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Thread: Trip to JFK / McGuire AFB / Dover AFB

  1. #1

    Trip to JFK / McGuire AFB / Dover AFB

    Me and a buddy are going on a trip to the U.S. in May (we are from europe).

    We will be there for a week and has plans to do some spotting around JFK, Mcguire AFB, Dover AFB and Andrews AFB (The 2011 JSOH Airshow)

    Is there anyone who will give advice on the following:

    Are there problems in spotting around JFK?
    The use of scanners in New York around JFK?

    Are there problems in spotting around the McGuire / Dover?
    The use of scanner around Mcguire / Dover?
    Which AFB has the greatest opportunity to see traffic durring weekdays?
    (Our primarily objecticve is the large transport-aircraft C5 and C17)

    Thanks in advance! :-)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    For JFK, this site offers a great selection of spotting guides. Very informative, and helpful. Also, if you're going to be visiting JFK, just post a message letting us know when you'll be in, and I'm sure some of us will be around and more than willing to meet up with you guys and show you the different areas to spot from. Ans scanners are fine in NY as long as you're not using them to scanthe police/fire frequencies. Alot of us use scanners when we are outspotting.

    As for the AFBs, I can not offer up any advice on those. Although, if you're going to be in the NYC area, I have been tols that Stewart AFB in Newburgh offers good chances to see C-5s.
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick reply steve1840, we will surely spend some time around JFK.
    And 100-400mm will be enough for spotting around JFK ??

    Are there others who can help with info about McGuire & Dover AFB?

  4. #4
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    No problem. A 100-400 is what many of us Canon users use. From most of the spotting locations, that is the lens you would be using the most. When are you planning your trip for?

    I am not sure who would be able to help with info about McGuire or Dover AFB.
    Steve Furst

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  5. #5
    sometime in May
    Andrews AFB airshow is 21-22 May, so we will be in U.S. some days before that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chrisparypa's Avatar
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    Im going to Andrew AFB as well... and week before to Langley, you should think about going to Langley AFB, great air show, looks like they trying to impress industry :)

    About JFK you have guide, and I believe one of our guys will help you to find your way around.

    DOVER spotting... I'll be honest... I wouldn't try, Right now Im no more than 1 hour from Dover and I've been trying to spott at Dover few times but at least 80% of my visits the military personnel asked me to leave and stop taking pictures. It's kind of ok to take a picture during your visit at Air Mobility Command Museum. You should ask in the museum what the rules are fro the spotting around DOVER. There is not much going on at Dover, don;t take me wrong, sometimes it is going on a lot :) but just a once in a while. Most of the time you will catch C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globmaster III, GA traffic and some 747 Cargos from: Atlas and Evergreen. I would recommend to skip Dover

    Here is a guide to Dover Spotting by Steve Holzinger who is well known videographer,

    http://www.stevesairshow.com/spotting-dov.html

    I have never spot at McGuire, but If you wanna catch Andrews arrivals for the Air Show probably;y Branch Station Parking lot (or something like that) thats the place where is a checkpoint and shuttel bus to the Base on the Air Show day, on Thursday and Friday there will be a lot of people for sure spotting. Yopu can watch air show on Friday from that parking lot but Im not really sure aboutairrivals on thursday or so... Im planning Langley AFB Air Show week before Andrews and you should add this event to your trip :) At Langley you can spot :) Lots of Raptors are flying there and you can catch lots of nice planes here is the guide from Steve's Holzinger website:

    http://www.stevesairshow.com/spotting-lfi.html

    After Andrews AFB we will have big show at Milville, NJ if you wanna extend your visit hahahah, unfortunately this show is no go for me...

    Hope to see you at Andrews and.... at Langley :)

    BTW: If you expecting to see both Blue Angels and Tbirds then sorry BA's are going somewhere else unfortunately, it was the plan to have both teams and the first schedule confirmed that but later BA's changed the plans....

  7. #7
    Thanks for the info guys. We appreciate it and we'll consider it again if we want to spend time spotting in McGuire and Dover.
    If not then we'll look forward to the Andrews AFB Airshow

    I had actually read it somewhere else, that BA would not come anyway.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Steven Holzinger's Avatar
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    Don't go to McGuire. DON'T. There are no good spots for any of the runways and even if you think you've found one, you're going to get arrested. The residents there are extra vigilant and they've never seen spotters before and they will report you. It doesn't matter what town you're in - doesn't matter what town's police (or even security forces or NJSP) has jurisdiction, you will be told to leave or even arrested.

    As far as Dover is concerned, it's hit or miss. The only thing worth seeing there is the AMC Museum and they aren't open every day. Take Chris' advice and skip it.

    Do plan on going to Langley AFB's airshow.

  9. #9
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    AMC Museum planespotting

    Just to set the record straight and to let you know about a great new venue. You may photograph aircraft from on the grounds of the AMC Musuem at Dover AFB Delaware. We are close enough that you will smell the tires smoke when a C-5 lands (really) and you won't need a big telephoto lens to fill the frame.

