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Planes Parked In The Desert  
User currently offlineUalcsr From United States of America, joined May 2006, 485 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21930 times:

Can anyone tell me more about this? Which US airlines have them parked and if any, how many aircraft? How quickly can they be brought back to service and what are the costs involved? Thanks in advance!

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21900 times:

Quoting Ualcsr (Thread starter):
Can anyone tell me more about this? Which US airlines have them parked and if any, how many aircraft? How quickly can they be brought back to service and what are the costs involved? Thanks in advance!

Well... the short answer is they park them there because they can last a long time. Its warm, dry and the climate varies only slightly.
I would say the only US airline without aircraft parked (retired aircraft excluded) in the desert is probably Southwest as they can't get enough aircraft.

Aircraft can be brought back pretty quick actually... i don't know the exact time span but its very rapid.



KPAE via KBVY
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21907 times:

There are several locations in California and Arizona that are used for long term storage: Mojave, Victorville, and Marana are the most active.

The number and type of aircraft at storage facilities varies from day to day. Reasons for storage range from airlines cessation of a particular type of aircraft (727's, DC-9's, and so on) to poor lease rates (United and some of its 777's) to going out of business.

There are four different levels of storage offered by these facilities, and they range from very short term (possibly used by airlines who need a two week delay in taking delivery of an aircraft) to long term (leasing companies shopping around for a new customer) to ultra-long term (retiring older aircraft that might either be eventually converted to cargo or scrapped altogether).

Once an aircraft is parked, the facility will cover the plane to shield it from the elements. This may include deflating the tires and covering the engines, doors, and windows. The decision as to actually what will be done, however, lies in the agreement between the facility and the owner, to be determined by what level of storage the customer wants.

I drive frequently on highway 58 and pass by the airport in Mojave. Every time I'm there the number and type of planes to be seen changes. For many years, TWA's Convair 880's and an occasional 990 were seen, but they have since been scrapped. Many airlines cover their name, but KLM's distinctive blue is frequently seen, and even without the name, Delta's L1011's are hard to miss.


Here's an overview of Mojave:


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Photo © Linze Folkeringa
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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer



Here's Victorville:


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Photo © Serge Bailleul - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Ralph Duenas - Jetwash Images



Here's Marana:


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Photo © David Marshall
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Photo © Matt Bearup




Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineBongo From Colombia, joined Oct 2003, 1863 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21859 times:

Mojave, Victorville and Marana are private airports? Who are the owners? Is the same owner/company that actually runs all three?


MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
User currently offlineCarledwards From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 262 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 21631 times:

Quoting Ualcsr (Thread starter):
Which US airlines have them parked and if any, how many aircraft?

Northwest, Northwest, and Northwest. and half their fleet  Smile

its ashame to see such a great airline with most of their aircraft ending up here actually, especially as their red tops were one of the nicest liveries in the sky.



Directoria
User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 21577 times:

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 4):
especially as their red tops were one of the nicest liveries in the sky.

Agreed 100%. Northwest "Red Top" livery is still one of my favorites... The new one is pretty nifty too... but just not the same.



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User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 21542 times:

If they are private airports, what about the parking fee per day? Could run up quite a bill.

User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1581 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 21299 times:

I visited Victorville last month and I took some photos. It was so interesting to experience this first hand even if it was looking through the fence.

Currently at VCV there are most if not all of the Delta L1011's as well as many of their 727-200's and 737-200's. Most of United's 767-200 fleet is parked there as well along with about 5 or 6 of their 747-400's. I even thought I saw a UA A320 sitting there.

Here are some photos I took if you are interested in seeing them.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2719.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2717.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2711.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2725.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/tolaviator/IMG_2700.jpg



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
User currently offlineMMEPHX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 21247 times:

Quoting Bongo (Reply 3):
Mojave, Victorville and Marana are private airports? Who are the owners? Is the same owner/company that actually runs all three?

IIRC Marana is owned or at least operated by Evergreen International. Not sure about Mojave or Victorville.


