On this site I would like to share some useful informations about the huge number of aircraft boneyards in the USA. There are a couple of airports which are famous for their airplane boneyards and I guess almost every spotter heard about places like Victorville and Mojave in California or Marana in Arziona. But despite those locations in the western states, more and more companies finding a home on airports in the Mississippi region. Big scrapping companies are located at Blytheville, AR, Stuttgart, AR, Tupelo, MS and Greenwood, MS.Usually its difficult to get ramp access and only pictures from outside the airport are possible. But its always worth to contact the company who scraps the planes in advance or ask at the airports administration office for access once you has arrived. There are some airports/companies who gain access! I’ve wrote some infos for a couple of airports. So if you are within the area of one of these graveyards, don’t forget to take a look at it if you wanna see something unique!
This is a list with known airports where aicrafts are just stored or big scrapping companies are located.
Click on the icon on the map to gather more informations!
KMIA – Miami Intl. Airport, FL
KOPF – Opa Locka, FL
KLAL – Lakeland Linder Regional, FL
KSFB – Orlando Sanford, FL
FL59 – Buckingham Field, FL
F13 – Shell Creek Airpark, FL
KMLB – Melbourne Intl. Airport, FL
KCEW – Crestview Bob Sikes Airport, FL
KBQK – Brunwick Golden Isles Airport, FL
KVQQ – Cecil Airport, FL
KTUP – Tupelo Regional, MS
KGWO – Greenwood-Leflore Airport, MS
KRME – Griffiss International Airport, NY
KBGR – Bangor Intl. Airport, ME
KGYY – Gary/Chicago Intl. Airport, IN
KRFD – Rockford-Chicago, IL
KROW – Roswell Intl. Air Center, NM
KVGT – North Las Vegas, NV
KTUS – Tucson Intl. Airport, AZ
KGYR – Phoenix Goodyear Airport, AZ
P08 – Coolidge Municipal Airport, AZ
KIGM – Kingman Airport, AZ
KAVQ – Avra Valley Airport, AZ
KMZJ – Pinal Airpark Marana, AZ
KDMA – Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Gila River Memorial Airport (private), AZ
KHMT – Hemet Ryan Airport, CA
KSBD – San Bernardino Intl. Airport, CA
KVCV – Southern California Logistic Airport Victorville, CA
KMHV – Mojave Air and Space Port, CA
KHKA – Blytheville Municipal Airport, AR
KHOT – Hot Springs Memorial Field Airport, AR
KMEZ – Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport, AR
KSGT – Stuttgart Municipal Airport, AR
KARG – Walnut Ridge Regional Airport, AR
KABI – Abilene Regional Airport, TX
KSAT – San Antonio Intl. Airport, TX
KSJT – San Angelo Mathis Field, TX
KLRD – Laredo Intl. Airport, TX
KHYI – San Marcos Municipal Airport, TX
KMQY – Smyrna/Rutherford, TN
KCWF – Chennault International Airport, LA
KOSC – Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, MI
KYIP – Detroit Willow Run, MI
KPTK – Oakland County Intl. Airport, MI
KLCK – Rickenbacker Intl. Airport, OH
KILN – Wilmington Air Park, OH
KADM – Ardmore Municipal, OK
KOWI – Ottawa Municipal Airport, KS
28KS – Rantoul, KS
KMYR – Myrtle Beach, SC
KMEB – Laurinburg-Maxton Airport, NC
KMKE – Milwaukee, WI
KMCI – Kansas City Intl. Airport, MO
KAPA – Centennial Airport, CO
KSGF – Springfield-Branson National, MO
LAST UPDATED 19/07/2018
On the map you find all airports listed above and some useful informations too. Another layer shows interesting and old aircrafts which are parked within the airports perimeter or next to it.
Smaller military fighters/planes are not tagged on the map as these type of aircrafts are displayed at almost every AFB or Museum in the USA and the map would just ‘explode’ with so much additional icons.
Just 45 km westwards from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is Goodyear located. Goodyear (GYR, KGYR) was built during WWII as a Naval base, and was known as NAF Litchfield Park. In 1941, the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation offered land to the U.S. Defence Plant Corporation. The US Navy subsequently used the facility to the land to build aircraft flight decks and to test fly and deliver aircraft. The airfield’s main role following the end of WWII was that of storage of excess US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft. In 1965, military aircraft storage was consolidated at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, or AMARC as is it referred. Following the closure of NAS Litchfield Park in 1967, the City of Phoenix purchased the airport as general aviation facility. Today, the airport is home to several private firms offering aircraft maintenance, storage, and commercial pilot training. The main tenant, AerSale, provides aircraft maintenance, overhaul and storage. Furthermore Lufthansa Aviation Training has a base there to train new pilots for the Lufthansa Group using Beechcraft F33A Bonanza, Grob G120A and Cirrus SR20.
