Text Box: home

 Here's some garbled audio security34.wav Having headed out directly from the Groom Lake Road Guard Shack direction to Tikaboo, they returned from their licence-plate collecting task to then fly past us at a much more sensible distance i.e. greater than the 500ft minimum from a person, vehicle, vessel or structure as mandated by law and returned via the same route. They appeared to resume a more routine tour of the perimeter as they didn't land until 25 mins later on spot DD at the base.

There was nothing too exciting on the movements front today at Groom Lake though, just the usual Janet 737s, Beech 200s and the one remaining Beech 1900. Much more fun is the nonsense of changing callsign when contacting Groom approach or tower. Janet 288 becomes 'Buddy' 12 for example. The Tower controller helpfully - in banter with one of the crews - told us that the next month's callsign would be 'Mother'. Anyhow, the R/T discipline isn't great and I'll spare the blushes of those involved in christian name exchanges but here is N654BA forgetting that he is supposed to be Buddy 4
. buddy_4arr.wav And thus Buddy 0 we heard presumably is N20RA. I haven't worked out the Janet 737 callsigns yet but in addition to the one above Buddy 93 became Janet 278.

Text Box: This year's excursion to Tikaboo Peak may not have included the same level of activity over Groom Lake as last year but was memorable in that it was the first (and perhaps last) time that I was able to log a serial using the naked eye from Tikaboo. Most of the time one is fiddling with high-powered telescopes, cameras and the like carried up the 7900ft mountain and seeing aircraft at all due to the 26 miles distance from the base is all one expects.

To be honest I was a little surprised to be standing on top of a mountain in one of the remotest parts of the world being looked at very closely by the security people from the base. It didn't seem like a good idea to wave camcorders etc at them so I used my hand. 
Text Box: Tikaboo Peak 19-Apr-2004
Text Box: HUH-60G 91-26352 snooping around us during a security patrol

To start with I thought that the TWR were talking to a 'Skitty 34'; it was only when the thud thud thud turned into a black speck on the valley floor later turning into a very large HH-60G that I realised that its callsign was probably Security 34. Having checked us out at close quarters the chopper descended into the valley and from the rotor pitch was hovering for a couple of minutes. I assume that they were doing a recce of our 4x4 parked in the hugely undersubscribed Tikaboo Peak parking lot; they don't appear to have landed as all was intact when we eventually returned.