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Friday, August 31, 2012

Military Logs, August 30th

REACH434 took off from Pease. Looks like they went down to Florida. 
MAINE86-87 went to AR-631 to refuel POLO99.
PACK11 shot some approaches at Manchester before heading off on their refueling mission.
RHODY10-12 dropped jumpers over Devens before returning to Quonset Point.
BOXER819 stopped in Bangor before departing for Andrews AFB.
ETHYL01-03 took off from Bangor and Pease to refuel RAMA41-43, flight of B-1B Lancers rotating overseas.
KILLER01-02 (MA ANG F-15's) heard calling GIANTKILLER (FACSFAC VACAPES) for entry into the Warning Area.
MAINE88 refueled RODD99.

Followed by PACK33 refueling RODD99.

REACH742 stopped in Bangor for gas before continuing on to Rota, Spain.

Full Military Mode S logs:

AE05A5 62-3508 TOPCAT5 12:25:46 AM KC-135R USA NJ ANG | 108W | 141ARS   [KWRI] 1105 20900
ADFE2D 2112    ---     12:44:22 AM HU-25c  USA USCG | CGAS Cape Cod     [KFMH] 4677 8450
AE07E1 94-0067 POLO99  12:56:35 AM C-17A   USA NY ANG | 105AW | 137AS   [KSWF] 3377 20000
AE056B 86-0014 ---     01:00:08 AM C-5B    USA AFRC | 439AW | 337AS     [KCEF] --- ---
AE056B 86-0014 ---     03:31:22 AM C-5B    USA AFRC | 439AW | 337AS     [KCEF] 0554 26000
AE119A 03-3117 RCH463  06:46:47 AM C-17A   USA MS ANG | 172AW | 183AS   [KJAN] --- ---
AE03FA 84-0146 PAT146  12:56:28 PM C-12U   USA Det8/NH-ArNG             [KCON] --- ---
AE0110 94-1570 BOXR819 02:20:08 PM C-38A   USA DC ANG | 113Wg | 201AS   [KADW] 4662 25000
AE024D 62-3506 RCH434  02:20:08 PM KC-135R USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] 1321 40000
AE014E 63-8872 MAINE87 02:21:01 PM KC-135R USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4647 22900
AE0847 58-0107 MAINE86 02:23:32 PM KC-135R USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] 4646 21000
AE07E1 94-0067 POLO99  02:43:59 PM C-17A   USA NY ANG | 105AW | 137AS   [KSWF] 7307 20000
AE0168 86-0203 ---     02:48:43 PM C-20B   USA USAF | 89AW | 99AS       [KADW] --- ---
AE023A 62-3520 PACK11  03:01:38 PM KC-135R USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] --- ---
AE0181 84-0139 YANKEE  03:17:41 PM C-21A   USA CT ANG | 103FW | 118FS   [KBDL] --- ---
AE03FA 84-0146 PAT146  03:33:11 PM C-12U   USA Det8/NH-ArNG             [KCON] --- ---
AE07E1 94-0067 POLO99  03:41:24 PM C-17A   USA NY ANG | 105AW | 137AS   [KSWF] 7307 20000
AE1470 07-7178 RCH683  03:41:42 PM C-17A   USA USAF | 436AW | 9AS       [KDOV] 0752 40000
AE0148 58-0098 MAINE85 03:47:33 PM KC-135R USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] --- ---
AE0181 84-0139 ---     04:12:45 PM C-21A   USA CT ANG | 103FW | 118FS   [KBDL] --- ---
AE2914 6037    C6037   04:19:11 PM MH-60T  USA USCG                     [KFMH] --- ---
AE023A 62-3520 PACK11  05:20:08 PM KC-135R USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] --- ---
AE11FA 02-0203 BOXER41 06:34:28 PM C-40C   USA DC ANG | 113Wg | 201AS   [KADW] 7204 37950
AE0168 86-0203 ---     07:09:31 PM C-20B   USA USAF | 89AW | 99AS       [KADW] 3505 14350
AE06E2 163840  ---     07:37:37 PM UC-12F  USA USN | AOD Norfolk        [KNGU] --- ---
AE03FA 84-0146 PAT146  07:56:22 PM C-12U   USA Det8/NH-ArNG             [KCON] 4605 23975
7102E4 1626    RSF907  08:06:37 PM C-130   SAU 16sqn(Saudi)                    7267 20000
AE1467 07-7169 RCH405  08:49:30 PM C-17A   USA USAF | 436AW | 3AS       [KDOV] 0541 31000
AE013A 59-1488 MAINE88 09:08:38 PM KC-135R USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] --- ---
AE123E 04-4133 RCH300  09:46:33 PM C-17A   USA USAF | 305AMW | 6AS      [KWRI] --- ---
AE013A 59-1488 MAINE88 09:55:11 PM KC-135R USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] --- ---
AE06E2 163840  ---     10:20:15 PM UC-12F  USA USN | AOD Norfolk        [KNGU] 5037 4750
AE013A 59-1488 MAINE88 10:23:13 PM KC-135R USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR] --- ---

AE1241 04-4136 RCH742  10:54:54 PM C-17A   USA USAF | 305AMW | 6AS      [KWRI] 2642 31800
AE023A 62-3520 PACK33  11:13:08 PM KC-135R USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] 0106 8300

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gloucester MA: Medflight called for bad accident on Rt. 128

A woman was injured when the car she was driving crashed and rolled onto it's side on Route 128 northbound near Exit 14 in Gloucester just after 1:00 PM on Thursday. Firefighters on scene freed the trapped woman from her vehicle. She was reported to be conscious and alert, but her injuries were severe enough to request a Medflight helicopter from Boston. State Police shut the highway down at Exit 15 in Manchester for the helicopter to land at the scene.

