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Aircraft at Midway Atoll (PMDY)
1999 - 2000
|Midway was an important refueling stop for a wide
variety of short and medium range commercial, military, and private aircraft
island-hopping across the North Pacific, and an emergency stop for long-range
and ETOPS flights. Boeing 747, 767, and 777's flying between Honolulu and
Asia pass directly overhead. They must have a terrific view when it's not
passengers and crew choose to spend a day or two to enjoy the island's spectacular
wildlife and beaches.
|Midway is ideal for seeing airplanes close-up and many islanders
watch arrivals and departures alongside the runway. Unfortunately most
flights from December to June arrive and depart at night because of HEAVY BIRD
ACTIVITY; pilots joke that the word "heavy" is a major
understatement. During the day thousands of Laysan
Albatross with a 6-foot wingspan soar above the runway, especially
at the touchdown zone! Night flights must still contend with the nocturnal
that swarm like bats and are active all night.
Dassault Falcon 7X
1999 - 2000
Gulfstream G-I of Phoenix Air based in Cartersville, GA.
This aircraft was the primary mode of transportation for residents and tourists from
Honolulu or Lihue to Midway in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, until mid-1999 when
replaced by chartered Aloha Airlines B737-200's. The Rolls-Royce engines have a distinct,
pleasing sound. Phoenix also operated a fleet of Learjets
that occasionally stopped at Midway.
Air Charters is the current operator of Gulfstream I flights to Midway in
|USMC C-21 or Gulfstream III used for transporting
VIP's. It has smaller engines than newer models but they are nearly as
loud as the DC-9's JT8D's.
Gulfstream G-IV owned by Honeywell Corporation.
The intercontinental range of the G-V makes stopping at Midway an option
rather than a necessity. This plane was chartered by the Japanese cosmetics
FAA Raytheon-Beech Hawker 800
|FAA Hawker 800 jet at the hangar for repairs. This small
jet passed through Midway several times a year. Used to test airport
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200 #N808AL ready for takeoff just before
sunset on Runway 24. This ETOPS-certified 737 provides service to Midway Atoll, Christmas
Island, Johnston Island, and Majuro from Honolulu. The increased speed and payload of the
737 was a welcome relief to Midway residents and tourists that had to endure 5 hour flights
on a G-I with a maximum baggage allowance of 40 pounds. Flight time was reduced
from 5 to 2.5 hours.
Saudi Arabian Boeing 727-100
Boeing 727 owned by Saudi Arabian royal family parked at Midway Atoll. Insignia on the
tail reads "Kingdom Establishment". According to airport manager Herbert, this
plane is used by the Prince of Saudi Arabia, and the interior is decked out in wood
paneling and gold fixtures.
This modified DC-9 named Firebird II was reportedly used for classified research
out of China Lake. In transit from Kwajelein to refuel before heading to
Honolulu in August 1999. The crew
all wore civilian clothes although it is a U.S. Navy-owned DC-9. Strange radome looks
like it was glued on! Transitional colors after purchase from Spirit
Airlines only one month prior.
Later repainted white with a purple stripe and phoenix on the tail, see links
Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt
|One of two A-10's that made an emergency stop at
Midway. Tactical aircraft rarely stop because they rely on aerial
Raytheon-Beech King Air B200
U.S. Army C-12 with few "official" markings.
A highly modified Beech King Air 200 used by the U.S. Army for electronic surveillance along the
North Korean border. RC-12's arrive at Midway Atoll from Adak, Alaska 1200 miles due north,
then fly onward to Wake Island, Japan, and finally South Korea.
McDonnell-Douglas KC-10 Extender
|This military version of the DC-10-30 made an
unexpected landing during the day when one of two A-10's it was escorting had
trouble. We were fortunate enough to get a tour of the airplane and sit in
the pilot's seat and refueling station.
Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker
|Boeing KC-135/707 operated by the Oklahoma ANG.
It has powerful new CFM56 turbofan engines and a glass cockpit. All fuel
is carried below deck, allowing passengers and cargo to be carried in the
spacious main cabin. The quiet, smoke-free engines are a big change from
Lockheed C-141B Starlifter
|One of the biggest and loudest military aircraft to visit Midway, they only stop when high winds aloft make it a necessity. This C-141 was
heading to Alaska from somewhere in the Western Pacific.
|A C-17 Globemaster III passed through around midnight
once. It could land and takeoff with less than 3000 feet of runway, and
parked with all engines set at reverse thrust while picking up a med-evac
patient. The ambulance looked tiny as it pulled up to the rear cargo
Lockheed AC-130 Spectre
Lockheed AC-130 Spectre gunship refueling before flying to Guam and South
Korea. Thanks to the crew who gave many curious island
residents a tour of this incredible and formidable aircraft.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
One of many C-130's that refuel at Midway.
USCG Lockheed C-130
U.S. Coast Guard C-130 based at Barber's Point, Hawaii, parked at Midway Atoll before
conducting a routine patrol of the North Pacific. This aircraft also transported Chinese
refugees detained at Midway after their smuggling vessel broke down and went adrift for
many weeks before rescue in Sept. 1999.