Boeing Field has a lot of civilian traffic, but it is also a popular stop off point for military traffic. What I hadn’t anticipated was a McChord C-17 wanting to use it for some pattern work. I was sitting in the car working on a spreadsheet updating my forecasts for a project that we are working on. I guess I had heard something call up but was busy with the work and had not realized what was coming. However, the rumbling of four engines got quite loud and I looked up to see the C-17 on short final.
I did grab a couple of quick shots, but luck was on my side. They wanted to fly a few patterns so I was going to get another go at it. The left-hand patterns meant you could see them heading downwind and turning back on to final. I could get on with my spreadsheet and be ready when they came back again. The light was really nice and they seemed to fly a little higher on the approach than is normal so getting shots was not tricky.
At one point, while flying downwind, I could see another C-17 flying directly across the field. They were actually setting up for an approach to McChord and were not going to come our way but it was cool to see both in shot at once. After they completed their pattern work, they headed back north again so I am not sure what their next plans was but I was pleased to have seen them and had the chance to try and few different shots.
This goes back quite a while to a day when I was at Paine Field for some 777X activities. After all that I had been there for was done, I was getting ready to pack up and go when I saw something off to the east approaching the field. It was large but seemed rather slow. It turned out to be a C-17. It made a pass straight across the field and I was hoping that they would break into the pattern but I was to be disappointed. They turned to the south and headed off towards McChord. Still, it was a nice addition to a sunny day of aviation photography.
I headed to Alliance during my time in the Dallas area. There was a C-17 parked on the ramp a bit away from where I was. However, it was in nice light at the beginning of the day. Things improved a lot when I saw the beacons come on followed by the sound of engines cranking. It wasn’t too long before the jet taxied for departure. The Wright Patterson markings on the fin meant it was easy to see that this jet was from Dayton. I don’t know if that was where it was headed or whether it had stopped at Alliance en route to somewhere else.
Boeing Field does occasionally get military transient traffic at weekend but recently it has had some heavies show up. I saw that a C-5 had been passing through which would have been really cool to see. I was heading down that way not long ago when I saw a KC-46 depart towards me as I drove shortly followed by a C-17. I was a bit disappointed to have missed both of them. I did not anticipate that the C-17 would return.
However, a while later, I heard something call up on final but it wasn’t showing up on FlightRadar24. I took a guess it might be military and moved to the arrival end and, sure enough, the C-17 was coming down the approach at a leisurely pace. It was a Travis jet. I was told that McChord is being resurfaced so that might explain why this jet ended up at Boeing Field rather than down there.
In this previous post, I mentioned the crews at Portland setting up for the arrival of some F-16s. They were coming in from Texas for a week of DACT training according to the word around the ramp. Sadly, the jets did not arrive prior to the end of the Open House. However, they weren’t the only planes coming in. The ground crews and support equipment arrived ahead of the jets courtesy of a pair of C-17s. These arrived a few minutes apart and taxied in to the adjacent section of the ramp. One jet was already unloading as the second taxied in. They were a nice compensation for the F-16s not arriving in time.