The fire dept is not an ATC service, or even an aerodrome information service - they are apparently not on the same frequency as the a/c so have no
way of knowing if the a/c has decided to remain in the area or divert somewhere else.
Fire has tower and ground (at least) on their radios. I suspect all fire did was click the PTT to turn on the lights.
You can fly VFR at night in the US. I'm not so sure you could land without lights!
Regarding the USAF flight surgeons and Mr. Palay, the Janets are weird. The pilots are civilians. The USAF owns the planes. Who is in charge?
I never heard they did a missed approach, or to be more accurate, all I know is what was in the report.
After reporting the runway lights in sight, the pilot configured the airplane for the approach and initiated a circling maneuver to the right for a
visual straight-in approach to runway 32. During the turn the pilot suffered a sudden cardiac death. Half way through the turn the airplane began a
gradual descent until it impacted the ground.
Now I can see the logic in thinking there was a missed approach based on this report. That is, he aborted landing then circled around with a right
hand turn. However, if the plane flew to TPH first, which is really common, then a right hand turn would be needed to land on 32.
Many flights to the TTR stay off the range for most of the flight, then approach from north of the base. Given the hour, they could have possibly
flown direct, especially since the flight left Groom Lake. But VFR flights do favor flying where the wreckage could be spotted. But that isn't a
I can't add much to this thread, but fire is really "crash" at an airport, so you would think the plane not arriving would be a big deal. But maybe
they just woke up some fireman off duty and asked him/her to click the PTT. It wouldn't be the job of fire to note if the plane landed. The fireman
could have just as much gone back to sleep.
Basically, they attempted to land at an uncontrolled airport. The DOE flights still do this at the TTR since they have their own set of rules. I have
audio of that somewhere.
Regarding the "terps", I thought that was the University of Maryland sports team. ;-) Airnav.com has all the FAA documents. That is something that
only happened in the last few years, as I mentioned in the other thread on Groom Lake shutting down. The TTR is a bit less secret these days, though I
don't expect to be going to an airshow there in the near future. Well, stuff will be flying, but I won't be on base.
That crash location used to be a "community marker" on Google Earth. I have no idea if it is accurate or not. Many markers on Google Earth are
wrong. That is, no one with authority placed them. A few correct markers have been removed, like the location of the Power Line Overlook. I suspect
Google honors government take-down requests.
USAF crash reports have a summary, and then testimony. In theory, testimony is never made public. In practice, if the CIA is involved, they release
the whole report. But this Janet isn't really military, so maybe there is a way to get the whole report. The idea behind the secrecy is it is better
to have everyone be truthful rather than finger pointing and ass covering.