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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Alleged Xbox thief foiled by automatic doors

A Braintree man who allegedly stuffed an Xbox and a digital camera under his shirt in the rest room of the Best Buy at the South Bay mall ran into a little trouble while trying to make his escape.
The suspect took off running when an employee confronted him, but was confounded by the automatic doors. The doors opened up just fine when police walked up, though, giving the suspect his chance to run. Boston Police officers proved to be fast enough to catch the man, identified as Chris Burke, and arrest and charge him with larceny over $250.

Source: BPD Press Release

Friday, December 30, 2011

7 year old injured after being trapped under gravestone

A gravestone fell on a 7 year old girl at Edson Cemetery in Lowell on Thursday, pinning her underneath it and seriously injuring her.
The girl's mother, a 33 year old Dracut resident, was visiting the grave of a relative at the cemetery off Gorham Street, and while there, the girl and a friend were playing when a stone approximately 3 feet high and 4 feet wide fell on top of the child. Police arrived on scene and initially requested a tow truck or similar vehicle to assist in moving the stone off of the girl. The Lowell Fire Department also was on scene, requesting a technical rescue response. The girl was freed from under the stone and evaluated by paramedics, who determined that she had serious injuries and requested a medflight helicopter.
Medflight landed at Cawley Field and transported the girl to Mass General Hospital in Boston. She is believed to have sustained both a shoulder fracture and a broken femur. Her condition is unknown at this time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Military Air log, December 29th

Radio Logs:

1527: USCG HU-25c #2112 calling CGAS Cape Cod on 345.0 MHz, reports landing in 15 minutes.
1604: ME ANG KC-135R #63-8873 "MAINE85" calling MAINEIAC Ops on 311.0 MHz, 25 minutes out, will remain in the pattern until landing at approx. 1700. Landed on KBGR runway 33 just after 1700.
1606: USAF C-5B #86-0011 "RCH201" calling CASINO ROYALE (439th AW Command Post at KCEF) on 252.1, 30 minutes out, cargo to offload, will likely spend the night. (Ended up getting back underway a few hours later).
1712: USAF C-5B #86-0012 "RODD99" refueling from ME ANG KC-135R #59-1498 "MAINE86" in refueling area AR-631 on AR-631 Primary, 295.8 MHz.
1813: USNR C-40 #166695 "CONVOY4962" calling KBGR on 311.0 MHz. Landed at approximately 1835, then back in the air en route to Ramstein AFB in Germany at 2017.
1847: MAINE86 on with MAINEIAC Ops on 311.0, 25 minutes out from KBGR. Maintenance status is code 1 w/ 1 small write up for the boom.
2015: USAF C-17A #04-4128 "JINX52" refueling from NJ ANG KC-135R #63-8003 "TOPCAT7" in AR-631 on primary freq 295.8 MHz

Above times are all local (EST)

Mode-S Logs

Format: HexCode Serial Callsign    GMT                             Type         Country           Operator
Squawk       Altitude

All times in GMT, oldest to newest from bottom to top.

