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Question Ref VC32A #98-0002 Flight

Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:43 pm

Good Day Everyone:

I was hoping to get some feedback on yesterday evening's VC-32A flight tail # 98-0002 into Andy. I picked up the a/c just northwest of Baltimore, indicating an altitude of 7100 ft, heading south east (2100 local) I noted the a/c was using the call sign "SAM529" as opposed to AF-2.or Executive Foxtrot ##. I assumed the flight was returning from Dover AFB.

What caught my attention was the nearly 2 hour holding pattern just south of Andy. I could only monitor voice comms from Reagan approach and not Andy. The only communication I copied between Reagan and # 98-0002 was "SAM589 one more turn and we would like to line up on the localizer" Reagan complied and handed the a/c off to Andy.

My questions:

Does this appear to be a training/maintenance flight? If so, why the call sign "SAM529" designation?

If not, why the 2 hour delay on getting into Andy?

Thanks All. I should add, I understand you are working on VERY limited information but any best guesses would be appreciated.


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Re: Question Ref VC32A #98-0002 Flight

Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:41 am

I don't know what they were up to, but using the "SAM xxx" call sign is normal when they do not have POTUS or VPOTUS on board. It's just the wing call sign for the 89th Airlift Wing's "Special Air Mission". The numbers may designate the tail number of the aircraft - the VC-25s that normally serve as "Air Force 1" use SAM 28000 and SAM 29000 when the President isn't on board - when they flew President Obama after the inauguration a few weeks ago, they used "SAM 44" for a call sign.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
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Re: Question Ref VC32A #98-0002 Flight

Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:06 am

Yep, a SAM callsign is a real mission. A training or maintenance flight would have been Venus 82, I think.

No idea about the two-hour hold, though. The SAM planes try to hit their parking spots within a few seconds of their schedule. Could a higher-code VIP flight have been going through at that time, maybe?

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