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Nordholz Naval Airbase / Sea-Airport Cuxhaven – Spotting Guide
Nordholz Naval Air Base (FCN/ETMN) is the home of the German Navy (Marine) near the Village of Nordholz. The Geman Navy as Main user has based it Fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orions, Mk88A Sea Lynx, Mk41 Sea King, NH Industries NH-90NFH and the Dornier Do 228NG. While on training the planes and Helicopter are doing weekdaily trainings missions to be fit for their Missions worldwide. Beside the Navy also the Airforce and also the Army using the Base for trainingsmission. The Nato Awacs visiting a few times a year for some approaches. If the runway in Wittmund is closed the planes of the civil contractor Top Aces with their A-4 Skyhawks and the Alphajets use the base also for their flights in the past (As they are acutally until 2025). They are parking at the civil Terminal of the airport at Spot 3
The Civil part of the base is the Sea-Airport Cuxhaven/Nordholz is also named after the next bigger City Cuxhaven. The only sheduled flights from here are with Ostfriesischer-Flug-Dienst to Helogland with Britten-Norman Islander but this is operated from the civil grass Aerodome EDXN in the north.
Directly next to the Naval Air Base is also the civil aerodome of Nordholz-Spieka (EDXN) which hosts with it’s grass runway several smaller probs (largest Aircrafts is a Dornier Do-27) and gliders.
Written by Patrick Weis and Severin Hackenberger. Thanks to Andreas Fietz, Florian Werner and Lars Rohde for providing some pictures/information. Last Update: October 2020
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| (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
|08/26(ETMN)||2439m x 45m – Concrete|
|08/26 (Spieka EDXN)||725m x 40m – Grass|
|Terminals||small Terminal at the civil part|
|Ladder||Is needed along the fence, but 3 steps are normally totally fine and was tolerated in my visits|
|Car/Public Transport||Car is definitely needed as the distances are quite far|
|Restrooms||No facilities at most of the spots.|
|Drinks/Food||In the village of Nordholz you will find a Bakery, Fuel Station and restaurants.|
|Hotels||Many sleeping facilities are arround here. Due to the beach turism they can be full or expensive during the summer month.|
|Season||Best Season is the summer as the weather here isn’t to stabile-|
|Security||Never had problems in the past. Don’t stand directly at the fence all the time to avoid problems.|
||08 usage is very rare as they try to use 26 as long as possible – even if there are easterly winds.|
Spot #1 – Carpark – 08 Approach
|WHERE||There is a roundabout at the main road next to the 08 approach path . From the north take the third exit to the Wanhödener Straße (signs to Autobahn) and immediatly turn left and park at the small gravel area. If you walk a bit down the footh path will flatten the angle for the approach.|
|WHAT||Arrivals onto runway 08 and helicopters departing 26 from western pad.|
|TIME||In summer from 08-16:00, in winter all day.|
|MISC.||Nothing arround here. Heat haze can be really a problem for 26 departing Helicopters.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-400mm – Really depends on the plane approaching and your position. For 26 depatures most planes are quite high. For Helicopter departing from the western plate to the west you can catch them with higher mm.|
|Spot #2 – Bus stop – Military charter apron|
|WHERE||Continue east on the Wanhöder Strasse from spot #1 on, but once this street starts making a right turn, please turn off to the left between some trees into Pickerstrasse. Pass the base entrance gate on the left first, continue past some houses till you reach a wodden bus stop house on your left. Get rid of your car somehow here and position yourself along the fence here between some of the airside grass mounds so you have a free view.|
|WHAT||From here you can nicely see the parking apron northeast of you, which can be found in the southwestern military part of the base. It is often usend by special cargo/charter flights.|
|TIME||Roughly from later morning till sunset, but depends on the movement and angle.|
|MISC.||Nothing around. Haze may occur in summer on the apron.
Keep a low profile as you are just in front of the military facilities here! Do not leave the ladder all time, just use small stairs (2-3 steps) once you really wanna take a picture.
|Spot #3 – Civil part – Civil apron|
|WHERE||This spot is located arround the civil part of the airbase which can be accessed from the ease side via the Wanhödener Str. Park at the offical parking lot and walk arround the fence to shot the angle you like.|
|WHAT||Parked aircraft on the civil apron and aircrafts taxiing onto the pad – bizzer, long term parkers or foreign military charter aircraft.|
|TIME||All Day. Depends how the planes are parked.|
|MISC.||Nothing around. Ladder not needed for 100% as you can shoot over the fence which is quite low here.|
Depends on what you wanna shoot – the parked Avianca aircraft are quite close to the fence for example
Spot #4 – Walter-Carstens-Strasse – 26 Approach + Line up
|WHERE||Same way as above but stay at the fence as marked on the map as reference point. Park your car into the farm track entrence (do not block the street as there are always trucks driving to the concrete factory) and walk up to the angle/spot you like on the grass next to the fence:
Either along the fence to the north (then please do not walk onto the field as the farmers really don’t like it) or along the fence’s front on the south along the street.
|WHAT||All runway 26 arrivals and line-up/Taxiway as well as parts of the Sea Lynx’s apron between some bushes at some points.|
|TIME||08-16:00 during summer. In the winter time all day.|
|MISC.||Nothing around. You are higher than the fence so no ladder needed actually, however it may be helpful to clear your view 100%. Heathaze can be a problem during the summer time.|
P3 arrival = 335mm
|Spot #5 – Wanhöder Strasse – 26 arrivals|
|WHERE||Get on the Wanhödener Str and park on the side of the road shortly before the 26 approach path. The location is directly at the entrance to a grass field next to the street.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 26 only (sky shots).|
|TIME||08-16:00 in summer. In winter all day.|
|Spot #6 – Field North – 26 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot can be found in the northeast of the airfield and can be reached easily by car. Just turn off Wanhöder Strasse north of the 26 arrival path to the west into a small, unnamed street, which runs along some trees and fields just up to the apron’s fence north of the runway’s eastern end. Follow this street till its western end at the fence, just leave your car by the roadside (DO NOT BLOCK THE STREET/FENCEGATE) there and just start taking pictures from the street: As the runway is elevated, you will not be able to shoot from the fence at all, so you have to stand a few meters to the north away on the street and there you cannot avoid the fence in your picture at all points neither.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 26 only.|
|TIME||In the summer only on late evenings or early mornings.|
|MISC.||Nothing around. Haze and high crass may disturb your view sometimes. Ladder needed in order to avoid the fence, but 90-degree (e.g. VDA An124) shots will always have the fence in the bottom of your picture. As the runway is elevated, you will not be able to shoot from the fence at all, so you have to stand a few meters away on the street and there you cannot avoid the fence at all points.|
P3 = 170mm
|Spot #7 – Spieka Airfield – 08 Arrivals + 26 Departures|
|WHERE||This spot is at the Car Park of Spieka Airfield. From the previous just drive northwards till you reach the hangars, park your car on the big parking next to the airport fence here and then you have to choose your position around here – sports planes take off and land in front of you in the north, base movements can be seen in the south.|
|WHAT||All movements of the grass fields and parked planes as well as 26 departures and 08 arrivals behind you.|
|TIME||Spieka airfield (north of you): In summer from 08-16:00, in winter all day.
Air base (south of you): Actually just on early summer morning or late summer evenings – or cloudy days.
|MISC.||Nothing around. Haze may occur in summer.|
P3 “belly shot” = 330mm / NH90 front shot = ~500mm
View to the southeast: