Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport 11-24-2013
Article and Photos by Steven Valinski
Since it had been raining in The Valley of the Sun since Thursday evening, it was nice to see sunshine breakthrough for most of the day today. This prompted me to grab my backpack of equipment and head to the airport. As I mentioned in a previous article, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (formerly Williams AFB) can be a good place to observe/photograph military aircraft on the weekends.
Today I was able to catch a USMC Hornet from VMFAT-101 “Sharpshooters” and a couple of VMA-211 “Wake Island Avengers” Harriers. The surprise of the day was a AH-1W SuperCobra from HMLA-773a based out of NAS Belle Chasse in Louisiana. It was parked and did not depart, but I was able to photograph it from the ramp. I also took a trip to the ATSI, Inc. ramp where ATSI stores there McDonnell Douglas A-4N Skyhawks used for tactical aviation training. These are former Israeli aircraft that were purchased by ATSI.
It was a brief day spotting but I was happy with the yield.