Military Logs, August 29th

Mode S hits:

Hex    Reg.     Call Sign TimeZ    Type            Unit                     Base   Sqwk Alt.
AE05A5 62-3508  TOPCAT5   23:32:49 KC-135R     USA NJ ANG | 108W | 141ARS   [KWRI] 1105 20900 
ADFE2D 2112     ---       23:32:46 HU-25c      USA USCG | CGAS Cape Cod     [KFMH] 4677 8450 
AE1828 ------   ---       23:11:08 MH-60L      USA ---                             0460 1900 
AE0656 58-0102  RCH229    22:51:41 KC-135R     USA AFRC | 507ARW | 465ARS   [KTIK] 2333 34400 
AE20C6 07-7185  RCH317    22:29:14 C-17a       USA USAF | 437AW             [KCHS]     
AE0443 00-9001  ---       22:27:17 C-32B       USA NJ ANG | 108WG | 150SOS  [KWRI] 1441 32000 
AE0443 00-9001  ---       21:35:40 C-32B       USA NJ ANG | 108WG | 150SOS  [KWRI] 1441 32000 
AE06E2 163840  ---        19:31:38 UC-12F      USA USN | AOD Norfolk        [KNGU] 5037 15250 
AE04B9 58-0030  MAINE87   19:22:52 KC-135R     USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR]     
AE093D 01-0301  ---       18:36:11 UC-35a1     USA US Army | OSACOM PATD    [KADW] 1367 29000 
AE146D 07-7175  RCH671    18:30:03 C-17A       USA USAF | 436AW | 3AS       [KDOV] 2524 34000 
15409E RA-82078 VDA1848   18:16:00 An-124-100  RUS Volga Dnepr Airlines            7052 31000 
AE04B9 58-0030  MAINE87   18:10:39 KC-135R     USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR]     
AE020A 79-1711  HOIST80   17:47:23 KC-10A      USA USAF | 305AMW            [KWRI] 0725 38000 
AE01DD 79-1712  RCH441    17:40:27 KC-10A      USA USAF | 305AMW            [KWRI] 6072 32000 
AE01AA 84-0071  BATTL 24  17:20:02 C-21A       USA MI ANG | 110FW | 172AS   [KBTL] 3461 22800 
AE0317 74-1689  ---       17:11:27 C-130H      USA USAF | 317AG             [KDYS]     
AE0355 74-1687  ---       16:58:49 C-130H      USA USAF | 317AG             [KDYS]     
AE023A 62-3520  PACK61    16:40:54 KC-135R     USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] 3536 25000 
AE048D 64-14836 PACK62    16:40:16 KC-135R     USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] 3503 26000 
AE0209 79-0434  MOVER30   16:16:32 KC-10A      USA USAF | 305AMW            [KWRI] 2705 20075 
AE048D 64-14836 PACK62    15:54:10 KC-135R     USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] 3503 26000 
AE023A 62-3520  PACK61    15:53:46 KC-135R     USA NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM] 3536 25000 
AD83E5 N970CP   ---       15:37:46 Cessna 182T USA CIVIL AIR PATROL                4626 5450 
AE035C 58-0062  JEEP31    15:23:39 KC-135T     USA MI ANG | 127WG | 171ARS  [KMTC] 7430 22700 
AE065F 60-0346  JEEP32    15:23:34 KC-135T     USA MI ANG | 127WG | 171ARS  [KMTC]  --- 21500 
4951B4 CS-TMT   BAF630    15:14:34 A330-321    BEL 21SM                            6052 40000 
AE06E2 163840   ---       15:13:30 UC-12F      USA USN | AOD Norfolk        [KNGU]     
AE093D 01-0301  ---       14:55:34 UC-35a1     USA US Army | OSACOM PATD    [KADW]     
AE0148 58-0098  MAINE86   14:35:03 KC-135R     USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR]     
AE01AA 84-0071  BATTL 21  14:31:03 C-21A       USA MI ANG | 110FW | 172AS   [KBTL]     
AE29FD 166694   CNV4224   14:28:03 C-40A       USA USNR | VR-59             [KNFW] 1331 39000 
AE0847 58-0107  MAINE85   14:19:48 KC-135R     USA ME ANG | 101ARW | 132ARS [KBGR]    
AE27F3 6002               13:50:18 MH-60T      USA USCG | CGAS Cape Cod     [KFMH] 1200 1200 
4D2066 ------   VJT740    13:22:14 ------      MAL ---                             2431 17150 
AE0534 69-0014  ---       13:06:15 C-5A        USA TN ANG | 164AW | 155AS   [KMEM] 2462 36000 
AE49C6 09-9210  RCH723    10:26:06 C-17A       USA USAF | 62AW              [KTCM]    
AE146E 07-7176  RCH725    09:04:31 C-17A       USA USAF | 436AW | 3AS       [KDOV]      
AE022D 86-0036  REACH647  06:08:11 KC-10A      USA USAF | 305AMW            [KWRI] 3663 34975 
AE07EC 96-0002  RCH899    06:07:33 C-17A       USA USAF | 437AW             [KCHS] 3674 33000 
AE056B 86-0014  ---       04:10:32 C-5B        USA AFRC | 439AW | 337AS     [KCEF]      
AE035B 58-0054  RCH624    03:13:37 KC-135T     USA PA ANG | 171ARW          [KPIT] 5742 39000 
AE04BE 58-0106  RCH401    02:19:58 KC-135R     USA AL ANG | 117ARW | 106ARS [KBHM] 3027 39000 
ADFE2D 2112     ---       01:34:10 HU-25c      USA USCG | CGAS Cape Cod     [KFMH] 4634 10100 
AE115D 01-0015  S465      01:21:36 C-40B       USA USAF | 15WG | 65AS       [PHIK] 5632 37025 
AE146A 07-7172  RCH329    01:06:01 C-17A       USA USAF | 60AMW             [KSUU] 2266 37000 
AE1470 07-7178  RCH683    00:21:47 C-17A       USA USAF | 436AW | 9AS       [KDOV] 3402 35000

