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Spotting at McChord AFB

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cjd608
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:16 pm

Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by cjd608 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:05 pm

Hi

I am off to the states next week and have one day/night in Tacoma, are there any spotting locations that can be easily accessed for the base? Also, is there anything to be seen at Gray AAF and if so what are the spotting Ops like there?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Carl

richkc135
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:43 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by richkc135 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:18 am

Hello cjd608
I visited McChord a couple of years ago.The base has a freeway right down the West side.If you take an exit at the North end and proceed under the approach down the East side there is car park with a few shops etc on the left overlooking the base and approach.I parked in the car park and bought coffee and sat facing the base.The C 17s were very easy to get but the C 130s are quite a distance away and they are like the ones at the Hall and virtually impossible to read off.
Be warned, because you are next to a road with heavy traffic you may be reported by locals(which I was).
I then received a visit by Air Force Police and Homeland Security and had to explain myself.After proving that I was not taking pictures :halo: and only serials they left me alone and I even returned the next day and read off the C 17s again.
Best of luck on your trip. :)

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DanBeeden
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Re: Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by DanBeeden » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:30 pm

I spent a month at Fort Lewis (of which Gray AAF and McChord AFB are part of) in 2003. I'm fairly sure that you won't be able to get anywhere near Gray AAF as being well within the Ft Lewis military reserve, the airfield is totally surrounded by land not accessible to the public. It was relatively active while we were there with some nice ANG and Alaskan C-130 movements, C-40s, various C-12s and the based Chinooks and C-23 Sherpas coming and going.

From the info in the previous post, McChord sounds like your best bet. Again, very busy when I was there with some nice visitors. Good luck!

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cjd608
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by cjd608 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:32 pm

richkc135 wrote:Hello cjd608
I visited McChord a couple of years ago.The base has a freeway right down the West side.If you take an exit at the North end and proceed under the approach down the East side there is car park with a few shops etc on the left overlooking the base and approach.I parked in the car park and bought coffee and sat facing the base.The C 17s were very easy to get but the C 130s are quite a distance away and they are like the ones at the Hall and virtually impossible to read off.
Be warned, because you are next to a road with heavy traffic you may be reported by locals(which I was).
I then received a visit by Air Force Police and Homeland Security and had to explain myself.After proving that I was not taking pictures :halo: and only serials they left me alone and I even returned the next day and read off the C 17s again.
Best of luck on your trip. :)
Hey, thanks for this, it is really helpful.....i will keep an eye out for the local constabulary!! :whistle:

Cheers

Carl

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cjd608
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by cjd608 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:34 pm

DanBeeden wrote:I spent a month at Fort Lewis (of which Gray AAF and McChord AFB are part of) in 2003. I'm fairly sure that you won't be able to get anywhere near Gray AAF as being well within the Ft Lewis military reserve, the airfield is totally surrounded by land not accessible to the public. It was relatively active while we were there with some nice ANG and Alaskan C-130 movements, C-40s, various C-12s and the based Chinooks and C-23 Sherpas coming and going.

From the info in the previous post, McChord sounds like your best bet. Again, very busy when I was there with some nice visitors. Good luck!
Hi Dan

Thanks for your reply, i will gice McChoird a whirl; and see how i go then, much appreciate the info from yourself and Rick (previous post) :clap:

Cheers

Carl

richkc135
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:43 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by richkc135 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:11 am

cjd608
As I explained previously the locals will report you.You are right next to a very busy road.Avoid taking pictures if you can and if confronted just explain "number crunching" and spotting in general. :halo: :)

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Arthur Tee
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Location: Shawbury, Shrewsbury,Shropshire!

Re: Spotting at McChord AFB

Post by Arthur Tee » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:49 pm

richkc135 wrote:cjd608
As I explained previously the locals will report you.You are right next to a very busy road.Avoid taking pictures if you can and if confronted just explain "number crunching" and spotting in general. :halo: :)
Top tip - when spotting on (or near) US Military bases - I've always carried a copy of Military Aircraft Markings with me. Didn't use it to underline aircraft - but have used it to explain that their aircraft numbers aren't as classified as they would like to think - and that the information is out there in the public domain!

My book was 'borrowed' by the USAF Police overnight at Nellis but duly returned the next day. Didn't have any trouble there after that...

Arthur

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