FedexL1011
Topic Author
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:23 pm

MHV photography

Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:04 am

Hello All,

I am curious at how people spot at MHV, looking at the images in the DB there seems to be a few different ones. One is helicopters, where would I rent one to do that? Also I have seen some ramp side shots, how does one go about doing those as well. I searched the forums and found nothing concrete and would appreciate the help.

Regards
Jordan.

P.S. Happy new year.
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hrtsfldhomeboy
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:37 am

Re: MHV photography

Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:30 pm

Hey Jordan,

During my trips to MHV, I rent a Cessna at a nearby General Aviation airport and fly myself over the boneyard with a fellow spotter. We split the cost and take turns flying and shooting. It helps to have a photog along who knows a thing or two about holding altitude and airspeed! I don't know about renting Helos to get airborne over Mojave, but at Star Helicopters the best rate you can get is $300/hour for single occupancy shoots over LAX. I imagine you'd be hard pressed to find a helo for cheaper in Lancaster/Palmdale. (Meanwhile, the Cessna in the desert is around $150/hour, split 2 ways: $75/hour)



I can't say much about getting airside at Mojave. It would be a terrific opportunity no doubt. But to be honest, I haven't tried in the past. The logistics of finding someone who can legally escort seem too bothersome. It's so much easier to show up in a Cessna as the tower is closing and own the airspace to get exactly what you want.

Best,
flightdeckimages
 
bw50505
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:53 am

Re: MHV photography

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:31 am

The ramp photos you typically see taken from ground level in MHV can be taken through the fence if you drive around the airport buildings and look for a good one.

If you're also looking for more shots around the airport of planes not on the "front" lineup, you can take 14 North (Aerospace Highway) and turn right on Minard Trail, and then right again on Benton Avenue. This gives you a pretty good view of the aircraft behind the front lineup, however you will be looking south and most everything will be backlit (still recommend it though for your personal collection). You can do basically the same thing taking the 58 west on the south side of the airport, but you'll need a lot of zoom (in excess of 600 mm effective) to get close up shots. My superzoom was barely enough even at 840 mm effective. The hour before sunset is the best time to go if you are spotting from ground level because of the long distances between you and the aircraft.

I know that second paragraph doesn't answer any of what you asked but if you haven't tried going around the MHV perimeter before that's what I gleaned by doing it myself a while ago.
 
FedexL1011
Topic Author
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: MHV photography

Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:44 am

bw50505 wrote:
The ramp photos you typically see taken from ground level in MHV can be taken through the fence if you drive around the airport buildings and look for a good one.

If you're also looking for more shots around the airport of planes not on the "front" lineup, you can take 14 North (Aerospace Highway) and turn right on Minard Trail, and then right again on Benton Avenue. This gives you a pretty good view of the aircraft behind the front lineup, however you will be looking south and most everything will be backlit (still recommend it though for your personal collection). You can do basically the same thing taking the 58 west on the south side of the airport, but you'll need a lot of zoom (in excess of 600 mm effective) to get close up shots. My superzoom was barely enough even at 840 mm effective. The hour before sunset is the best time to go if you are spotting from ground level because of the long distances between you and the aircraft.

I know that second paragraph doesn't answer any of what you asked but if you haven't tried going around the MHV perimeter before that's what I gleaned by doing it myself a while ago.

I have actually done the spot from the ground at sunset and it was quite fun the first paragraph helps too thank you.
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clickhappy
Posts: 9056
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: MHV photography

Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:00 pm

You used to be able to get driven around MHV, Javier was a well-known guy, once he left it wasn't long before the airside access did the same. MHV is now a very unfriendly airport with regards to photography - there are signs posted on the perimeter fences, saying that photography is illegal. I had a private security guard tell me so, I was shooting from a public street - I told him no such law existed, he told me the airport makes up their own laws. I told him to call the Kern County Sheriff, and that I was going to take my pictures regardless of what he was saying. I wasn't going to let this get away without a fight:



The security guard eventually left - I watched the L1011 do three circuits and then it landed. I eventually did see a Sheriff, he slowed down and waved. The tower is pretty accommodating with overflights, just know exactly what you want, and how to ask for it.
 
dutchspotter1
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: MHV photography

Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:27 am

Hi clickhappy/Royal S King,

Just wondering, did you take that photo at the east end of Riccomini Ave? It seems that nowadays you can't get close to the runway/taxiway anymore because of the Stratolaunch facilities.

I was at MHV a couple of months ago (my 3rd time there) and it didn't seem spotting-friendly indeed (at least from the ground). There are some easy catches, i.e. the two gate guards, the preserved Saab Draken, the Air Methods chopper and the Tristar when it's at its parking spot. The latter two are parked near the fence and you will need a ladder for a clear picture. This shouldn't be an issue when performing a "hit and run". Other than that it's difficult to get some good quality photos. The graveyard is rather far away (so you'll probably get heathaze) and the main apron is pretty much obscured by buildings.
I went to the airport management office. They allowed me to take some photos directly in front of the building. However there weren't any interesting aircraft that day. The USMC C-9 parked to the right was off limits.
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dcaviation
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

Re: MHV photography

Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:26 am

When I was there last time, I went to the office and asked for "paid" ramp tour. They've told me to wait for some guy. After about 45 minutes someone showed up and apologized for the delay. He also said that today they have family day or something like that and he's escorting other people. He asked us to return next day. Since that was not an option, we've decided to drive to Lancaster airport and we've rented Cessna 172. Few minutes later we were circling above the boneyard. So it's probably easier to just rent a plane with pilot and do your thing.
Before we left to GA airport, we did hit and run at all the nooks and crannies. Including the L1011 from Orbital. A lot of cars were passing by and nobody even gave us second look.
 
dutchspotter1
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: MHV photography

Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:43 am

Which company did you use at Lancaster and what was the price?
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clickhappy
Posts: 9056
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: MHV photography

Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:16 pm

dutchspotter1 - Just had a look at Google Earth, I took the L1011 shot just north of the intersection of Sabovich and Avtel (which is a dead end street).

I think it has been many years since you could take shots of the boneyard non-airside. There used to be a lot of planes stored on the westside of the field; Now it's just a few Sabreliners and F100 (I was last there May 2017).

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