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Military Logs, August 28th

Mode S hits:
ADS    Reg.    Flight   Lat.       Long.    Alt.   Course Speed  Time        Type Sqwk
ADFE2D 2112               0.00000   0.00000 15975' 0.0°   0.0kts 00:50:36UTC FA20 4635
AE04B9 58-0030 MAINE87   44.19896 -71.20184 27000' 0.0°   0.0kts 01:49:01UTC K35R 4703
43C04E ZZ175   RRR6683    0.00000   0.00000 35000' 0.0°   0.0kts 03:49:45UTC C17  1011
AE0423 59-1505 RCH649    44.23630 -70.83576 37000' 0.0°   0.0kts 03:45:18UTC K35R 7125 
AE07EC 96-0002 RCH899    42.33530 -71.30046 33000' 0.0°   0.0kts 10:43:26UTC C17  2157
AE11FA 02-0203 BOXER41   42.81391 -69.92823 35000' 0.0°   0.0kts 11:49:15UTC B737 3676
AE0425 60-0342 BOLT12     0.00000   0.00000 29100' 0.0°   0.0kts 12:02:51UTC K35R 3576
AE013C 60-0344 BOLT13    43.21189 -71.80983 20000' 0.0°   0.0kts 12:48:40UTC K35R 3573
ADFF0D 62-3559 BOLT14    43.36169 -71.70607 26300' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:05:37UTC K35R 3410
AE1463 06-6165 RCH633    43.20264 -71.14579 36000' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:03:35UTC C17  6350
AE037E 63-8887 BOLT15    42.55305 -70.98025 27300' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:25:51UTC K35R 3465
ADFE2D 2112    C2112      0.00000   0.00000  3075' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:55:26UTC FA20 4421
AE0861 58-0086 BOLT11    40.96708 -70.06266 29700' 0.0°   0.0kts 14:39:01UTC K35R 1356
ADFEB8 98-0002 VENUS92    0.00000   0.00000 31000' 0.0°   0.0kts 15:07:59UTC B752 7056
AE05AC 63-8029 TOPCAT4    0.00000   0.00000 20000' 0.0°   0.0kts 15:19:35UTC K35R 3505
AE0173 84-0118 JOSA703    0.00000   0.00000        0.0°   0.0kts 15:27:40UTC LJ35 2114
AE0236 87-0124 RCH100     0.00000   0.00000 35000' 0.0°   0.0kts 15:34:22UTC DC10 1124
AE0443 00-9001 TERRA38   42.58150 -74.02000 21000'43.8° 349.4kts 15:34:29UTC B752 1676
AE035C 58-0062 JEEP21    44.03735 -71.61401 25000' 0.0°   0.0kts 16:01:20UTC K35R 4117
AE123D 04-4132 RCH802     0.00000   0.00000 30000' 0.0°   0.0kts 17:19:57UTC C17  2047
AE1239 04-4129 RCH805     0.00000   0.00000 31700' 0.0°   0.0kts 17:24:57UTC C17  1421
AE026D 62-3576 PACK11    43.33718 -71.49499 23000' 0.0°   0.0kts 17:48:24UTC K35R 4673
AE20C4 07-7183 RCH684    42.31135 -69.04709 36000' 0.0°   0.0kts 17:50:25UTC C17  0772
AE1196 03-3113 E33113    42.15892 -70.28436 40000' 0.0°   0.0kts 19:07:27UTC C17  2557
AE27F3 6002    C6002      0.00000   0.00000  1200' 0.0°   0.0kts 20:58:58UTC H60  1200
AE014E 63-8872 MAINE87   43.42047 -71.54212 24000' 0.0°   0.0kts 21:37:35UTC K35R 4671
AE123D 04-4132 RCH802    42.20633 -69.82548 33000' 0.0°   0.0kts 22:11:11UTC C17  7142
AE146C 07-7174 RCH168     0.00000   0.00000                      22:29:32UTC C17
AE049E 99-1432 RHODY20   43.15466 -71.66178 15650' 0.0°          23:34:11UTC C30J 4630
AE049D 99-1431 RHODY22    0.00000   0.00000                      23:35:20UTC C30J
AE2FA5 08-8193 RCH541     0.00000   0.00000                      23:51:29UTC C17

First MAINE87 flight refueled RIDER85 (USAF C-17A 07-7171[KDOV]).

ASCOT6683 was returning home to Great Britain.

BOXER41 went over the Atlantic and landed at Mildenhall.

BOLT11-15 were temporarily at Pease due to Tropical Storm Isaac, returned to McDill today.

TOPCAT4 made a stop at Bangor.

JOSA703 stopped at Pease.

REACH100 crossed the Atlantic, stopping at Glasgow Prestwick.