User currently offlineATLAaron From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1023 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 21247 times:

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 1):
I would say the only US airline without aircraft parked (retired aircraft excluded) in the desert is probably Southwest as they can't get enough aircraft.

I don't think that is true. I am pretty sure I have looked at photos before of some of their old 737's parked out there.


User currently offlineJetJeanes From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1431 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 21188 times:

I have seen some old Wn a/c as well

did i count 11 nw 747,s a dozen dc9,s and some 757,s..a few 10,s

There was one twa 717 in the back left...

Boy Nw is dumping some a/c



i can see for 80 miles
User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5487 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 21087 times:

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 1):
I would say the only US airline without aircraft parked (retired aircraft excluded) in the desert is probably Southwest as they can't get enough aircraft.

Add us FL into that equation! We can't get em fast enough. We sometimes have to Rob Peter to pay Paul; take flights from MIA and send them to MCO or FLL!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 21077 times:

Does anyone have info about how the airline prepares the aircraft for storage? Is it flown there with interior etc. intact? Is anything removed (except maybe engines and other parts if permanent storage) after the aircraft is parked? Short or long term.

Also, what kind of maintenance is performed on stored aircraft - particularly those expected to see service life again that may still be stored for an extended time.

Thanks

Scalebuilder


User currently offlinePhxplanes From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 21005 times:

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 7):
Here are some photos I took if you are interested in seeing them.

Wow, thats cool that you can get that close, at marana you cant get within a mile or so without gaurds stoping you.


User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20944 times:

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 9):
I don't think that is true. I am pretty sure I have looked at photos before of some of their old 737's parked out there.

If you read my post again you will see that i said "excluding retired aircraft" which those are if they are WN. WN is in no way "storing" aircraft.



KPAE via KBVY
User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20883 times:

I don't see the two C-133s in that first Mojave pic- are they gone?
Yes, I do see them in the second pic, but it's much older then the first.



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20866 times:

Forgot to mention- here are a few other posts that may be of interest to you:

Planes In The Desert (by Rooinc Jul 13 2001 in Civil Aviation)

MOJAVE. . . Aircraft IN The Desert (by Sbe727 Oct 27 2003 in Civil Aviation)

Airplanes In The Desert (by COAMiG29 Oct 10 2004 in Civil Aviation)

I know they were to me!!!



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7078 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 20849 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
Convair 880's and an occasional 990 were seen, but they have since been scrapped

That is a crime to aviation history.... Sad



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1581 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20639 times:

Quoting Phxplanes (Reply 13):
Wow, thats cool that you can get that close, at marana you cant get within a mile or so without gaurds stoping you.

Well that is a story within itself. The perimeter of VCV is nothing but dirt desert roads. They are on the county map so they are public roads that basically rarely see use. If you look at the VCV aerial photos above you can see them. At one point a security truck did drive around the inside perimeter and I thought sure we were busted but he didn't say a thing.

I took my aunt with me who is a nun who works at a church just a couple of miles from VCV. She had a great map of the area and it showed all of the roads including the dirt roads. I was the one who was scared to drive around there and she kept pushing me to go farther. It was great. I was glad I had her with me to keep my mind tuned less on the airplanes and more to the brush and holes in the ground as I would walk up to the fence to take these pictures. Being from the midwest, I have no clue what lives in the desert and I really didn't want to find out.



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6490 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20591 times:

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 4):
Northwest, Northwest, and Northwest. and half their fleet

its ashame to see such a great airline with most of their aircraft ending up here actually, especially as their red tops were one of the nicest liveries in the sky.

All the Northwest aircraft in that picture are retired aircraft that they no longer use. What else would you suggest they do with them?


User currently offlineFlyLKU From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 816 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 20452 times:

Those photos of aircraft taken from the ground are interesting. I flew into Marana in December in a 172 and they put us on a very short leash. We could roam the 100 feet between the FBO and our 172. I started taking a couple of photos, thinking nothing of it, and a security car pulled up and said I would have to stop, not for security but because airlines don't like these kinds of photos released to the public. So, all I got was some shots taken from the air that were not of high enough quality to post here.

