Curious training missions - Navy P-8A

I’ve noticed frequent overland training missions by Navy P-8A Poseidons. The most recent one was this morning. VVLL846 flew from NAS JAX to KRDU and flew a racetrack pattern, sometimes dipping as low as 600 feet (and as slow as 161 knots). Next time I see one of these missions taking place I’m tempted to get in my car to get a look at this low and slow B737 variant. Any ideas why they are flying these over land and not water? … 0615/1239Z … Z/tracklog

Just a SWAG, but driver training comes to mind. Practicing approaches at KRDU from the map comes to mind. I see similar KC-10 flights around KMHR, as well as the Coasties’ C-130’s out of CGAS Sacramento. They don’t have ADSB going tho’

That’s plausible. When I was in the Navy flying in P-3’s and A-3’s we occasionally flew TOL’s at Andersen AFB in Guam - but that was a military airfield. I notice that today Navy Airborne Command Post GOTOFMS is also flying a racetrack pattern not far from KRDU.

I see them around Pax River all the time, both actual visual sightings and tracks on my piaware…

Last month, I saw several P8s do round trips from NAS Jacksonville to Green Bay, Wi and Gary, In to shoot approaches.


Here is a recent P-8A flight… The whole flight looks to be broken up in two FlightAware reportings, but it appears the whole flight was from Boeing Field to Jacksonville. Based on the map and the tracklog, the aircraft shot an approach into Green Bay. I picked the flight up as it passed through the Chicago area.

My last reported time (UTC) track from my RPi.
AE57B5 P8 VVLL842 37000 ---- United States Mil 2015-06-17 21:18:30

Marty … -107.64100 … 0617/1919Z

The P-8A It was just in the air a few minutes ago making more rounds over the Greensboro area. Well, I should say…one of them.

I’m wondering why they are flying so many training flights over land. I’d think they’d be training over water, which is where they will operate (like P-3’s).

I’m on Guam right now, and there’s still a lot of military flight training involving the civilian airport. Whenever we have fighters on-island I see F-16/F-18/F-22s flying touch and gos at Guam International Airport (PGUM), then heading toward Andersen for another, then coming around for another pass. About two weeks ago while driving around for work, I saw a B-52 come in for a touch-and-go at PGUM; that was an interesting (and rare) sight. Sadly, nearly all of the military flights here are mode-S only.

PGUM is the primary divert airfield for Andersen these days (PGSN will probably come on-line for divert in a few years) as there’s no reasonable military alternative nearby, so they do a lot of approach training there. I’d be interested to see how many bases have a similar setup.