Speaking of radio messages, I was on a training flight near Indian Springs the other day and kept hearing what sounded like an instructor talking to a student over the practice area frequency. My first thought was that a CFI was inadvertently holding the PTT (push to talk) switch, so instead of talking over the aircraft’s intercom, he was broadcasting to everyone on that frequency.
Later, I learned that it was indeed an instructor. A military instructor. And the aircraft in question was an unmanned Predator. Pretty cool. I never did see the Predator, but then I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Indian Springs is right on the cusp of a restricted military area. In fact, that’s also where the Thunderbirds practice. In the early 80’s, it’s also where the Tbirds experience their worst accident. The lead aircraft had a malfunction and flew right into the ground. Since the wingmen don’t watch anything but their lead, they followed him into the dirt.
To me, Indian Springs is the place where the youth detention center (read: prison) is located. In high school, Indian Springs was one of the teams we’d play.
Anyway, back to the Thunderbirds. Sometimes they’ll buzz over ATP’s planes on their way between Indian Springs and Nellis AFB. One of my instructors said he saw them pass right over the top of him in diamond formation. Just another day in Las Vegas.