That said, the FBO manager for Evergreen was very friendly.



...are we there yet?
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1357 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19067 times:

It can be fascinating to note the tail number of a desert plane and trace back its history. That's what I did withe a former CO 747 in this article...

Letter from Mojave: The Deeper Meanings of an Airplane Graveyard
http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/08/04/askthepilot197/

Another aspect to consider: when is an airplane no longer an airplane? I wondered that during my visit to Mojave, coming across the fuselage section of an Eastern DC-8. The story above contains a photo or two of the "aircraft."

- PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 18950 times:

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 21):
Another aspect to consider: when is an airplane no longer an airplane?

When you remove the Aero-planes from it. If you pull the wings off... its no longer an aeroplane(airplane).  Wink



KPAE via KBVY
User currently offlineD950 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 18837 times:

Quoting JetJeanes (Reply 10):
There was one twa 717 in the back left...

Does Joe Leonard know that??



Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3955 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 18160 times:

Going off on a bit of a tangent, a couple of guys I know went to Marana (or was it Mojave) a good number of years ago on business and were treated to a tour of the aircraft there. Everything was going well taking pics and getting close up to the aircraft and stuff when one of them turned round to come back to the jeep and was face to face with a pretty pissed-off looking snake!  Wow! Clean underwear moment! He managed to do a 180 and run round it back to the jeep but he didn't get out again until they were back at base!

I guess aircraft graveyards like MHV and MZJ are a paradise for deadly snakes and spiders etc and I think I'd be frightened to death of walking round somewhere like that!!

R


25 Planetime : I guess real life Snakes on the Plane. Does anyone of these places give tours of the facilty?
26 Austinflyer : Would someone be kind enough to answer some questions I have always had about planes in storage? 1) Why is security so tight? It sure would be nice to
27 MrSTL : I did not see a 717 in the picture-- I saw an old DC-9.. but I might be missing it. If a TWA 717 is in the desert I believe it was a total loss resul
28 LTBEWR : " target=_blank>http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/...t197/ The Discovery Channel documentary and ex-CO 747 discussed in the article was one recently
29 AirTran717 : Check out Historychannel.com. The show was called "The Boneyard" I believe. It explains a little about this and other types of "boneyards". 717
30 Goaliemn : They are still planes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. From my understanding, its not too bad. The people out there do rotate the
31 BA787 : Cant believe there are 744s sat around, and I assume that the SR MD11 in a photo is long gone inot freighter form
32 CWAFlyer : The incident you mention was a DC-9-30, not a 717. The only TWA 717 gear incident I know of was a nose gear failure after a diversion to BLV.
33 Kmh1956 : If these places were to charge a nominal fee for touring/photography etc, surely that would help go toward the upkeep of the planes in storage. Just
34 DTW757 : There is probably some insurance regulation I'm sure to keep visitors out. Probably afraid of a lawsuit in our sue happy society.
35 Post contains links and images Scramjetter : After 9-11 there were a lot of airliners parked at KGYR in Arizona. View Large View MediumPhoto © Craig Jarmuz View Large View MediumPhoto ©
36 Tonytifao : Why does Northwest have so many planes in the desert?
37 Ualcsr : Just ordered it. Thanks for the tip--and to everyone else who's posted.
38 Hamster : why do they do this cover the names?
39 Post contains images TSS : If you know what creatures you're dealing with, it's really not so bad. Tarantulas are common in the desert and though they're huge and scary-looking
40 IFIXCF6 : I'm a mechanic at VCV, so here are a few answers to questions and comments I have seen in this post... No, you did not see a UA 320, we've never had a
41 Post contains images DTW757 : Sorry, I probably confused these 2 airplanes with A320's and I can see now that they are not. Looks more like 767-200's now that I look at the pictur
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