AE042D 64-14834 RCH4834 2011-12-30 03:38:56 KC-135R United States AFRC | 434ARW | 72ARS [KGUS] 6255 39000
AE0139 63-8003 TOPCAT7 2011-12-30 02:09:21 KC-135R United States NJ ANG | 108W | 141ARS [KWRI] 1651 25000
AE128C 69-5827 AGILE 24 2011-12-30 01:44:31 MC-130 United States USAF --- ---
AE0139 63-8003 TOPCAT7 2011-12-30 01:43:46 KC-135R United States NJ ANG | 108W | 141ARS [KWRI] 1651 25000
E47EF6 N637TW RYN0450 2011-12-30 00:29:53 Boeing 767-33AER United States Ryan Intl Airlines --- 31000
AE07A7 59-1498 MAINE86 2011-12-29 23:26:06 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4656 21000
AE014E 63-8872 MAINE87 2011-12-29 23:26:05 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4660 21500
43C0DB ZH881 RRR5511 2011-12-29 23:17:24 C-130 C5 United Kingdom RAF | LTW 2447 4950
AE29FE 166695 CNV4962 2011-12-29 23:11:05 C-40A United States USNR | VR-56 [KNTU] 3061 41000
AE014E 63-8872 MAINE87 2011-12-29 22:56:14 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4660 21500
AE07A7 59-1498 MAINE86 2011-12-29 22:56:02 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4656 21000
AE014E 63-8872 MAINE87 2011-12-29 22:26:53 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4660 21500
AE07A7 59-1498 MAINE86 2011-12-29 22:26:52 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4656 21000
AE2B70 ------ --- 2011-12-29 22:17:09 F-15E United States USAFE | 48FW | 492FS [EGUL] 1200 1200
AE014E 63-8872 MAINE87 2011-12-29 22:15:44 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4660 21500
AE07A7 59-1498 MAINE86 2011-12-29 22:15:26 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4656 21000
A5C192 N470EV EIA1678 2011-12-29 21:20:40 Boeing 747-273C United States Evergreen International --- ---
AE07C4 63-8873 MAINE85 2011-12-29 20:55:18 KC-135R United States ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] --- ---
ADFE2D 2112 --- 2011-12-29 20:24:47 HU-25c United States USCG | CGAS Cape Cod [KFMH] 4421 9375
AE4AE5 09-27022 ??? 2011-12-29 20:15:02 C-27J United States --- --- ---
AE0368 63-8013 PACK81 2011-12-29 17:52:52 KC-135R United States OH ANG | 121ARW [KLCK] --- ---
AE49C3 09-9207 RCH9207 2011-12-29 17:27:00 C-17A United States USAF | 437AW [KCHS] 2520 34000
AE0181 84-0139 YANKEE 2011-12-29 16:12:57 C-21A United States CT ANG | 103FW | 118FS [KBDL] --- ---
AE018A 84-0096 SHAFT99 2011-12-29 16:11:58 C-21A United States CT ANG | 103FW | 118FS [KBDL] --- ---
A2BEBB N276WA CMB0720 2011-12-29 15:21:37 MD-11F United States WorldAirways 5660 35025

Man shot in the leg in Revere

Just before 6:00 PM on December 9th, emergency services responded to 18 Emanuel St for a report of a person shot. EMS transported a man in his early 20's to Massachusetts General Hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg.

Boston Logan Comair 3045 Alert 2, part 2

The exiting (ok, not that exciting)  conclusion to yesterday's audio post of Monday's Alert 2 at Boston Logan airport. In this segment, the plane has already done a low pass over the runway, and is circling around to join the landing pattern. I cut several minutes worth of silence out of the recording.

Comair 3045 Alert 2 Part 2 by AlertNewEngland

Tracking stolen iPhone leads police to suspect

After a woman set her phone down at a Newbury Street shoestore only to find it missing seconds later, Boston Police detectives used the "Find-Iphone" app to track the missing device. From the BPD press release:

Around 11:30AM, the victim called detectives from District D-4 (South End) and provided her Apple ID information and password. Detectives then utilizing the “Find I-Phone” application tacked the phone to the intersection of Washington and Berkeley Street. Officers responded to that area and made note of several individuals standing in the area of a bus stop at that location.  A few minutes later, the application updated the location of the phone to the intersection of East Berkeley Street and Fay Street, traveling on Fay Street toward Harrison Avenue. Officers then repositioned themselves toward Harrison Ave. where they then observed an individual that they had just seen earlier at the bus top at Washington and East Berkeley Streets.
Detectives then got out of their unmarked car and approached this individual who they then asked to see his cell phone. This individual immediately told officers that he had just found a phone and handed it to officers.
The suspect, Lonnie Raleigh, 46 of Brighton was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Property over $250.00 and Larceny over $250.00. Post arrest and Miranda, the suspect admitted to stealing the victim’s phone at the shoes store.
Great to see the police using this type of technology more and more to catch thieves.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Comair 3045 Alert 2 at Logan

