March Air Reserve Base and Air Museum

March 23, 2005

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The March Air Field Museum is located close to the west side of the runway at March ARB. They even have benches and small grandstands facing the runway. It is a pleasant location to watch the airplanes flying in the pattern.

Wednesday, March 23 was a day of turbulent weather. Sunlight peeked through gaps in the drifting cumulus clouds. Frequent showers drifted across the area.

Douglas VC-47A, 43-15579 Pools of water on the tarmac reflected images of the airplanes. Douglas VC-47A, 43-15579 is undergoing restoration.

Boeing B-29A Superfortress, 44-61669

There are benches under the wing of Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker, 53-0363. The grandstand makes it possible to shoot pictures over the chain link fence between the museum and the runway. I sought refuge from the rain showers under the wing of the Stratotanker. It turns out that rainwater flows around the leading edge below the wing and drops down all over underneath.

A few minutes before noon, Lockheed C-130J Hercules, BuNo 165736 from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron VMGR-352, based at Miramar MCAS, arrived, requesting about forty minutes in the pattern for Runway 32.

The C-130J made many touch-and-go landings. Condensation is spiraling from the tips of the propeller blades.

The sun started to peek out shortly before Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker, 61-0234 of the local 452AMW made a missed approach.

Lockheed C-130J Hercules, BuNo 165736

The Stratotanker made a full-stop landing after its single missed approach.

Lockheed C-130J Hercules, BuNo 165736

Lockheed C-141B Starlifter, 65-0248 of local AMW462 took off from the reciprocal Runway 14 while the Hercules made a 360.

Flight WOA8515, World Airways MD-11, N273WA arrived from Bangor, Maine.

The world airways charter was followed by McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D Hornet, VMFAT-101 #253, based at Miramar. It made a missed approach and headed elsewhere fast.

Lockheed C-130J Hercules, BuNo 165736

Lockheed P-3B Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Orion, N144CS arrived from Corpus Christi NAS, Texas. It used to be operated by the Customs Service (thus the serial number ending in CS). It is based at Davis-Monthan AFB and usually stays closer to the border.

It was not until I loaded the image files into my computer and looked at this one at full resolution that I discovered that the P-3B AEW is now operated by the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Customs Service.

The base fire trucks fired up their water cannons to greet the arriving World Airways charter flight.

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