Lots of traffic at Emmen airbase
Until the end of August, there will be a lot of military traffic at the airbase of Emmen, close to Lucerne. This above-average air traffic is due to the closure of the two airbases Payerne and Meiringen. All companies which normally operate from the two airbases, located in north-west Switzerland and the Bernese Alps, are currently based at Emmen. This is a great opportunity for interested spotters to catch a big amount of Northrop Tiger F-5's and Boeing F/A-18's. By side the "regular" military traffic, there are also a few training flights from SPHAIR, check flights of RUAG and from time to time other unordinary guests.
The day I went to Emmen was comparatively calm. Just two groups, each consisting of a Tiger and two Hornet's, went in the air twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. Additionally the J-5001 which came from RUAG, the PC-12 of Armasuisse, some PC-9 and PC-7 and two Aero AT-3 for SPHAIR. SPHAIR by the way is the Swiss pilot training course, which gets supported by the country and trains pilots in both ways, civil and military.
I arrived in the late morning, because I was to lazy to get up earlier and went to the East end of the runway. I searched for a nice spot, as I never spotted from this side of the airport. I found a quite place in the north of the small railway, close to a field full of cows. I realized a little later, that I was obviously more interesting to observe than the loud jets.
I didn't get disappointed with my choice for this spot when the first PC-9 approached for the lunch break. A little bit later the fighter jets followed. Right after I packed my stuff to get some lunch, I heard noise again, turned around and saw the PC-24 doing a go around. I missed it, but luckily it was the one, I got already at Buochs, where the factory is located.
At the visitor parking of the airbase a few senior fans organized a really great food stand. I got myself a sausage and something to drink. The food was tasty and cheap. I enjoyed my lunch right under a retired Hawker Hunter which is preserved at the parking.
In the afternoon, the training starts at 13:30. And because Swiss people are never late, the jets waited a few minutes on the runway, until the church bell struck. Right then the first two F/A-18 left in formation, followed by another two Hornets and Tigers. Also the AT-3's which arrived before lunch left Emmen. After that, it became quieter again. A single F/A-18 got pushed from RUAG to the Last Chance Check, where it started the engines and left a few moments later. It was J-5001 which currently does check flights at RUAG. A few moments later a Diamond DA-42 approached Emmen, followed by our well known groups of fighter jets. They got refilled.
In the main time the tower decided to change the runway direction. I changed the position to the opposite end of the airport. Right when I arrived the first double pack left for the last mission of the day. I took some last photos of the leaving jets and went home. I try to get some more jets in the following week's, as this condition with this amount of traffic will stay at least until August.