- May 3
- 3 min read
The Many Visitors of Portsmouth
We are lucky to be located in a vibrant and unique aviation community at Pease. Here are some of the most interesting visitors we have had this year.
Italian Air Force transitioning to Red Flag
We were lucky enough to share the ramp with Italian F-35s and Eurofighter Typhoons over a month ago. They were even our neighbors for a few days! The Italian Air Force were stopping over at PSM for a few days before traveling to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas on their way to the largest international aerial exercise, Red Flag. This is an event where air forces around the world gather and practice large air-to-air exercises. Fortunately, we were able to get some remarkable photos.
This is arguably the most popular visitor to Portsmouth. The Antonov An-124 is a heavy lifter cargo plane that touches down at PSM about once a month. It takes old army equipment and various other cargo overseas. Currently, the Antonov fleet is being used to deliver COVID-19 relief around the world.
Allegiant/Atlas Air/Sun Country
We share the runway with a number of commercial and charter airlines. Allegiant offers flights to St. Petersburg, Punta Gorda, and other locations. Atlas Air and Sun Country airlines stop in frequently also, mainly for sports and military charters.
Here's what they fly:
Atlas Air: Boeing 747s, 767s
Sun Country Airlines: Boeing 737s
Allegiant Air: Airbus A319s/A320s
Various United States Military Aircraft
Portsmouth is used as a stopover for many transatlantic military flights. It is common to see Air Force tankers on the ramp and then take off to meet up with fighters heading overseas. Also, military aircraft use PSM to practice approaches for training. Because of the size of the runway, we get a wide variety of aircraft in the pattern. To put this in perspective, these are all the military aircraft that have passed through Pease in the past six to nine months:
Air Force/Air National Guard
- F35 Lightning IIs
- Air Force One (VC-25A)
- Air Force Two
- F16 Vipers
- A-10 Warthogs
- E-3 AWACS
- C-5 Galaxies
- C-17 Globemasters
- C-130s (All variants)
- KC-135 Stratotanker
- KC-10 Extender
- HH-60 Pave Hawks (Air Force)
- V-22 Ospreys
- F18 Super Hornets
- EP-3 Orion
- P-3 Orion
- P-8 Poseidons
- SH-60 Sea Hawk (Navy)
- E-2 Hawkeye
- C-2 Greyhound
- NASA T-38s used for Astronaut training
- UH-60 Black Hawks (Army National Guard)
- HC-144 Ocean Sentry
- MH-60 Jay Hawk (Coast Guard)
New Hampshire Air National Guard
Pease is home to the 157th Air Refueling Wing of the New Hampshire Air National Guard. The NHANG just replaced its aging fleet of KC-135s for brand new Boeing KC-46As, developed from the 767. On weekdays and drill weekends, they can be seen flying near Cape Cod, Northern New Hampshire, or Central Vermont. We love sharing the airspace with them and we thank their pilots for their service.
Planesense is a fractional ownership aircraft charter company that operates a fleet of Pilatus PC-12s and PC-24s. With their main headquarters located at Portsmouth, it would be safe to say that they are the most frequent fliers in the area. Flights depart everyday and it is common to see their blue and white airplanes overhead.
Making up more than half of the traffic at PSM is corporate travel. Cessna Citations, Gulfstreams, and Bombardier Challengers can be found stopping here to clear customs before heading overseas, or taking local CEOs and businessmen throughout the country.
We cannot stress enough how thankful we are to be located in such an amazing aviation community. The learning opportunities are endless and our students thrive in this sometimes challenging environment. Sharing the ramp with F35s or letting 767s taxi before you is what being at Portsmouth is all about.