Aircraft Spotting Pages - NAS/JRB Willow Grove, Pennsylvania


The above map was provided by Google Earth and modified to show the spots around NAS/JRB Willow Grove.

About the Spots & What You'll See

Spot A:  This spot is along an access road for TNS Intersearch's business parking lot.  The best way to access the road is from 611, although you can access it from the back via Horsham Road.  There is no left turn lane on 611 (coming from the south) for this road, and be careful, because the sign for TNS is low to the ground and you will more than likely miss it the first time.  If you do miss it, make a left turn onto Maple Avenue, then another left onto Horsham Road, and then left into the back entrance to the lot.  The spot is great for 33 approaches and arrivals and not as great for 15 activity.  A rule of thumb is that you should not venture any more than 50 feet east (heading towards 611, if that helps) from the speed bump.  Going any further will result in the military police from the base to come out and tell you to leave.  Also, remember to pull into a parking space - you cannot park along the access road! It is only a short walk.  When you're at Spot A, you will be getting great side shots of the aircraft, but be aware of the tree line in front of you, as that might hamper some good shots. You will be able to get excellent views of aircraft on final approach at least a couple miles away, depending on visibility, and you will get to see scary approaches, if the winds are providing a crosswind.  Spot A also shares a large field with the approach lights. Under any circumstances, DO NOT spot from anywhere on that field, regardless if you are on the north side or on the south side of the field.

Photos from Spot A

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Spot B:  Along the northbound side of Route 611 is Lancer's Diner, which is become the substitute spot for the observation area on the other side of the highway.  You'll get the same view as at the observation area, only you're set back another 200 or so feet and you will have to put up with traffic going by along four lanes of 611.  Parking might be a problem, depending on the time of day, since there are not that many parking spots that can easily be accessible to view runway 33.  If it is the day or two before the airshow, Lancer's Diner will be the top spot to watch the practices from, especially for the jet team(s), keeping safety in consideration.  Lighting at this spot and at the observation area across the road is good until the afternoon comes, when the sun will be in your face.  Remember, DO NOT CROSS ROUTE 611 TO STAND BY THE FENCE!!!  More on that below.

Photos from Spot B

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Spot C:  Spot C is unlisted but is just off of Maple Avenue.  This is a fantastic spot to catch arrivals to Runway 33 as well as departures from 15It is suggested that you do not visit this spot as it will warrant an immediate law enforcement visit by both Navy Police and Horsham Police.  Regardless of whom or what, you will be asked to leave because it is unsafe to be here - even if you walked to the spot.

Photos from Spot C

None available.


Below are some common callsigns you will hear from Willow Grove-based squadrons:

Callsign Aircraft Squadron
Army C-12 Huron 228th AVN
Bravo Delta C-130T Hercules VR-64
Flyer A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW
Hustler CH-53E Super Stallion HMH-772
Juliet Tango C-9B Skytrain VR-52
Kade A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW
Marine Mike Tango CH-53E Super Stallion HMH-772
Mad Hog A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW
Navy C-12 Huron Base Flight
Navy 7 Whiskey C-12 Huron (511) Base Flight
Navy Juliet Tango C-9B Skytrain VR-52
Pat C-12 Huron 228th AVN
Sandy A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW
Ugly A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW
War Hog A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW
War Pig A-10 Thunderbolt II 111th FW


I have yet to hear if there are any problems with security at Willow Grove, since most of the local spotters have a good rapport with the Horsham Police.  As always, carry your ID.

With regards to Spot B, if you cross Route 611 to take photos by the fence, you will be asked to leave by Navy Police and by Horsham Police.