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Fly-K
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Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Nov 30, 2003 3:59 am

On my upcoming US trip, I'm planning to visit VCV and MHV while driving from LAX to LAS.
How easy is it to take photos from the fence, how accessible are the perimeters, and are there any other suggestions?
Also, how much time should I spend there, i.e. how long will it take me approx. to shoot all the static aircraft?

Thanks in advance,
Konstantin

PS: It's tempting but I won't rent an aircraft for flying over the fields...
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clickhappy
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:30 am

@ MHV you should try to take the tour with Javier. More info is available here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mojaveairport/

VCV is hit or miss, you can drive in thru the main gate and maybe snap some photos thru the fence (morning sun only). In the afternoon you can get some shots from "the hill" (more like a big mound). Drive past the main gate, following the fence line, at the 4-way stop turn right, follow the fenceline for 1.5 miles or so, you can't miss it, will yield shots like this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Royal S King
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Royal S King



Just remember, there is also a place along the fence @ MHV, but I don't know
the exact directions, will get you photos like:


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Royal S King
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Royal S King



Royal
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:28 am

Many thanks, Royal, I think this will help me a lot!

K.
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:34 am

Konstantin,

If you're driving from LAX, allow about 1:30 from LAX to MHV outside of peak times. Head north, I-405, I-5, I-14 (Antelope Valley Freeway) and you can't go wrong. You could stop at Palmdale (but not much there) and Lancaster Fox Field (a few museum pieces) on the way. As Royal says, take the tour with Javier - it runs whenever he is free as his "proper" job is refuelling, and it costs $10 for 30 minutes. You cannot really walk around but you can open the van doors and he knows what photographers want. There are some vantage points around the airport, but be discrete as AvTel don't like photographers round the fence - keep it nice and that helps ensure that the tours keep running. I would recommend afternoon for both tours and permiter.

About one hour from Mojave to Victorville. Very few opportunities from inside the former base, best in the afternoon from the mound Royal refers to. The main road was closed two weeks ago so a lengthy detour from the main gate to the mound, but if approaching from Mojave you'll reach the road on which the mound is situated first. Head from MHV to VCV, and when you see the tails hand a left onto the road to Bishop. When there's a fork in the road, keep right and you'll be on the road past the mound. Don't worry that it turns into a dirt track. You can keep going past the mound and around the permeter, but in places its soft and a 4x4 might be advisable. Again, its an afternoon airport really as far as photos are concerned. Only a very small proportion of what is in Victorville is photographable from the outside and they are VERY anti-photographers inside - so do consider overflying, its a magnificent experience!

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin


Anymore info you need, just e-mail me,

Andy
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Fly-K
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:12 pm

Thanks too, Andy!
Just in case... where did you rent the plane...? and how long/much for a short flight?
Lastly, how can I contact Javier (since the MHV yahoogroup is now for members-only)?

Thanks,
K.
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Mon Dec 01, 2003 6:32 pm

Konstantin,

The Mojave Airport website http://www.mojaveairport.com suggests you contact the office to "book" a tour. However, my experience suggests (and its been said on the Mojave yahoogroup several times) that they just tell you to show up and Javier will take you around as soon as he's free... Sometimes you might have to wait a while, but each time I've been they've just called him up on the radio and we've been off round the airport within minutes. Check out when you can take the tour - I think its only Monday to Friday during office hours.

For our overflight we used a Cessna based out of Long Beach, which is quite a way - total four hours flying LGB-VCV-MHV-LGB via the LAX overhead and a stop at Apple Valley for lunch and fuel. If you wanted to hire for both Mojave and Victorville, its about 45 minutes transit between the two and there's no aircraft hire to speak of at either airport, so you will have to get an airplane from elsewhere. I've heard there's a company at Rosemund (near the Edwards Air Force Base main entrance) that does overflights and they'd be cheaper because they're only 15 minutes from Mojave, but even so you'd still be looking at two hours hire to do both airports at about $80-$90 an hour. Best thing to do, unless you want to use Long Beach, is join the Mojave Airport yahoogroup and ask there.

I've changed my thinking on the time it takes to get from Mojave to Victorville too - allow one and a half hours to drive. If you're heading from LAX to LAS, I'd recommend LAX-MHV-VCV-LAS as the most viable routing. Its probably 1:30 from LA to MHV, 1:30 from MHV-VCV by road, and 2:30 to 3:00 from VCV to LV.

