Luke Air Force Base

Luke AFB - Apr 5, 2017

Luke Air Force Base is located a short drive west of Phoenix, Arizona, making it a very convenient place to go and spend the day when I have a layover.  The base is home to multiple squadrons of F-16s and F-35s resulting in lots of movements throughout the day.  While the airspace is usually busy, spotting can be a little tricky depending on the time of year, as the pattern for all four runways is to the west to keep the jets away from airliners landing at Phoenix International.  Locations are available on the north side of the base for landings on the 21s even though there are plenty of no parking signs posted.  There are some very nice locations available on the west side of the base but unfortunately the light is only good later in the afternoon and evening between April and October.

I was very fortunate to visit the base while they were conducting a lot of training for international air forces transitioning to the F-35A.  Jets from Australia, Italy, Japan, South Korea and even Turkey were interesting to see even though they are almost indistinguishable from each other.  There are also detachments from Singapore and Taiwan that conduct training on the F-16 providing a very international flavour to the communications on the scanner.