I just got back from a great trip to Las Vegas. I stayed at the Excaliber on the 24th floor. The view from my room was incredible. I had a view of the Luxor, Madalay bay and a fantastic view of the LV airport. My wife swore that I had arranged for the view that we received, but it was luck of the draw. I noticed during my spotting, that white/red 737s were arriving and departing quite often. I was told that the white 737s with the red stripe was government planes that transported employees to and from Area 51, is that true ? My favorite spotting experience was the Sands 747sp that took off for a short flight then returned to land a short time later. This was was first stay in Las Vegas and it definitely won’t be my last.
The red and white 737s are operated by EG&G for the government using the call sign Janet.
I can neither confirm nor deny if the aircraft operated to Area 51 because it may or may not exist.
The EG&G “Janet” aircraft service many of the “secret” facilities throughout the Nellis/Tonopah restricted areas/ranges.
Here’s a link for one of the flights as it shows it going to “Tonopah” which encompasses a LARGE area of the test range. They could have the old deviation to the airport that lives in secrecy.
Not too secret:
It’s not that far from Tonopah, let alone the VOR. You could actually see it from there (I’ve made the drive from Las Vegas to Reno on US-95), let alone seeing KTPH. Either way, it isn’t often that within 10 miles, you go through 3 different ARTCCs.
As far as Vegas goes, next time you go there, make your way down to Sunset Road. There’s a parking area adjacent to the 25s there which you can watch all the action. They also feed the Tower comms through FM radio there. That frees up your scanner to listen to Final Approach, or anything else you want.
This is what happens when government takes over a service. No competition!
Tonopahs not that special but Groom Lake - KXTA - doesn’t even show here on Flightaware. (but it was in my FMS last time I looked)
True… there isn’t a damn thing out there. I just found it funny that for all of 6 miles, you go through ZLA airspace, to ZLC airspace, to ZOA airspace.
Thanks for all the replies guys, from everything that ya’ll just told me, the airport site doesn’t seem too much of a secret at all. As for Vegas we drove out there; however we never really drove anything but the strip. I will definitely check out Sunset next time. If I knew I was going to be that close to the airport I would have brought my Scanner. Oh well I wasn’t really there to watch planes anyway but it would have been great.
I’m sure ya’ll already know this but the view from the Eifel Tower was awsome for viewing the airport. It was great to be eye level with aircraft on final approach. As for the “Janet” aircraft, it looks like they up grade planes every so often because I remember the same planes from pics on airliners.net and they were 737-200s if I am correct. Talk about a great way to get to work…The 18 minute flight time is definitely better than driving there for sure.
I enjoy the top level of the parking garage at McCarran. Never been harassed for hanging out or taking pictures. Great views of the airport and valley about 10 stories up.
Nellis AFB is also a nice side trip for spotting in North Vegas…Green Flag is on now so lots of activity. As many as 50 F-16s and F-15s launch in 60 minutes. Park off of Cheyenne, Blvd and enjoy the show.
If into airplane models try The Airplane Shop on Sunset and Windy just off the strip and west of McCarran. Thousands of pre assembled die cast and plastic models. Not cheap but a fun place.
I’m hoping that the constant flights are the same aircraft shuttling back and forth. Please don’t tell me there is s fleet of 737’s to make this 20-32 min flight every 1:10 it seems.
Last time I checked there was 6 737’s and 2 Beech 1900 and I Beech 200. Funny that the guard shack at the entrance is covered in reflective cover so you can’t see in, but they can see out.
They have recently acquired a 737-600. They may be getting rid of the -200s (which are actually government owned) or may be branching out to operate charters under their own identity. Or, maybe a combination of both.
It’s called “keeping the heat out”.
Those guys all but buzz by my place out here!
Speaking of Northtown, there’s another parking area (actually, a park) at KVGT, tucked in the between the approach end numbers of runways 7 and 12R (corner of Cheyenne and Decatur). Like KLAS, they broadcast the tower over FM radio there too. For a smaller GA field, they have a fair amount of aircraft ops.
Sorry about that. I thought I saw a cold beer on the patio. I promise it won’t happen again.
Didn’t you already get a letter of reprimand for targeting beer cans?
Secret and non secret. My neighbor rode Janet from Las Vegas to White Sands for a couple of years.
Ummm, uhhhh, ummmm…Move along! Nothing to see here!
KXTA (Homey Airport) is not that secret anymore. It shows up on the Jeppesen FlightDeck charts, and it’s in the FMS database. (it doesnt give much info, but it’s there.) It exists, that’s no secret, but what goes on there is another story altogether.
XTA…eXtra Terrestrial Airport?
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
…And at any of the facilites that EG&G/“Janet” serves. There are many different levels of EG&G/“Janet” security protocols dependant upon an individual’s job type and destination.