Andy
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:40 pm

OK, I'll try my luck when showing up at MHV. I had planned the same routing, MHV first, and either spend the whole day there, and the next day in VCV, or continue to VCV in the afternoon.
Thanks again, Andy. I can't wait for my trip now!

K.
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:23 am

Andy, part of the reason our Cessna go so slow took total 4 hrs is because I was illegally flying that plane unbalancely!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Good Luck K-- Andy and Royal bascially mentioned all I want to say here.

Congrats Andy, another VCV big hitter made in top of the page!

In St. Thomas Internet cafe now, on the Cruise it cost $24 per hr on line with slow as anything  Sad

Sam
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:12 am

K- I used Midfield Aviation, at nearby Apple Valley, CA. Got a clean-window Ce172 and an instructor pilot who knew the tower guy at VCV. You're going to want to fly well below "pattern altitude" at VCV for good shots ... so it helps to have a pilot who's willing to risk asking questions. Total time in the air to/from Apple Valley, and about 10 circuits at VCV, was 1 hr.

Terry
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:11 am

Konstantin,

Just to add on the MHV tours, someone's just asked about booking tours on the Mojave Airport yahoogroups and they were told just to show up (office hours) and one of the refuellers would run them round on "as available" basis.

Andy
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ake0404ar
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:41 am

So K, you are planning on going without me....??????????????????????????

Vasco
 
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:52 am

I'd take you along if you publish a shot of me like you did of your girlfriend!
You're welcome to join me. Departure is this Saturday, FRA-DUS-ORD-LAX.
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Carlos Borda
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:37 am

If I remember correctly K... I think those were his *daughters*  Big grin

~Los

K man writes:

>>I'd take you along if you publish a shot of me like you did of your girlfriend!<<
 
ake0404ar
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:29 pm

K,

now you are pushing it.....you don't want to pose nude do you???????  Big grin

Vasco
 
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:33 pm

Why, where are the nude pix of your gf, daughters, whoever...?

Now a serious extra question:
Is IGM worth a side trip from LAS?
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:33 pm

IGM has lots of Jetstreams, lots of former American Saabs, a few TWA TriStars and other bits like an Emery DC-8, two ex-Iberia 727s, a couple of ex-Southwest 737s and a Legend DC-9. Plus the first prototype MD-87 (or is it MD-90?) being taken to bits, and some fire-bomber DC-4s. Some photos are possible from the chest high fence, but they don't let people walk around the ramps. Only you can make the judgement about whether that's worth the side trip, which is about two hours from LAS. If you're driving from/to LAX, LAX-MHV-VCV-LAS-IGM-LAX (i.e. coming back via Kingman) might be worthwhile and that's what I've done in the past - if you were heading back to LA via Kingman, you would rejoin the direct LAS-LAX road at Barstow which is north of Victorville. Kingman is an afternoon airport - photo opportunities mostly hopeless in the morning.

Andy
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:33 pm

OK, I'll see if I can fit IGM into my schedule. I'm planning to fly from LAS to DEN, then home to FRA, but maybe I have a free afternoon in LAS and can do it.
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brubiac
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:38 pm

On www.cactuswings.com can you find al info about the stored aircraft at any place around there.

My collage and I are going to do the same trip in January. You've met him in Frankfurt last summer, I think it was in August. Does the name Serge Bailleul ringes a bell. He found lot's of info on that site about the storagefields there.
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:15 pm

How could I not remember Serge...  Big grin
He already asked for a trip report after I return, so I'll be in touch with you guys. Thanks for the useful cactuswings link.
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:16 pm

Andy/Royal, are the MHV tours running on Sundays too? Because that's the day I'll pass through there...
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Wed Dec 03, 2003 7:48 pm

Konstantin,

As I recall, the tours can only be taken on Monday thru Friday during office hours (i.e. from about 8:00AM to 5:00PM). If you have any doubt, call the airport office before you leave - the number is at the bottom of this page: http://www.mojaveairport.com/newweb/visitor.htm

Andy
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:50 pm

Hmm I guess I have to rearrange my trip then. One extra day in LAX, one less in LAS.
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brubiac
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Thu Dec 04, 2003 6:41 pm

Fly-K: one advice, don't go to LAS in the weekend, then the prices are doubled and to crowed.



