Short trips for cargo planes


I’m fairly new to tracking aircraft… just for the fun of it. I’m not a pilot and my knowledge is fairly limited but I’ve noticed a few things that just hit me funny. One of them is something I’ve seen happen several times over the past 24 hours… cargo flights going to and from Travis AFB in Fairfield to or from McClellan or Mather (former Air Force bases in the Sacramento area). These flights are about 10 minutes, or about an hour by ground (56 miles to McClellan and 51 miles to Mather). The one I just saw was an Air Transport International 757 going from McClellan to Travis. Last night was another company’s 747-400 going from Travis to Mather. I have no idea what is being hauled but seems like the cost of fuel for such a relatively short transport would be rather expensive. It just makes me wonder.


Welcome to the tracking world :slight_smile:

Wikipedia lists Air Transport International doing DOD contract work. It could be those are stops on a muliti hop delivery flight.
I’m just across the lake in El Dorado hills and built a 978 cantenna but, being down in the valley, I got very little traffic.

A cantenna or spider are quite easy to make quickly. A colinear is easy to make, and easier to make badly. Details can be found at



My understanding is the aircraft are staged at McClellan. They are cleaned after prior use, supplied with food and beverages and readied for flight to Travis where they will pick up passengers there.