reply to post by A T K
I don't get the military playing at civilian airports either, other than it may be less of a hassle to get flight clearance if you are not a unit at
that nearby military base. Or in the case of some programs, the civilian contractors don't want to deal with the hassles of working on a military
base. The RC-12 upgrade development was run out of Mather Field, probably for that reason. The Sacramento area has quite a bit of military use at
civilian airports, perhaps because BRAC eliminated the old bases.
The DESC or whatever they call it these days has agreements around the US for fuel purchases at civilian airports, and for civilian aircraft to be
able to purchase fuel on military bases.
OK, Defense Logistics Agency Energy.
In the case of KAPA, it can be seen on the noise tracker:
Often when you see a military plane at a civilian airport, you can see its flight path on the noise tracking websites. It helps if the plane has
mode-s so you can get the squawk code. Then you set the noise tracker to the proper time and poke at the planes on the screen until you get a match.
This website has info on internet plane tracking:
If the plane has ADS-B, all the better. Either you track it on your personal mode-s receiver, or one of the internet tracking websites that use such
receivers to do real time tracking.
flight radar 24
Flightradar24 is on my hot list since it has real time tracking that covers Palmdale. It has a decent playback mode, though none of these free ADS-B
websites are perfect. They miss stuff. For instance, Google did a late night run with one of their private jet they base out of Moffett Federal
Airfield (KNUQ). You can enter N1757 on flightradar24 to see the flight. However, it didn't show it landing at LAX, nor did it catch the plane
landing at KNUQ after 1AM! [We're Google. We don't need no stinkin' badges and noise abatement rules don't apply to billionaires. OH, and if we do
it, it isn't evil because Google does no evil.]
On flightradar24, the planes are two colors. The yellow planes are real time and if the plane participates in the BARR program (flight blocking), it
shows up anyway. [Under options, you can turn off the FAA feed and only see real time tracking.] If you put N1757 into flightaware, you will see that
it is blocked. [Hey, we're Google. We spy on you, but don't you spy on us. Oh, and we aren't evil.]
There are mode-s receivers in the $100 range, but software is an issue. They all copy Kinetics port 30003 messaging, so some people use that God awful
planeplotter program to view the data. I'm going to get around to investigating some of the other free port 30003 programs, but haven't done so yet.
For real time use, you could just feed flightradar24 then watch over the internet if the plane has ADS-B. The only military planes that routinely fly
with ADS-B on are the E-6 Mercury.
There is also planefinder.net, but the interface is just crap. You need to turn off a lot of the features to get anything remotely useful.