Meiringen Air Force Base – Spotting Guide

Meiringen Air Base (ICAO: LSMM), is located in the state of Bern. The airport is only used by the Swiss military air force and it’s the second busiest military stations in Switzerland. LSMM is also the only Swiss airbase that uses an aircraft cavern in daily operations. The runway is equipped with retractable arresting gear devices which is mainly used by the FA18 Hornets at some times.The traffic is mainly concentrated on FA18 Hornets and F5 Tigers. It is the home base to two fighter squadrons, militia Squadron 8 “Destructors”, equipped with the F5 Tigers and professional Squadron 11 “Tiger” equipped with the FA18 Hornets. The airfield has a small museum that is open on Wednesday afternoons from May to October.

More information could be find on Meiringen Air Base website : http://www.vtg.admin.ch/en/organisation/air-force/einsatz-luftwaffe/militaerflugplatz-meiringen.html#visitor-guides

Written by Jeremy Denton and pictures by Neo-Falcon Photography (Last update April 2017)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information    Runways 28/10
2,003m (6,571ft)
Asphalt
Spotting Information Ladder No need.
Car Necessary.
Restrooms Available only at some spots.
Drinks/Food Available only at some spots.
Hotels Few hotels could be found next to the airport, many villages or small city are nearby.
Season The best season is during winter time as you get some fantastic background shots with the snow on the mountain. Otherwise summer to get more chance on the sun.
Security

We recommend you to take some ear protection as you are pretty close from the jets and to respect the signs and the environment. People are really friendly even security AF but if you don’t respect the rules, the Air Base Security Soldiers will come to move you pretty quickly.

Runway Usage  Nothing special (only depends on the wind).

Spot #1 – Runway 28 (approach)
WHERE From Meiringen Base, follow the road “Balmstrasse” until you cross the taxiway of the fighters where they come from the cave and a few hundred meters you will see some houses where you can park the car next to the road on the grass. Try to park your car on the best way possible.
WHAT Good location to get arrivals shots on runway 28.
TIME Mostly all day. Not early morning in Summer.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 200-300mm
Spot #2 – Cave taxi way
WHERE This spot is located directly at the Air Base. Park your car at the public parking and then walk direction runway 28 along the road until you reached the cross road from the cave to the runway.
WHAT Taxiing aircraft from the cave to the runway and conversely.
TIME Mostly all day.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-105mm
Spot #3 – The House
WHERE From the public parking, drive in the opposite direction of the spot2 on “Guntlerey” road until you reached a small house next to the road. Park your car next to it but stay close.
WHAT Arrivals and departures both runway directions.
TIME Mostly all day. Not early morning in Summer.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 200-300mm
Spot #4 – Runway 10 Cross Way (South)
WHERE From the spot 3, continue on the same road and same direction do not turn, just stay on the road where you will reached the runway way. Before to cross the runway you have a small path where you can park your car and spot from there.
WHAT Good for arrivals runway 10 but you can also have shots of departures from rwy28.
TIME Mostly all day. Not early morning in Summer.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 200-300mm
Spot #5 – Runway 10 Cross Way (North)
WHERE From spot 4, just continue driving and cross the runway then take the first road on the right and few meters park your car next to the road where you will spot from there.
WHAT Good for arrivals runway 10 but you can also have shots of departures from rwy28.
TIME Early morning in Summer, no good during winter time.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 200-300mm
Spot #6 – Runway 28 Cross Way (North)
WHERE From the spot 5, take the road direction Grimzel, direction runway 28, on “Hauptstrasse” until the roundabout where you will take on the right direction runway crossing way. Before you cross the runway theirs a car park on your right where you can park here and take pictures.
WHAT Arrivals and departures both runway.
TIME Early morning in Summer, no good during winter time.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 200-300mm
Spot #7 – Line-up Runway 28
WHERE From the spot 6, just walk few hundred meters on the small path until you reached the line-up position on runway 28.
WHAT Good location to have face to face F5, FA18 pictures and also arrivals runway 28.
TIME Early morning in Summer, no good during winter time.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 200-300mm
Spot #8 – The Cliff
WHERE That’s a tricky way to go up to Mountain. Theirs two possible way to go up there. First, from spot 6, drive back on the main road direction right “Grimsel” and follow the road for maybe 5-7 minutes until the roundabout where you will have to take on the right and continue on the road “Balmstrasse” until you see the sign “Zaun” where you will have to take the road on the left. This road will guide you to the top of the mountain. It takes approximately 30 minutes. From there, I just recommend you to have a look on the map and follow the itinerary as it is pretty complicate to explain the location.
WHAT This is the most dangerous spotting location of Meiringen. From here you are taking pictures near a cliff edge of 300 meters with only a small fence to “protect” you. We recommend you not to rely on the fence. It’s a tinny place, only 2 people can take pictures, the place is pretty narrow due to trees branches. Theirs the big waterfall on your left, approximately 50 meters.

Park your car next to the farm and ask politely the farmer in GERMAN if you can park the car here because you want to take pictures of the Swiss Hornets. Ideally 1 car.

Good for night shots and park aircraft on the ground.

TIME A lot of shadows during the day due to the trees and the mountain. Best night shots.
MISC. Nothing nearby so take what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH At least a 400mm, bigger would be much better specially for landings and departures aircraft.


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