRTT » Tue May 28, 2019 8:06 am

Will be spending two weeks in Hawaii next Summer and was hoping to be able to slot in some spotting at Hickham,

Anybody happen to know if there are any decent locations for doing so?

Typeflyer
Posts: 458
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:13 pm
Location: West London

Re: Hickham Spotting

Post by Typeflyer » Tue May 28, 2019 8:18 am

Not the easiest place in the world as it's a huge base. Only decent place I found (back in 1980....) was at the end of Lagoon Drive, and then you are dependent on movements. Mil traffic tends to use the southern runway. If you can get a visit it's pretty good, but you most likely won't get everything.

STN RAMP RAT
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:12 pm

Re: Hickham Spotting

Post by STN RAMP RAT » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:20 pm

from a report I made several years ago but I have no reason to believe it has changed

Aviation in Hawaii is centred on Honolulu which acts as the hub and all the inter-island stuff can be seen here. The aviation scene is well covered on the HNL Rare Birds blog. http://hnlrarebirds.blogspot.co.uk/ There is one hotel at the airport that will work for spotting, the Best Western. The fact that it is used the military for families who are PCS’ing (Permanent Change of Station) means that families stay there before they have been allocated or after they leave their base accommodation, this can take several weeks so rooms with a view may not always be available. There is also no restaurant for food other than breakfast and local facilities are poor, there were two Starbucks that I found landside that the airport this time and that was it. I prefer to use “The Aston at the executive hotel” in the downtown area where they offer I bedroom suits for a reasonable, by Hawaiian Standards, price. If you book a harbour facing room, there is a view of the airport and Hickam ramp although you are entirely reliant on electronics and liveatc.net to identify the aircraft and the airport is poorly lit after dark making identification all but impossible. In my opinion given that 24-48 hours is an ideal window to get everything that is needed I would use the Best Western. The airport itself is a duel civil military facility with part of Hickam being visible from the Hawaiian Airlines car park. Hickam is a joint Air Force and Navy base. The Marine corps and Coast Guard both having facilities elsewhere on the island. The base is used extensively for training and they seem to host a lot of visiting units, as far as I could identify there are no landside views of the base from a distance that would allow anything to be read off other than the AMC visitors ramp. During my two days, I noted F35’s F16’s Harriers C130’s a P8, P3’s KC135’s KC10’s C17’s and C5’s on the civil side Atlas Air B747’s and an ABX 757 combi that seems to be based. A right-hand window seat on departure would allow some of the ramps to be photographed on taxi out. On the civil side the best views can be had from the Hawaiian airlines terminal car park where all movements can be seen but I would check with the authorities before making an extended stay, If you have a car, then a drive around the perimeter would allow a lot more GA to be identified.

powerslave
Posts: 1046
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:56 pm
Location: Preston,Lancs.

Re: Hickham Spotting

Post by powerslave » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:50 pm

I've been down Lagoon Drive and the civil aircraft are well above you by then so anything like a f-22 will be long gone.
Enjoyed just hanging out round the beaches and seeing aircraft in the distance on take off.

Ian

Tally
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:57 pm

Re: Hickham Spotting

Post by Tally » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:58 am

Fighters stay low on rwy 8R. Lagoon drive is a mere 2/3s down but backlit. All landing traffic is on 8L so not good for anything.

Upon arrival to the island take a left hand window seat. On departure a right hand window seat and you will be able to make at least a few of the parked up MIL stuff.

A few visits ago security (at Lagoon drive) did not like my zoom lens too much and the authorities showed up for the usual harassment. However they informed me that is you contact the airport manager and state what and when you will be out your pretty much guaranteed to be left alone. Worked since however that is a violation of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution but that is a topic for another discussion.


If you have transportation than a drive to Barbers Point could be of interest as well. BP is the USCG station. Wheeler AAF is pretty cool as well. The eastern approach is easily found and choppers fly all day (when there. I visited several times with them being deployed). USMC Kanehoe Bay is not what it used to be, at least for the flying. And you can't get close unless you have a boat.


I always enjoy spotting around the island as it is stuff you rarely see state side.


Cheers,


Tally.

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