reply to post by TAGBOARD
9779 Yucca Rd
I've driven past it and you can't see much of anything. The building is very low profile and there is no airfield there. Either they haul the plane
to Grey Butte or El Mirage, or maybe they fly it out of Southern California Logistics. You can't fly a UAV just anywhere since they have this
tendency to become lawn darts, at least much more than manned aircraft. However, Southern California Logistics has a national guard wing there flying
predators. They post notams when flying UAVs. Or quite possibly it only flew at the TTR.
You can plug the address into Google Earth or Google Maps. It comes up with the right location. The street view looks reasonable as well, though I had
to rotate it 180 degrees.
Here is the current NOTAM for KVCV:
04/011 - AIRSPACE SEE ZLA 04/104 UNMANNED ACFT. 19 APR 14:00 2010 UNTIL 24 APR 01:00 2010.
CREATED: 16 APR 18:32 2010
08/017 - AIRSPACE AEROBATIC AREA 6500/BLW 1 NMR
VCV075012.5 1500-0205 DLY. WIE UNTIL 07 JUL 02:05 2010. CREATED: 31 AUG 16:51
Times are GMT. Subtract seven hours to get local time. I've driven to KVCV a few times, but never caught anything cool flying there other than the
Omega tanker. I'm told you can slip them a $10 spot and get a tour of the facilities. The same goes for Mojave, though it was only $5 when I did it
about 4 years ago.
The General Atomics El Mirage facility seems to be dedicated to the Army version of the Predator. It is also the least secure of the facilities. The
Grey Butte facility is a bit more remote. If they didn't fly it at the TTR, then Grey Butte would be my next guess. Supposedly the CIA trains out
there as well, but this is of course not possible to verify. Grey Butte has concertina wire around the perimeter. It looks quite secure, though a
friend drove up to the gate once and they opened it because we guess it looked liked a car they recognized. [The human element will blow your security
every time.] The El Mirage facility has guards that make the camo dudes look like a lean, mean fighting force.
Both facilities don't like photographers and will threaten to send the sheriff. Of course, I never had the sheriff actually show up. Even some jerk
from the El Mirage junkyard threatened to call the sheriff, to which I said "Hey, be my guest." [Hello sheriff, somebody is photographing my junk
from the street. CLICK!] There is little these facilities can do since you are on public land, and they damn well know if anyone actually got arrested
for photographing their facility, the photographer would make a federal case out of it. The last thing General Atomics wants is publicity. All that
said, you can easily hang back from the facilities until something is flying, then swoop in, take a few shots and leave. For El Mirage, you can park
west of the facility on a dirt road and nobody bothers you. They fly the Army predators at least half a mile past the base in either direction. Grey
Butte isn't quite as easy for snooping since they own so much land around their test flight route. For Grey Butte, you pretty much have to hang back
until you spot a UAV, then rush in and take your shots, then get out. The flight route goes very close to the road leading to the base.