TERRA38, an unmarked C-32B from the New Jersey Air National Guard 150th Special Operations Squadron, refueled from MAINE86 in AR212.

REACH802 went overseas and landed at Ramstein.

REACH805 was inbound from overseas.

REACH684 came in from overseas. Was at Spangdahlem on August 25th.

EVAC33113 inbound from overseas with wounded troops. 

REACH168 stopped in Bangor for gas before continuing on to Spangdahlem.

REACH541 inbound from overseas.

SHAGGY64 was calling HUNTRESS for an IFF modes check. Could only receive the HUNTRESS side. No ID on SHAGGY64. 

US Navy E-6B #164410 was flying in the area of Long Island Sound, and was likely the source of this Emergency Action Message on 311.0 MHz. Call sign for EAM sender was DUMPLING.

OPEC280 (USAF KC-10A 83-0081[KWRI]) was heard doing touch-and-goes at Westover.

MilAir feed is now up, making progress on improvements

Ever since I started posting military air activity, people have been asking for a way they could listen in on line.  About a week ago, I started a fund-raising campaign, with one of the goals being to get a feed up that people can listen to. Six of you jumped right in and contributed, and I'm happy to announce the feed is now online on (search for KBOS).

A few items of interest about the feed. First, there may be long periods of silence. This is normal, because the frequencies covered aren't always in use. Secondly, there are still some improvements in the works. Right now the feed is hooked up to my only digital scanner, which I don't like having tied up that way. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a used base scanner in the $100 range to use to provide the feed. There's also more interference and worse reception in the room with the desktop I'm using for the feed, so I'll be picking up some supplied to move the antenna away from the computer and closer to the window, and a UHF RF filter to help keep the noise level down (about another $100). I've already got a brand new desktop to host the feed on, I'm just waiting for a new monitor so I can hook it up. I'm guessing the newer/better sound card that's in there will help things out a little, too.

The ability for everyone to listen in isn't the only improvement the new setup brings. It also means I have a local recording of the traffic, which I've been using cuts of to add audio to the Facebook page posts. It also means that things are monitored essentially 24/7, as opposed to before, when it was about four hours a day five days a week. Having the audio available has also motivated me to start doing daily logs of the military activity.

Besides the $200 mentioned above, I still have about $700 worth of upgrades that need to be made. Please, if you enjoy the live stream (and it will only get better!), or if you've ever thought to yourself "I'm glad all this is free to me, even if I'd gladly pay a small amount for it", or "I'd like to buy that AlertNewEngland guy a beer", consider making a small contribution. It will go a long way towards increasing everyone's enjoyment!

Military Logs, August 27th

Mode S hits:
ADS    Reg.    Flight   Lat.       Long.    Alt.   Course Speed  Time        Type Sqwk
710392 HZ-102  HZ102      0.00000   0.00000 34025' 0.0°   0.0kts 04:09:18UTC B738 0000
AE06E2 163840             0.00000   0.00000        0.0°   0.0kts 11:53:33UTC BE20 0000
AE03C8 153022  RANGR81    0.00000   0.00000 19950' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:09:24UTC C130 3613
010089 1292    EGY1116    0.00000   0.00000 40600' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:27:19UTC C130 6356
AE1D6A 161765  LT621      0.00000   0.00000  7250' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:38:56UTC P3   7340
AE1170 02-1098 TBIRD16    0.00000   0.00000 25100' 0.0°   0.0kts 13:50:34UTC C17  3422
AE0847 58-0107 MAINE86    0.00000   0.00000 22000' 0.0°   0.0kts 14:19:50UTC K35R 4643
AE1470 07-7178 RCH683     0.00000   0.00000 36700' 0.0°   0.0kts 14:31:49UTC C17  2426
AE2914 6037    C6037      0.00000   0.00000   500' 0.0°   0.0kts 14:38:03UTC H60  5152
AE04B9 58-0030 MAINE85   44.19010 -71.62637 21000' 0.0°   0.0kts 14:38:54UTC K35R 4662
AE0177 84-0128 ALLIED1    0.00000   0.00000        0.0°   0.0kts 16:11:14UTC LJ35 1453
AE03F0 165378  CNV3121    0.00000   0.00000        0.0°   0.0kts 16:18:13UTC C130 3135
AE026B 62-3515 RCH660     0.00000   0.00000 14300' 0.0°   0.0kts 17:50:48UTC K35R 6311
AE1472 07-7180 RCH626     0.00000   0.00000 34000' 0.0°   0.0kts 18:31:09UTC C17  2453
ADFE25 2104               0.00000   0.00000  2325' 0.0°   0.0kts 18:38:17UTC FA20 4420
AE02CF 91-9143 FUZZY32    0.00000   0.00000 19900' 0.0°   0.0kts 18:45:33UTC C130 0000
AE055F 85-0002 RCH402     0.00000   0.00000 38000' 0.0°   0.0kts 20:50:37UTC C5   6032
AE117D 02-1111 RCH545     0.00000   0.00000 30900' 0.0°   0.0kts 21:55:55UTC C17  3045
AE07FF 98-0053 RCH181     0.00000   0.00000 31400' 0.0°   0.0kts 22:30:34UTC C17  0737
ADFE2D 2112              42.32426 -71.16043 19000' 0.0°   0.0kts 22:46:26UTC FA20 4607
AE038B 62-3543 DEECEE12   0.00000   0.00000 28000' 0.0°   0.0kts 22:51:58UTC K35R 1543
AE020A 79-1711 TEAM35    42.57986 -72.03519 37025' 0.0°   0.0kts 23:37:26UTC DC10 7136

Navy LIMA TANGO 621 was on display at the Brunswick Air show over the weekend.