    We are open every day except Monday from 9 to 4, always FREE , and we have a lot of rare large transports, some of which are open for tours.

    But the best part is that within about 90 days you will be able to go up in the original Dover AF tower that has been relocated to the musuem and view our collection and all the traffic in the area. There will even be live feed from the active tower.

    There is not a high degree of activity at Dover compared to a metropolitan airport but we get C-5, C-17, 747,KC-10, DC-10 and other large airframes.

  10. #10
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    AMCMuseum, welcome and thank you for adding that info!

    As for McGuire, I also say DO NOT.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  11. #11
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Has someone actually been arrested at McGuire? I find that a bit extreme even if it's military. Or do you get arrested if you refuse to leave or you argue about it with them.

    Being asked to leave is one thing, but getting arrested right off the bat is another totally. I just cannot make excuses for what is essentially an infringment upon legal behavior, 9/11 or not. What's next, it'll be illegal to look up in the sky? I know this is an ongoing thing, but it just disgusts me.

  12. #12
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    I don't knwo if you'll outright get arrested, but they have a very tight perimeter and do not take kindly to odd behavior, which is almost understandable considering they were the intended targert of a failed terror plot a couple years ago.

    It's just not worth it, and considering all of the above, I think if someone goes for it anyway...they are just being careless.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMCMuseum View Post
    Just to set the record straight and to let you know about a great new venue. You may photograph aircraft from on the grounds of the AMC Musuem at Dover AFB Delaware. We are close enough that you will smell the tires smoke when a C-5 lands (really) and you won't need a big telephoto lens to fill the frame.

    We are open every day except Monday from 9 to 4, always FREE , and we have a lot of rare large transports, some of which are open for tours.

    But the best part is that within about 90 days you will be able to go up in the original Dover AF tower that has been relocated to the musuem and view our collection and all the traffic in the area. There will even be live feed from the active tower.

    There is not a high degree of activity at Dover compared to a metropolitan airport but we get C-5, C-17, 747,KC-10, DC-10 and other large airframes.
    Great to see an AMC Museum rep here! I usually stop by the museum every time I go down to Delaware to photograph wildlife. Really great collection of planes, and very nice staff...highly recommended, and I'm not even a big military aviation buff. There are normally some Kalitta Falcons parked right behind the fence, and C-5s beyond that, although I think my lens was too big for any gaps in the fence, so I didn't try for photos. The tower sounds great! Will it all be enclosed in glass, or will there be an outdoor "balcony" portion too?

    Here's one shot I took of the Nightingale a few months ago:


    Also, one inside the C-130:

    Last edited by Cary; 03-23-2011 at 04:12 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Steven Holzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    Has someone actually been arrested at McGuire? I find that a bit extreme even if it's military. Or do you get arrested if you refuse to leave or you argue about it with them.

    Being asked to leave is one thing, but getting arrested right off the bat is another totally. I just cannot make excuses for what is essentially an infringment upon legal behavior, 9/11 or not. What's next, it'll be illegal to look up in the sky? I know this is an ongoing thing, but it just disgusts me.
    I almost did back in July or August of 2005. I was taking pictures (!) in a shopping center lot and they were using Runway 36 and someone did call somebody on me. Thankfully I left before someone stopped by to check me out. Like I said, the residents there have never seen plane spotters anywhere around the base and they will consider you suspicious. It's also a HUGE OPSEC issue there. There are flights that routine go in and out of the base that are on a need-to-know basis and these almost always involve airplanes that are not supposed to be photographed. That info came right out of a pilot I met that flies those aircraft.

    Phil is dead-on with his statement. There is so much security around the entire JB-MDL complex that makes the base almost like Whiteman AFB. It also has to do with the foiled terror attack (which actually happened within weeks of the 2008 airshow). Trust me - DO NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR McGUIRE.

    As far as spotting at military bases in the United States, it varies between bases. For instance, you see that you will most likely be arrested at and around McGuire. Dover would be a little less strict, mainly because of the AMC Museum (which I recommend - I believe the KC-135 is now on display). Langley AFB is almost as strict as McGuire but so long as you don't take pictures of the base, you should be fine. NAS Oceana is not as strict - in fact, they almost welcome spotters - especially at the Oceana Blvd spot. Be careful and be smart and when we say don't go spotting at certain places, DON'T.

    (BTW, for the record, I live 25 miles away from McGuire)

  15. #15
    Senior Member chrisparypa's Avatar
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    Whats up Steve :)

    I will take a trip to Dover to see what is going on in Museum :) maybe next week. If spotting from the museum is OK I`ll take my chance :)) I just need to see some planes, Im so hungry for spotting !!!
    Last edited by chrisparypa; 03-23-2011 at 06:19 PM.

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