NC Airport Observation Areas

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KG4KHQ

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High Point NC
This if from one of the posts in Marshall's RDU topic:

this might be a good chance to start a "good runway observation points" listing for the major civilian and MILITARY airports in NC....dead end roads....empty parking lots.....something for tailspotters and radio listeners both !

So I thought I would throw out a couple here:

Charlotte Douglas has their observation area off of Old Dowd Rd on the west side of the airport. Not as nice as the one at RDU but still pretty good. The only drawback is that there is some ATC transmitters next to the parking lot and intermod can be a problem. The area currently overlooks runway 18R/36L but ATC has started calling it 18C/36C as the construction of the new runway progresses. An unofficial area I've found is the former parking lot of where the old terminal used to be on the south side of the airport off of Yorkmont.

For Asheville, there is a shopping center on the east side of I-26 opposite of the airport. Park at the spaces to the left of Lowe's that overlook the interstate, you have a good view of the approach end of Runway 34 and some of the General Aviation Ramp.

For Wilmington, they have a dedicated observation area on the east side of the airport off of N. Kerr Ave. It's just a fenced in paved area next to the tower but has good views.

For Seymour-Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, there is a shopping center with a Food Lion and Bojangles on NC 111 just south of US 70 where there is a good view of planes approaching Runway 25.

The best I've found for Pope AFB so far has been the Wal-Mart parking lot in Spring Lake on NC 210. Park on the left side of the lot overlooking the highway. You can't see the airfield but can see planes on approach for for Runway 23.

For Greensboro, it's best to go ahead and pay for parking, go to the food court area in the terminal, buy a $3.00 soft drink and sit at one of the tables overlooking the ramp and Runway 5/23. Hide your scanner and use earphones. Otherwise try various parking lots at fast food places around I-40 and NC 68.

For Winston-Salem, park in the lot on the left side of the terminal building next to the fence. No airline service and no TSA gets one in closer.

These are the areas I've found in my travels around NC. Maybe some of the locals in the areas I've listed can come up with some better ones. Does anybody know of a good area around Cherry Point?
 
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KE4ZNR

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From my other Post:
Here are directions to the KRDU Raleigh Durham International Airport Observation Decks:
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Raleigh-Durham International Airport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Archer Pelican: RDU Airport Observation Park

Observation areas


A model of RDU runways for children at the outdoor observation deck.


RDU maintains two public observation decks.


  • One deck overlooks runway 5L/23R near the air traffic control tower and park-and-ride lot 2. It has a playground with a simplistic model of RDU's runways for kids and air traffic communications are broadcast via a loudspeaker for the curious public.



  • The second deck is located at the General Aviation Terminal. It includes a cafe called CrossWinds Cafe. This observation deck allows for both inside and outside viewing.


To reach the observation deck: Get on the main airport "circle", and after you've passed Terminal A, turn right toward long-term parking and general aviation on the north side of the airport. Wind around (and through a couple of tunnels) until you pass the general aviation on your right, and take the second left, immediately after the "general aviation employee parking lot." The observation park lot is labeled, but you need to keep your wits about you or you'll whiz right by it.

Happy Monitoring!
Marshall KE4ZNR
 
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KG4KHQ---OUTSTANDING POST !!! A wealth of great info....

Cherry Point is really easy because the town has built up right to the fence line....you can pick about any fast food place on Hw 70 South of the main gate (like Taco Bell ) and get prime radio and final approach viewing.....they have to go overhead of everything to land there....you can barely hear yourself think in some restaurants....

in fact you reminded me that i've been meaning to do that for ages now, to see what spots are still good there....we get so used to seeing them overhead 24/7 downeast here that going to the airport often seems like just more of the same....complacency is bad ! and i'm way guilty of it.....thanks for the kick start !

Barefootdipole
 

KE4ZNR

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Going to sticky this for awhile.
Please feel free to add other NC based local Airport observation areas.
Please remember that off topic posts will be deleted.
Thanks and Happy Monitoring!
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

nitroboie

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Charlotte, NC
This is a great thread indeed. I've been out to the KCLT observation area many times but not as often as I want to.

Now that the Nascar has started, Concord Regional (KJQF) gets plenty of action on Sunday nights after the races as a lot of the team members live in the area. I'm not sure if they have an official observation area though.
 

KG4KHQ

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Concord Regional

For Concord, the best place I have found is the parking lot of Concord Mills Mall while the other half shops.

I'm going throw in another one here. For Hickory Regional, park in the lot east of the tower to the left of the fire station. Not a lot coming and going but still a good place to watch and listen.
 

RMPDCOP

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Rocky Mount / Wilson Regional

You can drive right up to the fence and sit in the parking lot or go inside into the lobby area and look out at the planes land. It is a small airport but it does have military aircraft land and refuel sometimes.
Also the National Guard helicopters use this airport to meet personnel and pick them up.
 

amamecman

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Another good place for Concord Regional is the driveway to the gravel pit on Popular Tent road, just off of I-85, Vulcan Materials Concord Plant.
 