THUNDERBIRD16 was the support plane for the US Air Force Thunderbirds at the Brunswick Air Show.

MAINE85 took off and headed to AR-631 to refuel HAWK81 (USN F-18). HAWK81 flight was canceled, so MAINE85 canceled the refueling mission and returned to Bangor IAP.
Comms were also heard between MAINE85 and 86 on 311.0 MHz.

REACH683 was heard calling BRICKYARD, the McGuire AFB command post, to report they were inbound.

REACH660 was a NH ANG tanker, inbound to Pease.

At 11:49 local time, had GYPSY11-14, flight of four F-18's from VFA-32, inbound to Pease.

At 13:35 local time, had EMPIRE15 (USN F-18) in the area.

REACH402 was inbound to Dover, heard calling Westover Meteo for a weather report.

REACH181 landed at Bangor.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Military Logs, August 26th

Mode S logs:

ADS    Reg.    Flight Lat.     Long.     Alt.   Time        Type Sqwk
AE023C 63-8888 BOLT16  0.00000   0.00000  9400' 00:50:12UTC K35R 6054
AE055F 85-0002 RCH402  0.00000   0.00000 31000' 01:43:50UTC C5   2111
AE023A 62-3520 NATN13 42.17360 -70.32401 37400' 14:46:14UTC K35R 3517
AE06E2 163840          0.00000   0.00000 19200' 18:50:21UTC BE20 5037
AE0578 87-0027 RCH628 43.58826 -71.15472 16700' 21:36:58UTC C5   2534
AE10B9 01-0190 RCH421  0.00000   0.00000 33000' 23:42:01UTC C17  6223

BOLT16 relocated from MacDill AFB in Florida to Pease due to Tropical Storm Isaac, along with a number of other tankers from the 91st Aerial Refueling Squadron

REACH402 is a Dover C-5M that went overseas, last picked up over Austria. 

NATION13 is a NH ANG tanker, probably flying a CAP mission over Camp David, MD. 

REACH628 is a Dover C-5M inbound from overseas. Was en route back to Dover, but chose to land at Westover due to weather.

REACH421 is a Charleston C-17 headed overseas. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fighter jets practice intercepting aircraft over Glens Falls, NY

F-15's from the Massachusetts Air National Guard conducted exercises today which involved a simulated scramble to intercept targets over Glens Falls, New York. The fighters launched from Barnes, and the role of the unknown aircraft was played by a Civil Air Patrol Cessna.

In this recording you can hear NORAD Northeast Air Defense Sector (call sign HUNTRESS) giving intercept instructions to the two F-15's, call signs SLAM31 and SLAM32. Towards the end of the recording you can hear unrelated traffic from PACK61 flight (two NH ANG refueling tankers) and MOVER30 (KC-10A out of McGuire), who were going to refuel over New Hampshire.

Longer periods of silence between transmissions were edited out to save some space.

F-15 practice intercept over New York by AlertNewEngland

This was all recorded with the setup I'm hoping to turn into a live feed. If you enjoy this, and would like to be able to listen to it live 24/7, please chip in some money to help me offset the cost of the required equipment.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Boston jakes fighting 4 alarm fire on Fairmount St

Firefighters in Boston are currently on scene of a 4 alarm blaze in a large 3 decker house at 5 Fairmount Street. The call came in just after 11:00 AM, and the first fire crews on the scene reported heavy smoke coming from the house. The fire appears to have originated in the basement and then spread to all the floors. Firefighters were able to search the house for occupants before being forced to evacuate from the building.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Help me take this to the next level!

(This post applies mainly to my military air information)

So, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a new computer to replace the one that I currently leave on 24/7 to run the plane tracking software that I use. This presents me with some pretty great opportunities.

Currently, via my Facebook page and twitter feed I provide real time updates, when I'm able, on military activity throughout New England and neighboring states. I do this because it's a fun hobby, it's interesting, and I enjoy educating people about how hard our military men and women are constantly working.

With the new computer, several possibilities open up that would greatly enhance the coverage I currently provide. We could make this a real 'World Class' source of information. Two main goals come to mind:

1: Set up a live feed (or two)

A lot of people currently ask me where they can listen online to this kind of traffic. With the old computer, which dates back to 2002 or so (processor speed is measured in MHz), there wasn't much I can do. With the new computer, I'll have plenty of extra CPU to provide at least one feed on LiveATC. This feed would cover the command posts at bases in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well as the refueling frequencies and those used by NORAD in this area. Besides being able to listen live, LiveATC also archives all of the feeds for a couple months. This means I (or you!) could go back and review the radio traffic that occurred when I was away from the radios, so that in addition to the real-time coverage currently provided, delayed coverage would be available essentially 24 hours a day, as opposed to the four or five hours a day there is now. And, of course, the feed would be available 24 hours a day for everyone to listen in on.
I'm also considering preparing a weekly 'summary' newsletter. I would be able to cut the audio into short clips, so that you could hit play and hear interesting comms from that week.
With enough resources, I could add an additional sound card and hook up a second feed to compliment the first.

