How to see Air Force One (not the movie)

Since we live in Central Texas and the current prez vacations here from time to time, we thought it would be royally cool to see Air Force One, Marine One, and the Prez in person. Thing is, you never seem to know when the guy is coming in. Sure, they say on the news the day he is to fly in, but never the time. We can’t just sit out there all day, you know.

Is there any way to get a schedule of flights? Something to tell us that the prez will be landing about 6PM or so?

One problem… He always lands at Gray Army Air Field near Fort Hood. Are civilians allowed on base to see such sights? Or will we have to stand by the fences a la Wayne’s World and watch the planes go by?

Any tips or suggestions are appreciated. Anyone here done the same?


There are good security reasons for not publicizing the flight schedule, I’m sure.

If you really want to see the plane at Gray Army Air Field, you’d probably get better information about how from the base PR officer.

The first Air Force One – not the 747 being used now – was a 707 on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The Museum is on the west side of Boeing Field, a general aviation airport just S of downtown. Link here:

Apropos of nothing, I was driving by Everett’s Paine Field about two months ago and saw what appeared to be a brand new 747 in presidential colors.

Prior to that unfortunate episode with RR in 1981, the president’s daily itenerary was made available to the media. Since then, security has tightened up considerably and now I believe it is not. Whenever and wherever the prez is around–whether at the White House, Camp David, Andrews Air Force Base, etc.–security is at maximum. The likelihood of you getting on base, without proper credentials, to wave at the first family land is, I’m guessing, nil.

P.S. During the last administration, the Lincoln bed would have been a lot easier.

I saw Air Force One fly over my high school during band practice when G.H.W. Bush was pres. It was landing at the airport very close to us. It was kind of neat, I guess.


You CAN see the past planes that made up the Special Air Mission (SAM) to carry the Presidents the next time you are near the northern Dayton, OH area.

The US Air Force Museum has most of them.

Sometimes (not every time, I imagine) there are welcoming committees for the President made of people waving flags, cheering, etc… I don’t know how you could become one of these people, though. Maybe you could contact the Republican party or your local congressperson or other official who might be a part of such a welcoming committee. Another way might be to go somewhere that the President will speak and most likely arrive by helicopter. (Unintentionally, I saw Marine One in November when Clinton flew in to help campaign for Gore).

I would probably suggest the same this ElvisL1ves suggested, which is talk to the base commander or PR person at the base and see what they can do for you. I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t let you ssee the arrival, though you probably won’t be on the tarmac or anything.

Just to add my own little story, probably about 10 years ago I was sitting at home in the living room wacthing TV when I heard a helicoptor fly over head. When I say fly overhead I mean the SOB must have barely missed the top of my condo. It was sooo loud and close that it made my head throb. Anywho, our condo is juxtaposed to my old highschool football/soccer/whatever field and the helicoptor landed there, sat there for about a minute then took off again.
The next day I hear the same thing so I go up to the second story window and look out and I see the big double rotor SOB and three other helicoptors landing in the field. The three smaller helicoptors all had the Presidential seal on the side of them. Turns out Prez G. Bush Sr. was landing at my old high school because he was doing a PR visit to a waste managment company that is eco-friendly, or some shit like that. Anyway, I always thought it was cool to be able to tell people that the Prez landed in my backyard (almost). What was even better though is that they lined the rooftops of my string of condos and the rooftop of my highschool with snipers and other various mean looking guys with guns. And there were about 100 police-looking people who ringed the whole field. A damn mouse couldn’t have crawled in there without being spotted.

Oh, and the double rotor helicoptor weighed so much that it broke all the waterlines underneath it. For the next three years that part of the field was ALWAYS muddy and soggy and wet. It took 2 school bond measures to finally fix the mess. Persoanlly I think G.W. Sr. should have paid for it himself, bastard. Screwed up P.E. and soccer for the next three years.


Not true. Also lands at TSTC (Tx State Tech College, it’s on an old air force base)in Waco.

I worked at Boeing in Wichita during the time that the first 747 Air Force One was being fitted out and saw it flying all the time. It was hard to miss since it hadn’t been painted yet and was a kind of neon green color from the protective coating on the skins. We called it the giant flying pickle.

My brother-in-law worked for one of the companies that does refitting and repairs on Air Force One, it quite frequently spent time at Majors Field south of Greenville, TX, but the Prez wasn’t with it.