Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – Week of: 12/2/2013 – 12/8/2013

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – Week of: 12/2/2013 – 12/8/2013

Article and Photos by Steven Valinski

Well, it was another productive week at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. What makes this different from other weeks, is that I did not spend a lot of time waiting for aircraft to show up. Thanks to friends with good “intel”, I was able to head down to the airport, get my shots, then leave. So, this week turned out to be high on the efficiency/effectiveness scale.

As for productivity, the “special guest” of the week was “Fat Albert”. Yes, the U.S. Navy C-130T that supports The Blue Angel’s demonstration team was at the airport. The Blue Angels were at the airshow convention in Las Vegas, NV, so I think the support team had another mission (golf). I’m sure it was something confidential (golf) and important (golf).

Other catches included: AirUSA’s Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets and their Aero L-39 Albatros, a nice U.S. Army Special Ops Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk, a Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian (Boeing test helo), a U.S. Air Force Northrop T-38 Talon and a U.S. Navy/Marines McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk.

Not a bad catch since I did not spend too much time there…thanks to good intel and good friends.

KIWA 12-8-2013

6 thoughts on “Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – Week of: 12/2/2013 – 12/8/2013”

    1. Dave,

      I’m not sure if the AH-64E will end up is possible. Currently, it is a test Helo. I’m not sure which countries have orders for the “E” model.

  1. Great catches all around, Steve. You have me wondering what that sensor is on the underside of that L-39. Never have seen that before. As for the black HO T-38, I wonder if it plays the adversary/aggressor role to the Raptors at Holloman just like the ones assigned to Langley. Guess I should look that up.


    1. Bill,


      One of the things that AirUSA does is train officers on strategic air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. I’m not sure what the pod is for but it may have something to do with that aspect of training.