2: Upgrade my Mode S receiver

My current Mode S receiver is the simplest, most inexpensive one you can buy. It works great, but is a bit limited in it's functionality. I'd like to upgrade to a Kinetic SBS-3, which would provide numerous advantages. Obviously the more information I can gather, the more I can share with you.
The SBS-3 has a much higher message rate, which means more planes detected, and more messages processed from the planes it does detect.
The SBS-3 also receives Mode 3 squawks, which my current receiver doesn't. Combat aircraft such as fighters and bombers don't transmit Mode S while over the United States (yet!), but they still squawk on their Mode 3 transponder. This provides another avenue for potentially getting a location fix on them. It also means that I can receive instant notification of an aircraft in the area that has an emergency or hijacking, as well as notification of scrambled fighter aircraft.
Another great feature is the multiple Software Defined Radios built into the receiver. The more radio channels I can monitor, the more I can hear! I'll also use an SDR channel to monitor ACARS, adding another source of information.
As a side bonus, I'll probably sell off my current receiver, giving one of you the opportunity to pick it up for cheap and set up your own receiving station.

I've already put a couple thousand dollars into this hobby. I don't mind spending more, but I just don't have it right now. If I can't raise it here, I'll still make these improvements eventually (hopefully!). I don't expect other people to fund my hobby, but if you enjoy my coverage, are entertained by my page, have benefited from my assistance or tech support, or just want to lend a helping hand, please consider using the widget below to make a contribution. I promise it will benefit all of us!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

US Airways 750 makes emergency landing at Boston after seeing smoke in the cockpit.

US Airways flight 750, en route from Philadelphia to Brussels, was forced to turn back and make an emergency landing in Boston after seeing and smelling smoke in the cockpit. The plane, a Boeing 767, landed safely.

Below is the audio of the landing. I cut about two minutes of silence from the middle of it while the plane lands. Audio is courtesy of

Cactus750 by AlertNewEngland

If you like posts like this, please chip in to help me buy some better aviation monitoring equipment:

Friday, August 10, 2012

What can we tell from squawk codes?

Note: The following information applies specifically to Boston Center ARTCC. The 'special purpose' squawk information applies nationwide. For more information, see here.

Often times when monitoring aircraft, especially when listening to them take off, you'll hear the controller say something like "N46F, squawk 6252". What does this mean, and what information, if any, can we gain from this?

First, a little background. Aircraft transponders exist to help identify the aircraft on the air traffic controller's radar screen, and on collision avoidance systems. To aid in this, aircraft equipped with a transponder will be assigned a four digit code to "squawk" from their transponder. This is old, technology, dating back to the 1950's, so instead of being a decimal system, it's an octal one. This means there are no 8's or 9's, or, more simply, each transponder has four dials that can each be positioned from 1 to 7. This leaves 4096 possible codes.
Transponder codes are assigned by air traffic control, but the possibility exists for more than 4096 flights nationwide at the same time, so the codes must be carefully managed. In addition, some codes have designated purposes, and aren't available for routine flight operations.

Let's start with the codes that have set meanings:

0000:          Not used
0100-0400: Allocated to Service Area Operations for assignment for use by                    Terminal/CERAP/Industry/Unique Purpose/Experimental Activities
1000:          Used exclusively by ADS-B aircraft to inhibit Mode 3A transmit
1200:          For use by VFR aircraft not in radio contact with ATC
1201:           VFR aircraft not in radio contact with ATC
1202-1272: Used by VFR aircraft that will be entering a US Air Defense Identification Zone
1255:          Firefighting aircraft
1273-1275: Used by calibration monitoring equipment
1276:          Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) penetration when unable to establish       communication with ATC or aeronautical facility
1277:          Search and Rescue aircraft
4400:          SR-71, F-12, U-2, B-57, pressure suit flights and aircraft operations above FL 600
4401-4433: Federal Law Enforcement
4434-4437: Weather reconnaissance
4440-4441: Operations above FL600 for Lockheed/NASA from Moffett Field
4442-4446: Operations above FL600 for Lockheed from Air Force Plant 42
4447-4452: Operations above FL600 for SR-71/U-2 operations from Edwards AFB
4453:          High balloon operations – National Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine TX
4454-4465: Air Force operations above FL600
5000-5060, 5400-5477, 6100-6177, 6400-6477, and 7501-7577: Reserved for military operations. Can only be assigned by NORAD. (Note: Most military flights are not assigned these codes)
7500:          Hijacked aircraft
7600:          Communications failure
7601-7607: FAA Special Use
7700:          General emergency
7701-7707: FAA Special Use
7777:          DOD interceptor aircraft on active air defense missions and operating without ATC clearance

So, more or less the rest of these codes are available for assignment. When assigning discrete codes, obviously they can't be shared by aircraft in the same area. Sometimes re-assignments are made in the air, but this is also accomplished via careful management of which codes are assigned by which area, and for what purpose. Certain code blocks are designated to be used for aircraft that will complete their flight plan without leaving the ARTCC area, and other blocks are for flights departing the area. In other words, when you are hearing the squawk get assigned, you can tell if the flight is local or not. For flights taking off inside Boston Center, the assignments are as follows:

For flights staying inside the ZBW ARTCC:

Primary: 4600-4677
Secondary: 5300-5377, 5500-5577, 4700-4777, and 0001-0077

For flights departing the ZBW ARTCC:

Primary: 3400-3477 and 3500-3577
Secondary: 7300-7377, 2000-2077, 1400-1477, and 1300-1377
Tertiary: 7000-7077 and 2400-2477

Remember that this only works for flights originating within the Boston Center ARTCC, which covers New England and part of New York state.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

State Police have identified victim in fatal Route 3 crash

At about 7:15 PM on August 6th, a single car with five occupants was involved in an accident on the northbound side of Rt. 3 in Braintree. The driver of the vehicle, 26 year old Framingham resident Timella Warren, was transported to Boston Medical Center, but died from her injuries. The four passengers also sustained serious injuries, and two were taken to South Shore Hospital and two to Boston Medical Center. The passengers are only identified as a 20 year old Malden woman, and three men, ages 17, 20, and 26, all from Boston.

