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JANET Flightpaths

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posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 05:13 AM
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I've been checking out Janet flights on flightaware. Normally the flightpaths end at the border to Nellis range. Occasionally you find one where the pilot forgot to turn off their transponder and you can see their full flightpath including approach to Groom Lake. Like this one... uk.flightaware.com...

Anyway, I thought it was cool and I'd share it here incase anyone was interested :-P




posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 07:30 AM
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Yeah, going to give you a star and flag for this one. Good work and thanks for sharing!!



posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: gfad

I took a moment, retraced the path and stuff, and overlaid it on a satellite image of the area. Sure enough, right smack into Groom Lake.



And if you want a little bigger view, click this:



posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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It isn't that the pilot turns off the transponder. Rather the data feed from the FAA isn't filtering the data.

If you listen to a Janet landing at Groom, the comms follows this pattern. The flight starts out under a Janet callsign. When the plane reaches the edge of the NTTR airspace, Nellis control (the main air traffic control for the region) does a hand off to Groom approach. Normally air traffic control will give the pilot the approach frequency. But if you are landing at a "secret" air base, you can't give out the frequency to a place that doesn't exist. So air traffic control simply states "frequency change approved". The pilot knows the Groom approach frequency. At this point, the pilot drops the Janet callsign and goes to the callsign of the month. In addition, the flight number is changed. Groom approach will then give the pilot a new squawk code for the transponder, usually in the form of 033x, where X is a single digit. This would allow ten planes to be in Groom airspace, which is not likely. But once a plane leaves the air space, the squawk code can be recycled.

I don't know for certain what triggers the FAA filtering. If it was based on squawk code, you would think the system would never fail. Groom approach monitors the squawk code, so if it was entered incorrectly, that wouldn't last long. If the filtering was based on geographical coordinates, you would think that would be foolproof. So my guess is they filter on tail number or flight ID, and the wrong tail number or ID gets into the system. I've seen flights where an O is used instead of an 0 (oh versus zero). The bug has to be something that isn't essential to air traffic control. Since it happens rarely, the bug had to be something related to human error. Hence my guess being flight ID or tail number.

This particular landing is interesting since the plane had to orbit out of the way, probably to deconflict with another flight.



posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 10:52 PM
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a reply to: gfad

A routine Janet flight will take off from LAS with a flight plan filed for TNX (Tonopah Test Range) using the callsign “Janet.” Once in the air, the plane is handed off to the regional control center, which is Nellis Center. Again, the callsign remains “Janet.” What happens next depends on whether the Janet is actually flying to the Tonopah Test Range, or whether its destination is actually Groom Lake. If the real destination is TNX, then the plane will operate under the control of Nellis until it’s handed off to the local air traffic controller at TNX, who will clear the plane to land at the air base, again using the callsign “Janet.” Interestingly, however, when this hand-off from Nellis to TNX occurs, the Nellis controller will not issue the Janet a specific frequency for the TNX approach, as is the custom with other destinations. But, if the actual destination is Area 51, something else happens. Once the Janet enters military airspace near Groom Lake, Nellis Center will simply clear the Janet for handoff to something called simply “control.” Nellis center approves a frequency change to the new controller, but doesn’t issue a frequency – with a nudge and a wink, the Nellis Control says in effect “I know where you’re going, and you know that I know where you’re going, and you already have the frequencies you need.”
An airplane (the Janet) will come to life on the Area 51 approach frequencies using a code name like “Foxy,” “Bones,” “Racer,” or “Hawk” – the code name changes every month. The unnamed “control” (Area 51) will clear the plane to land at the “non-existent” air base. An interesting tidbit: until the mid 1990s, the anonymous Groom Lake control tower used the enigmatic name “Dreamland” to identify itself.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 05:57 AM
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Thanks both for your interesting points about how air traffic control keep track of the Janets and how they and off to Dreamland. I always just assumed they switched off the transponder but evidently its a bit more complicated.

Just checked again and yesterdays flight was tracked all the way to Groom as well. You can see that this was a much more normal flight as they didn't have to orbit out over Yucca Flats.




posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: gfad
inplanesight.org...

I wouldn't call it Dreamland, and never heard the term used in a Groom Lake landing . Dreamland is one of the designations used by Desert Rock, and technically Dreamland refers to the airspace over Groom Lake. The link has the frequencies for Dreamland approach. The pilots refer to the base as Home Plate.
www.lazygranch.com...

Groom flights are at 14kft/15kft, so you can spot them on flightaware by checking the flight plan. Flights to the TTR generally include the civilian Tonopah airport TPH in the flight plan.

The only time this gets confusing is when they fly between Groom and the TTR. If they use TNX as departure and arrival, the flight looks like a round robin. To avoid confusion, they will occasionally call Groom Lake TKM.
www.lazygranch.com...

The Groom to TTR flights are rare for the 737s. The Beech flights are more common, but they do the route VFR. I caught a 737 doing this route on 121.5 guard near the TTR, perhaps to warn 737s on approach or departure to the TTR that company traffic is approaching the base in an odd manner.



posted on Jul, 10 2015 @ 08:03 PM
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Awesome info never knew about the link for finding Janet Flights etcetra. Need to get back in to the loop.



posted on Jul, 12 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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Here is an interesting tidbit: For a while, military contractor EEG was sending the 737s used for Area 51 Janet flights to an Everett, WA-based company which provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. The company's name: Aviation Technical Services (ATS).

I worked there and saw the planes up close. I would have loved to photograph them, but I didn't want to jeopardize my job.



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