On Monday, a Comair flight inbound to Boston Logan airport declared an Alert 2 after the pilots were unable to determine if the nose landing gear was down and locked. The plane made a low approach over runway 33L, and observers in the tower, on the ground, and the pilot of a Delta flight were able to visually examine the nose gear and determine that it appeared to be normal.
Airport alerts are not infrequent occurrences, and the vast majority of the time are resolved in ways that aren't particularly exciting.
Here's part one of the audio from that event. This was recorded on 121.75 MHz, which is normally used as a ground frequency at Logan, but was designated as the emergency frequency for this alert. You'll hear  Logan Command (rescue apparatus), the tower, Comair 3045, and the Delta flight that assists. Exciting conclusion tomorrow (Spoiler alert: they land safely).

Part 2 can be found here.

Comair3045Alert2Pt1 by AlertNewEngland

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monitoring helicopter traffic over Boston

In nice weather, helicopters are constantly flying in and out of Boston. The three types you'll most commonly see are Medical Helicopters, Mass State Police, and the TV news helicopters. Occasionally a military, especially a USCG helicopter will fly through. If you're within range of the city, all of these can be monitored pretty easily.
Helicopters entering the Class B airspace around Boston are required to be in communication with Logan Airport air traffic control on Boston Skyways (124.725). They will request one of the designated routes through the city, and if they need to deviate from that route, they will inform ATC of their intentions. For example, a medical helicopter may identify themselves, request the TOBIN route inbound, and say that they'll be landing at MGH. News or police helicopters will often request an area that they can hover in.
Unless you are very close to the airport, or have a fantastic antenna, you will probably not be able to hear the air traffic control side of the conversation.
Boston Skyways, as well as the helicopter air-air frequencies, can be monitored online here.

Medical Helicopters

Boston Medflight communicates with their dispatch center on several channels, generally all on the same frequency, 460.8 MHz. They use several different PL tones, depending on which tower they are closer to. For Boston, tones 114.8 & 107.2 are used. In Plymouth, the tone is 127.3, and for Bedford, 103.5. Your best bet is is likely to put the frequency is as CSQ, so that you hear all the repeaters. When communicating with air traffic control on Skyways, they use call signs Med1, Med2, etc.

UMass LifeFlight is dispatched on 155.16, and the dispatch side of the conversation generally comes in quite well in the Boston area. LifeFlight frequently makes trips into Boston, and with air traffic control, the helicopters use "Lifeflight" as a their call sign.

Southern New Hampshire and Maine are covered by the Dartmouth Hitchcock Advanced Response Team, known as DHART. Their missions are dispatched on 155.325 and 464.45 MHz and can generally be heard in the Boston area and especially north of the city. Their air traffic control call sign is DHART.

Medical helicopters headed into the city will usually contact the destination hospital on the CMED system, identify themselves, and provide an ETA and information about the patient's condition.

Helicopters responding to the scene will generally establish scenes with the agency in charge of the landing zone, which is usually the fire department, on the FD's main channel, or another frequency provided by the fire department.

Massachusetts State Police

The MSP airwing helicopters are easy to monitor on the 800 MHz trunk system. Most of their communications happens on the talkgroup dedicated to them, 35472, which is active on most sites of the trunked system. They will also establish direct communications on whatever troops TG they are working with, or direct with the specific police department they are working with. Their callsigns on both the MSP systems and with air traffic control are "State Police 2", "State Police 5", etc, or "Air2", "Air5", etc.

News Helicopters

There are generally three news helicopters (not including traffic) working the Boston area. The easiest way to monitor them is  on Boston Skyways and the helicopter air-air frequencies (123.025 and 123.075). When communicating with air traffic control, these helicopters will use their tail number as their call sign. WCVB's helicopter is N505TV. WHDH's helicopter is N55SL.

Several news stations offer live tracking of their helicopter on their web site, for example, Channel 7's helicopter can be tracked here.


