Military Aircraft Identification Assistance

I took this photograph around 7:30PM on the evening of 26-May. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture it well enough or at the right angle to get the tail number.

Generically, it seems like a safe bet that it is a C310 and that it was headed to either Teterboro, (KTEB), or Newark Liberty, (KEWR). The Arrival logs for those airports make no mention of a military aircraft coming on this date.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


From the FAQ:

Can I track military aircraft? What about presidential movements in Air Force One? (Back to top)
FlightAware does not track military aircraft and presidential movement flights (e.g., Air Force One, Marine One, etc.) are operated by the US military.

All noted and thank you very much vis-à-vis tracking military aircraft. Clearly I did not read the FAQ’s carefully enough.

Still, is there enough detail in the photograph to determine if this is some variant of the C130 and, if so, which one?

Again, thanks in advance for your assistance.

It is a C130, of course, but I couldn’t grab enough detail from your photo. Sometimes there are enough markings on a military aircraft that leads me to a specific base or squadron, (just with a google search and a wikipedia entry) and that sometimes helps with the aircraft variations, etc.

New Jersey has McGuire AFB, which is a major Mobility Command base, and Wikipedia tells me it has several C130 squadrons. I don’t know enough New Jersey to figure out if McGuire flight routes are near TEB or EWR, but a decent bet could be made it is a McGuire C130.

Even after all that, it takes an expert eye to scope out all the variations on military aircraft, especially with older aircraft like the C130 that have been assigned modern missions and equipment.

All noted and thank you very much for your extra efforts to respond to my inquiry given the lack of detail in my photograph.

I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 30+ years and can only recall having seen military aircraft twice before. This past Winter there was a flight of five helicopters flying West to East, two pairs plus one trailing. I’m sure there is a name for it but I don’t know what it might be. The other time was a flight of two fighter jets but that was about twenty-five (or more) years ago and I couldn’t even tell you what type aircraft they were.

In any event, having the opportunity to photograph a C130 flying over my home was quite unusual.

Definitely a C-130. Not sure of the variant exactly but based on the nose and a few little “details” it may be an RC-130. R as in recon. If there were any presidential movements in the area these types of planes often deploy special ops troops, and/or have a good number of intel sensors on board, such as ELINT etc… or transport secret service equipment etc… Sometimes they do advance recon prior to a visit as well, so on and so forth…