According to state police, Ms. Warren was operating her vehicle erratically in the passing lane when it veered into the center lane of the highway. When the driver attempted to steer back into the left lane, she overcorrected, causing the 1996 Honda Accord to strike the concrete divider and roll over twice before winding up in the center lane. At least three people were thrown from the vehicle.

Fighters intercept planes over Connecticut

This afternoon and evening, President Obama was in Connecticut for campaign events in Westport and Stamford. As is typical, a "no fly zone" was established around the areas he would be in for the duration of the visit. It read, in part, like this:

And included other bits, like this:
At times the President has a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) overhead, but other times, fighters are standing by on the ground nearby. When the President visits New England, F-15's from the 104th  Fighter Wing in Massachusetts are ready to scramble from Westfield/Barnes airport and intercept potential security threats. These are the same jets that are kept at the ready to intercept any potential threats in the area.

Sometime just before 8:00 PM local time, a small aircraft (a Kitfox Sport) with tail number N725CE entered the area designated as National Defense Airspace. Prior to entering this area, the aircraft will be hailed on an emergency frequency, and warned to turn away. Several warnings are typically given, and they typically include distance from the restricted area, and the fastest way away from it. N725CE likely did not hear the warnings, and probably wasn't aware of the restricted airspace, and must have proceeded past the boundary. At some point, a decision would have been made to scramble F-15's to intercept the small plane. You can listen to them take off from Barnes here:

The intercept aircraft, call signs SLAM31 and SLAM32, are directed by NORAD to their target, which is referred to as the 'TOI' - Target of Interest. When the fighters launched, N725CE was approximately 80 miles away from them. The F-15's covered this distance in six minutes, going supersonic in order to reach the target before it came within striking distance of the President. Once they identified the plane, the fighters used a series of visual signals to order the pilot to establish communications and/or follow them to a designated landing site. N725CE was escorted by the jets to Long Island MacArthur Airport, where he was ordered to park on a remote taxiway. The pilot was taken into custody by airport law enforcement and held until United States Secret Service officers arrived on scene to take him into custody and interview him. You can listen to the radio communications between the pilot, tower, and airport law enforcement here:
Part 1

Part 2

A second plane was then also intercepted by the same flight of F-15's.

Paul Shea, Aaron Perry, and Brian D'Amico contributed to this story. All audio is courtesy of LiveATC.

If you enjoy coverage such as this, please chip in to help me buy new equipment:

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 Great New England Air Show Scanner Guide

Hope everyone's ready for the Great New England Air Show this weekend at Westover. Here's a guide to some scanner frequencies to get you started.

TIP: If this is your first time bringing a scanner to an air show, bring headphones! Otherwise, it may be too loud for you to hear the radio.

Westover Airport frequencies:

CTAF: 134.85
UNICOM: 122.95
ATIS: 114.0 138.1
WESTOVER GROUND: 118.35 275.8 [0700-2300]
WESTOVER TOWER: 134.85 348.75 [0700-2300]
COMD POST 439 AW - (OPR 24 HOURS): 252.1
EMERG: 121.5 243.0
PMSV METRO (FULL SVC 1100-0400++): 274.75
PTD: 372.2

In the past, the air boss has been on 118.9. I don't have any confirmation that is the frequency in use this year.

Performer frequencies:

US Army Special Operations Command parachute team, the Black Daggers:
Try 123.15, 123.45, 136.0, and 136.5.

Iron Eagles Aerobatic Team:
122.925, 123.150, 123.475

Geico Skytypers:
Formation: 122.750, 122.775, 123.425
Solo: 122.775, 123.150, 123.425, 123.450

Mike Goulian:

Navy F/A-18 Demo team:
237.8, 349.9

B-2 Flyover:
233.025, 257.100, 260.250, 265.825, 267.000, 320.525, 354.350, 375.925, 376.025, 388.850

MA ANG F-15's:
251.9, 259.6, 259.9, 303.0, 309.0

More frequencies will be posted as I can confirm them!

Fighters scramble after camera found on board flight

This post is written primarily in rebuttal to this blog post here, in which the author raises questions about the appropriateness of fighters scrambling to intercept commercial jets.

First, a little background. Every time there is a threat against a plane, I'm sure a fighter intercept is considered. However, in the vast majority of incidents, disturbances, etc, the plane proceeds to the nearest airport and lands, and is met by law enforcement on the ground. A fighter intercept is the exception, not the rule.

The fighters perform a number of functions during the intercept. Primarily, they can monitor what the plane is actually doing, by following along behind it and reporting back to air traffic control and NORAD. During most scrambles, this is the extent of what happens. During the September 11th attacks, the terrorists disabled the plane's transponders, causing them to effectively become invisible to Air Traffic Control. A plane can also have a transponder and communications failure that isn't related to terrorism, and having a trailing interceptor that can monitor their maneuvers is obviously key.

Many potential security threats are caused by medical issues as well as mechanical ones. If a plane deviates from it's assigned flight plan and ATC can't reach the pilots, fighters will be scrambled. These fighters will get close enough to visually signal the pilot to follow them (by rocking the wings), and will assess the situation by looking for things like whether or not the pilot appears alert and at the wheel, or whether or not the windows are iced over (a sign of rapid decompression). This has been happening for a long time before September 11th 2001.