Military helicopters occasionally pass over the city. Your best bet for monitoring them is to listen to Skyways and keep an ear open for unfamiliar call signs. For example, the Massachusetts Army National Guard helicopters often use BOSOX as a call sign. Coast Guard helicopters generally use their serial number, for example "Coast Guard 6004". If you have a scanner, you can sometimes hear them on the military frequencies, such as 46.85 MHz for the MA ARNG units.

Good luck, and as always, your questions and comments are welcome.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Updated Boston (ZBW) Air Route Traffic Control Frequencies

Air traffic control frequencies often change around, and it can sometimes be challenging to find a definitive list of frequencies online. Here's a list of the current frequencies, taken from the Department of Defense Flight Information Publication IFR Supplement, and the FAA's Airport/Facility Directory. This list is current through February. High altitude frequencies are listed in bold. High/Low altitude frequencies are bold and underlined.

Boston Center (ZBW)

Augusta – 134.95 307.0
Barnstable – 132.9 128.75 127.825 243.0 290.3 307.3 321.3 370.9 387.1
Berlin – 135.7 282.2
Bucks Harbor – 133.45 269.3 290.5
Burlington – 118.825 120.35 251.075 342.25
Calverton – 124.525 379.85
Caribou – 124.75 239.05
Concord – 128.325 348.7
Cummington – 132.65 379.1
Gardner – 134.7 123.75 338.2 381.4
Houlton – 128.05 120.25 319.1 346.3
Hyannis – 133.45 269.3
Islip – 135.8 132.3 259.1 346.3
Kingston – 134.3 256.9
Lake George – 135.325 133.625 128.325 121.35 348.7 354.1 360.3 393.3
Lebanon – 134.7 381.4
Melrose – 135.55 133.325 119.25 281.5 353.7 370.9
Millinocket – 128.05 319.1
Montpelier – 135.7 282.2
Portland – 128.2 322.4
Rockdale – 133.25 126.475 279.5 353.925
St. Albans – 128.05 124.25 120.25 290.5 319.1 321.3 346.4
Shelton – 135.075 134.0 128.1 125.575 343.8 306.3 317.7 351.7
Turin – 135.25 133.25 123.875 120.35 279.5 321.3 323.0 377.1 342.25
Utica – 124.125 342.25 353.925
Waterboro – 128.2 118.55
Woodstock – 135.325 133.425 133.425 127.65 124.85 118.425 269.2 277.4 307.9 360.6 398.9

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Boston Police and NORAD track Santa

Three times on Christmas Eve, messages went out to all Boston Police radios giving the current location of Santa Clause. This is the message that went out at 6:00 PM. Officers who were home with their families could turn on their duty radios so that the kids could listen and find out where Santa is.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

F-15's conduct intercept drill

Audio from this morning's intercept drill. HUNTRESS is the call sign for NORAD Northeast Air Defense Sector. SLAM31 & SLAM32 are F-15's from the Massachusetts Air National Guard. In the drill, they intercept and attempt to establish contact with a rogue Boeing 777 aircraft. I believe this drill was conducted over New York State.

SLAM31 & HUNTRESS Intercept by AlertNewEngland

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

F-15's make a surprise stop in the Seacoast

UPDATE: Apparently 5 F-15's ended up landing at Pease. Here's a photo.

Two F-15E Strike Eagles made an unscheduled stop at Pease International Tradeport today just after noon. The planes, from the 326th fighter squadron, were being ferried across the Atlantic, and had taken off from MorĂ³n Air Base in Spain this morning. The planes were part of a larger flight, which was being accompanied by refueling tankers. Two F-15's, operating as MAZDA21 elected to divert to either Bangor International Airport or Pease, and chose Pease. Before landing, they requested fuel and parking. It is unclear how long they will be at Pease for, but it is likely a brief stop, as I'm sure the pilots are eager to return to their home base at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina.

Per the message boards, the aircraft traveling today had the following tail numbers:


Frequencies used were:

321.00 PACK Control at KPSM
263.05 KPSM Approach