Sunday, May 25, 2008

Welcome to the DeltaVA Pilots!

I've gotten quite a few hits from your site related to a few people that are coming to Las Vegas and have an interest in plane spotting.I'm flattered that my little 'ole blog was mentioned as a reference...Thank You! I must say I'm far from an expert on plane spotting in Vegas, but I'm happy to share what I can.

On a typical day, and it can change from hour to hour, most traffic will be landing on 25L and taking off from 25R. Sunset Boulevard is a good choice for plane spotting. There are many little strip malls on the south side of Sunset Blvd to park and take photographs. There is also a designated plane spotting area on the north side of Sunset Blvd east of Paradise Rd. They even broadcast on 101 on the FM dial so you can listen in also.

The best spot though, and it will soon be gone, is along the Fed Ex Cargo building on along that is near Rnwy 25R. It elevates you above the fence so you are looking slightly down on the runway. Here are some pics from that position:
From here you can also hear the radio transmissions. I'm usually there on the weekends and the Fedex Building is more or less closed with the occasional FedEx employee coming or going. They have never said a word to me. Not sure what its like during the week though.

Also anywhere along Eastern, which borders McCarren to the east, is a good spot also. I also like Sunset Park that is located on Eastern north of Sunset Blvd. If you head north on Eastern from Sunset Blvd and go past the ball diamonds and turn right into the first entrance you will find many places there.

Although possible to shoot from Tropicana, it is difficult because of limited parking.

If you want to see the Janet flights you can go from the south end of the strip near Russel and Las Vegas Blvd and head north. Turn right on Diablo at the McDonalds and follow it until it ends and turn left. There on your right will be the B727 Janet aircraft. There will likely also be a DOE guard watching you also. I have parked ton the left side of the street, right across the street from the guard, and never been bothered, only watched! there is also good general plane spotting here also.


Also on the strip, south of Russel Rd. you can occasionally see military aircraft parked. I've seen F-18 to Cobra helicopters parked there. It is, from what I'm told, used as overflow for Nellis.

As far as Nellis goes, the weekend traffic has been rather limited in my experience. The two best spots I've found are on Cheyenne Rd west of Nellis Blvd from which you can see the runway....kind of, but can get a good shot of the planes taking off. And on Las Vegas Blvd near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At the speedway I normally have parked right at the entrance to the speedway with no problems as it is usually closed. During the week it is common to see flights of 4-6 A-10s, 8-10 F-16/F15s, AWACS, Tankers, C-17s. You can occasionally also see forign Tornados and other aircraft. Seems to be slim picking on the weekends though.

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