Lastly, there are the situations aboard the plane that cause security concerns. Back in May, there was a passenger who seemed to indicate they had a device implanted inside them, and more recently, we had the abandoned camera. Documents recovered from Al Qaeda demonstrate that they at the very least have an interest in hiding explosives inside a camera body to get them past security. Additionally, just because there is no one on board claiming the camera doesn't mean that it wasn't put there by someone who is in fact aboard. And if terrorists have figured out a way to gain access to the cockpit and replicate the September 11th attacks, knowing that they will be intercepted and shot down before they can accomplish their goal could serve as a deterrence against attempting an attack in that manner.

So, in this situation, fighters get scrambled, and their primary mission is to shadow the aircraft, either openly or in secret. They'll monitor the actions of the plane and see if the instructions from Air Traffic Control are being followed promptly and correctly, which if not, could be an indication that the pilot is under duress. Remember, if the plane is under terrorist control, there may be no one on board who can communicate what is going on to the outside. The fighter serves as the closet thing we can get to a set of eyes. And of course, in the event that it appears that the plane itself is going to be used as a weapon, a decision could be made to shoot it down as a last resort. Obviously instructions from this would come from very high in the chain of command, probably as high as they could possibly get in the time frame necessary.

The author seems to imply that these commercial flights are one twitchy fighter pilot away from being shot down, which is just not true. Or, maybe he's just complaining that we're too comfortable with fighter scrambles. I would heartily disagree with this, and say that the only reason it makes the news is BECAUSE of the fighter intercept. Similar scenarios happen all the time without a scramble, and just aren't considered newsworthy. Also, anytime anyone spots a military aircraft doing anything, I get a flood of "Oh my God what's going on are we under attack" inquiries, suggesting that the general public has not, in fact, just grown accustomed or complacent with such things.

He poses that there is a moral question about shooting down a passenger jet, but I believe most people would have preferred that the flights that crashed on September 11th had been shot down over an unpopulated area, instead of being allowed to crash into their targets. I don't think there is much of a moral debate there.

He then moves on to the legal question, apparently unaware that there is an entire arm of government that sits around and weighs the legal ramifications of every military action. Posse Comitatus is mentioned, which states that the federal Army and Air Force can not be used in a law enforcement action without authority granted by the Constitution or by an act of Congress. Apparently the author believes that terrorists attempting to blow up an airliner or crash it into a building are a matter for law enforcement? He then goes on to ask "is the use of military air power to kill American citizens in U.S. airspace even authorized by any Act of Congress?". I guess he didn't catch all of the news coverage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, or bother to Google the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists act, passed in 2001.

Lastly, he has a problem with the fact that he doesn't know who authorizes the fighter pilots to shoot down a plane, a problem that can also be fixed with the casual use of Google. On September 11th, 2001, only the president had the authority to give such an order (which he did). Since then, the policy has been changed. The president is still the ultimate authority, and he if can be reached, the decision rests with him. The lowest possible persons who can order the shoot-down appears to be two Generals, one at Tyndall AFB, and one at Elmendorf AFB. The order would only be given in the most rare and extreme circumstances, and could only be given by the generals if no one higher could be reached to make the decision.

I can understand the author's desire to know exactly what circumstances would trigger a shoot down order, but if I was a terrorist attempting to complete a mission, I'd also want that list of circumstances. So I wouldn't expect to see the government releasing such information any time soon.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that there are a ton of legitimate debates regarding airline security, and our general reaction to terrorist threats and attacks, that we should be having. I think there's probably even a reasonable discussion to be had regarding whether or not the fighter scrambles are necessary. Two of the author's conclusions, though, are patently wrong. He implies that the government has not considered the morality or legality of a shoot-down, or the consequences, which is just not true. He also states that the only function the interceptor can perform is to shoot down the plane, which demonstrates his lack of knowledge regarding these matters. To answer the question he poses in the title, though: Yes. The government is absolutely, 100% prepared to shoot down a commercial airliner and kill everyone on board, under the most extreme circumstances, and when doing so is the last, best option for saving many more lives on the ground.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

MPD Chief commends homeowner for catching burglar

The Chief of Police of the Manchester, New Hampshire Police Department recently sent this letter to a resident:

Dear Mr. McCue,     I wanted to take a moment to recognize your actions on the 17th of December, 2011 when you encountered a female burglar inside of your residence.  The reports on the matter indicate that  the burglar attempted to push past you in an attempt to escape and that you were physically assaulted while trying to detain her.  You ultimately were able to restrain the perpetrator and call 911.        I would like to personally commend you for your fast thinking and actions which led to the arrest and charging of a burglar.  You have the gratitude and appreciation of your police department. I am hopeful that the ultimate resolution to this case results in justice being served for all involved.     In closing, I would like to say that I am sorry that your home was burglarized and I am sorry that you were assaulted in your home. I understand that this can be a traumatic incident for any person and his/her family.  I hope that you and your family will ultimately be able to move forward from this incident and I wish you all the very best.   Sincerely,  Chief David J. Mara

The burglar was caught and convicted, and sentenced to prison. Wonder what kind of letter you would get here in Massachusetts?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

RV crashes into swimming pool in Brockton

An RV crashed into a backyard and dove into a swimming pool on North Quincy Street this morning. The driver of the vehicle was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Police and fire are still on scene.