posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 06:28 PM
reply to post by ProudBird
I'm not sure you could fly direct in those days. The routing goes from VOR to VOR, hence the route on the west side of Nellis. It is set up such that
there is both reasonable navaids and radar coverage. Not great radar coverage mind you, even today.
But if they did fly direct, Groom Lake would not have been the proper place to divert. Your route crosses KINS and KDRA. Those airports are far
simpler to reach. Landing at Groom is not trivial.
ATC instructions would require giving the plane an unpublished VOR, approach, and probably tower frequency over a clear radio channel. Now in the day,
military aircraft didn't have VHF, so military planes were easy for hobbyists to track.
The description still sounds more like the TTR. Flying direct to the TTR would take some vectoring. The Janets fly a conventional civil route, then
fly over TPH, then into the TTR. For an IFE, a short cut would be tricky. The KTNX VOR, based on it's location, is probably not heard from the air
along route 95. (Perhaps another reason the Janets take an odd route.] Now there are flights than do a visual to a 32 landing at the TTR, but it would
require a little bit of flying blind.
For an IFE, I wouldn't want to divert to Groom with far better alternatives. Even Janet 652 during it's IFE turned around and landed at KLAS rather
than deal with Groom, and it was authorized to land there!