Infos and photos provided by Tim Ames
|WHERE||On the left side of the only runway is the storage ramp. The planes are lined up just next to the perimeter fence and perfect for photography from both sides of the airfield.
West side: look out for a dirt track off West Yuma Road. Enter the dirt track immediately after the end of the airport fence line on West Yuma Road. It is best to drive to the end of the dirt track and work your way back up but this isn’t mandatory. A SUV is strongly recommended.
East side: this spot can be found at the eastern perimeter fence next to MC85 and at the opposite side off West Lower Buckeye Road. The best spot to park your car at is the West Lower Buckeye Road and then cross the MC85 and Railroad to reach the fence.There is a maintenance and storage company located at the airports main entry but its not worth to visit this place as you are not able to make pictures as the planes are surrounded by the hangars and building around the ramp. You can just get a glimpse on the tails.
|WHAT||Static parked aircraft and runway movements are possible. From the west side you can photograph the inner and outer row. East side is good for the “awkward squad” which you can´t photograph from the west side.|
|TIME||You should go there in the early morning and late afternoon/evening to avoid the heat haze and have a good sun postion.|
|MISC.||Photos are possible from any point along the dirt track. A ladder is better, especially on the evening side but you can also use the rooftop of your car. On the westside the fence is lower and you can hold your camera above it. Security might come out to investigate but no need to be unduly concerned. Along the Litchfield Road some restaurants and hotels can be found.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Very different. On the west side a low focal length is needed, from the east at least 400mm as you have to shot over the whole field.|
Victorville is one of the bigger aircraft boneyards in the USA and there is a lot to discover. Most planes are on long term storag on the ramp at the northeast corner of the airport. Many aircraft maintenance and storage companies presenting newer and older planes on their ramps and hangars in the south. Aircraft are moved from time to time so the google maps images are not really up to date and shouldn’t be a reference. Ramp access or tours are not possible at VCV but another way is to charter a plane and make some air to ground pictures.
|WHERE||In general the storage is separated into two parts. The huge ramp on the north/east side of the airfield and the southern ramp with the hangars and maintenance facilities. You can drive along the southern part and easily take some pictures through the fence as these planes are parked directly at the street. Just discover that area and the different spots.
Once done you can drive all the way up to the northern ramp. Just check the map to see the correct way. You have to drive on bumpy roads so a SUV is recommended and a ladder is needed too.
|WHAT||There are not much movements and you can photograph mainly the parked aircraft. But check Flightaware before you are going there in the case something “new” is arriving so you might be able to catch on final approach. Don´t use Flightradar!|
|TIME||You are in the desert and its very very hot so go there only in the early morning and/or late evening. Best to go there is in the morning as most planes on the north-east corner have light then. But usually you can stay there the whole day because the planes parked in different directions and somtimes only makeable from one side.|
|MISC.||Security isn´t an issue here. Planespotters are a known sight and you shouldn’t have a problem. The city of Victorville is very close with enough supermarkets, hotels and restaurants if you plan to stay longer.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Most times you stand directly at the fence, very close to the planes so a low local length is needed.|
Tupelo, the birth place of Elvis Presley, has a scrapping company located at the Regional Airport. Universal Asset Management was long time located in Walnut Ridge, AR before they moved down to Tupelo a couple of years ago. An old runway is now used for the “scrapping line” where the aircrafts parked in row and at the end the digger waits for them to cut them into parts. Contact UAM in advance of your visit and ask for a ramp tour!
|WHERE||You can easily photograph this line up from the airports perimeter fence in the morning. Just drive into the Air Park Rd., park your car on the shoulder and walk over a field to the perimeter. The fence is not that high so no ladder is needed and you can take your pictures over it.|
|WHAT||A handful of aircraft parked on the old runway.|
|TIME||Best in the morning hours.|
|MISC.||Everything you need in the city of Tupelo, which is not that big.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||not much needed, 20-30mm for the heavies.|
Located between Miami and FortLauderdale, Opa Locka is one of the few graveyards at the Eastcoast of the U.S.
The aircrafts are stored at the east side of the airport and you can easily drive along the perimeter fence and take the pictures.
When I visited this place I was able to get ramp access. I’ve just asked one of the workers who was entering the areal at the crash gate if I can visit the ramp. He confirmed my request and I followed him on the ramp and parked my car inside the airport. Once inside the perimeter I was able to walk all around the apron without any restrictions.
More planes are stored in the middle of the airport, next to the tower. Ramp access to this side of the field was denied.
UPDATE 2015: due to a new owner at OPF it has became difficult to gain ramp access as not every ramp worker has the permission to let you in. Furthermore, a lot of the long term parked aircrafts are gone e.g. the Air Comet 747 besides all Arrow Air DC-10´s. It seems like the airport will be a normal General Aviation field in the near future.