BRU a small airport in a big world.
 
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:24 pm

No, LAS will be Mon-Wed.
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:27 am

Konstantin,

I'm heading to LAS on Thursday morning 12/11/03 then heading back to Long Beach on Friday the 12th. On the way back I will be stopping at MHV for afternoon photos. I know you were planning to be at LGB on Friday, but if you want to move your plans around a bit you are more than welcome to join me on my LAS/MHV run.

Mike
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:20 am

Mike, I've arranged the 717 tour for Friday, I'm afraid that's the only day possible... since I'll be flying from LAS to DEN on the 17th, I'm afraid it's too late to turn the tour around...  Sad
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brubiac
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:13 pm

Popular destination there in the Southwest if you ask me
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:29 pm

I'm finally off on my trip this Thursday (Dec 11) - thanks again for your help!
I'll be out at LAX on Sat (meeting Paul Paulsen and anyone else who is at Imperial Hill) and Sun, MHV and VCV is Mon, LAS on Tue, and DEN Wed and Thu next week.

Konstantin
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ake0404ar
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:03 pm

That is what happens if you fly NONREV....... Big grin Big grin

Have fun and enjoy the good weather......and leave the California Girls alone........
 
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:44 pm

Yep, life can be good!
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N178UA
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:25 am

K

I may be at LAX on Sat or Sunday to see you, will be at LAX definity Thursday (can photo your LH flight arrivals)

If you are interested to join us to Marana/Goodyear flyover on the weekend for a lot of blast and fun, when you arrive please call 786-543-8673, my cell phone.

Sam
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:58 am

Sam, I'm flying FRA-DUS-ORD-LAX. If you look at who operates DUS-ORD, you'll know why  Big grin I'll get into LAX late on AA or UA.
I hope to see you on the weekend then! Not sure yet if I can still fit MZJ into my tight schedule...
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Fri Dec 12, 2003 9:32 am

Konstantin,
if you don't go to MZJ you will miss this view:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/471430/L/  Nuts

Have a good time in the West!
Gerhard

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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:37 am

After just getting back from the LAX area yesterday,I can lend some help here. I went to Mojave on Wed and asked at the airport office about a tour and got to go around with the security guard,Don. Very cool to finally be on the other side of the fence! We also went into the tower where I got some shots,albeit thru glass. We couldn't go to where the planes are being stored because it's Avtel's policy. They moved all the planes by the animal hospital over to the other end of the field,so no more pics from the wall around the dumpster there! When I left , I went and walked the RR tracks behind the truck stop and got a bunch of shots of Air Canada 767's and the Virgin 742 and Hawaiian -10.
At VCV,I got some shots thru the fence posts of United 747's , the TWA 717 was gone that was there in July. There is a detour to the 'mound' due to road construction. There was some nice shots had from there,even though it was windy! Just be aware the mound is not in the best of neighborhoods!
I also found Imperial Hill late Thursday . This is a great place ! I'm so glad they put this in. I feel that if airports give people a designated place to spot there will be far less problems! I stayed long enough to get a EVA 747 freighter take off in the last light of the day.
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N178UA
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Dec 14, 2003 3:24 pm

United_Fan,

Mike Carter and me were on the hill that evening, we shoted the EVA 74F takeoff 25L too...which one is you??

Finally met Konstantin today in LAX, Paul/Bill Paulsen, Mike Carter, Jason B, Mike A, Clovis, Chris Kilroy...etc...nice day today.

Sam--also a United fan./1k flyer

[Edited 2003-12-14 07:27:51]
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paulinbna
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:41 pm

It says on the Mojave airport site that photography is NOT allowed is this true
Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
 
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Mon Dec 15, 2003 12:50 am

I was the guy with the Sony 717,black jeans . I wish I had another day @LAX,but I had to go back to the lovely snow .
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Dec 21, 2003 9:08 am

Back home after a great trip! Thanks to everyone I met in LAX, LAS and DEN, and also for the help in this thread, made discovering the spots at VCV and MJV a breeze for me!

Konstantin
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N178UA
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RE: Advice For VCV And MHV

Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:30 pm



Dec 13 meet up at the Imperial Hill

L to R

Mike Carter, Konstantin, Paul Paulsen, me, Matt Cornell, Jason Beheshti, David Hartman..

Not photographed: Chris Kilroy and Clovis, they left earlier...

Sam
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