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Carteret County NC
Mcas Cherry Point

MCAS CHERRY POINT may offer the best and closest view of any military installation....

Take HW 70 to Havelock....then take HW 101 E (just a two lane road) and you immediately go past the Air Station Main Gate on the left...and the entire fenceline is right on the roadside with sidewalks and parking availiable on either side of the street...a clear an unobstructed view of the main runway , which ends just slightly beyond the fenceline....take offs will be almost directly overhead with SW winds....and view of compltete taxi and take off....also views of Towers and part of flightline and various repair facilities....

During the recent Preseidential visit, the Chief Of Police of Havelock was quoted in the local paper as saying that fenceline parking was OK with him, as long as folks didn't get rowdy ! It's been going on for years.....

Barefootdipole


( and if you're hungry, you can sit in any fast food parking lot on HW 70 and have air traffic overhead and still great radio ops.....Havelock is built right up to the edge of the base and Runway....literally ! )

Thought this aerial shot might give you a better idea of what i'm talking about....The black outlined "U" on the right is the end of the runway....and the black dot at the bottom is one of the parking spots all along that open fenceline on HW 101. The main gate is located on bottom left...and the gate on the right is for official use only (MP)......Sorry it's so crudely done....

Barefootdipole
 

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just a PostScript regarding MCAS Cherry Point or USMC Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River or MCALF Bogue.....

if you're planning a road trip down here to listen/watch MILAIR on the weekends or holidays you're gonna be 99.9% out of luck ! the Marines take the weekends OFF !!! zilch zero nada.....

weekends are a complete bust for out of towners here, didn't want you to waste your $$$$ :-(

Barefootdipole
 

ILMRadioMan

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The road to no where.
just a PostScript regarding MCAS Cherry Point or USMC Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River or MCALF Bogue.....

if you're planning a road trip down here to listen/watch MILAIR on the weekends or holidays you're gonna be 99.9% out of luck ! the Marines take the weekends OFF !!! zilch zero nada.....

weekends are a complete bust for out of towners here, didn't want you to waste your $$$$ :-(

Barefootdipole
They have to come down here to Wilmington and find ladies!
 

KE4ZNR

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Getting the radios ready for another visit up to RDU Airport's observation areas...if anyone else ends up with a free afternoon feel free to PM me and bring your radio out to RDU!
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

KE4ZNR

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Thinking of taking the 396XT back up to KRDU this afternoon!
Over the last few months I have been really happy with the 396xt's Aviation Band reception. Should be a beautiful day!
Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR

 

Gilly1980

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Seymour Johnson AFB

Wilber's Barbeque on 70 in Goldsboro is a great place to watch the jets take off and land. You can sit in the big parking lot next to the restaurant and practically count rivets. They fly directly overhead.
 

ai8o

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I went to the observation deck overlooking runway 5L/23R on the afternoon of 11/15/2009. It is a nice facility, but you can only see runway 5L/23R. The observation deck is on the side of a hill and below the RDU FSS building. Because of the rise of the hill and the bulk of the FSS building, you cannot see any part of 5R/23L from this Observation deck.
Unfortunately, most activity that afternoon was on 5R/23L, so I did not see much.
I could not access the other observation deck at the Crosswinds cafe because Hertz has all the parking spots in the area..
 

KE4ZNR

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I went to the observation deck overlooking runway 5L/23R on the afternoon of 11/15/2009. It is a nice facility, but you can only see runway 5L/23R. The observation deck is on the side of a hill and below the RDU FSS building. Because of the rise of the hill and the bulk of the FSS building, you cannot see any part of 5R/23L from this Observation deck.
Unfortunately, most activity that afternoon was on 5R/23L, so I did not see much.
I could not access the other observation deck at the Crosswinds cafe because Hertz has all the parking spots in the area..
Here's a little tip: On the weekends you can park in any of the spots in front of the General Aviation building (even the Hertz spots).
I was out there Sunday afternoon and was able to take pics of 4 F/A-18 Hornet jets that belong to VMFA-122 Werewolves (MCAS Beaufort SC). They were in town to do a fly over the UNC Football game. There was also a EA-6B Prowler and a T-38 Talon. I was able to capture pics of them all. The CFR crew was (of course) interested in the military aircraft and brought CFR 2 & 3 out at different times to hang out with the Military Crew.
Here are the pics...I have not gone through and deleted the bad pics yet so please understand you will come across a bad one
now and then.
So far I have the pics divided up into 3 sets:

All 988 pics:
KRDU 11-15-2009 - a set on Flickr

RDU CFR 2 Airport Crash Truck:
RDU CFR 2 - a set on Flickr

RDU CFR 3 Airport Crash Truck:
RDU CFR 3 - a set on Flickr

Here is my favorite pic of all 988 pics I took and the one I have set as my computer wallpaper:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2789/4109126425_7a9b5d3106_b.jpg

So feel free to park out front the General Aviation Bldg one Saturday or Sunday and there is a good chance you will see me out there!
Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR
 
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