Mooney Pilot Overflies Area 51, Checking ‘Frequencies’


According to a report from the Daily Caller, a 70-year-old California man flew his Mooney aircraft over Area 51 and is currently awaiting a call from the Department of Defense.

In a series of voicemails, the pilot told the Daily Caller he successfully flew over the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) within Nellis Air Force Base, commonly referred to as Area 51, and is now anticipating repercussions from authorities. The man also stated he believes his pilot certificate will be suspended.

According to the pilot, he made the flight in order to test “frequencies” in the restricted airspace. He also mentioned he did not see any signs of UFOs or alien life forms. Military aircraft did not intercept the aircraft but upon landing at Buchanan Field in Concord, California, ATC requested the pilot call Nellis Air Force Base due to “possible pilot deviation.”

In a statement to the Daily Caller, a spokesperson for Nellis Air Force Base said, “There are several agencies that have jurisdiction over various parts of the Nevada Test and Training Range. The U.S. Air Force controls the airspace over the range and roughly 2.9 million acres of land withdrawn for military use. Various organizations including the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior and private towns such as Rachel also manage portions of the land. As a matter of practice, we do not discuss specific security measures. The Nevada Test and Training Range provides flexible, realistic and multidimensional battlespace to test and develop tactics as well as conduct advanced training in support of U.S. national interests; any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.”

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.

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  1. And the winner of the aviation Darwin award is …

    Guys like this are what makes us all look bad; he’s lucky we aren’t referring to him in the past tense. OH! He’s a Mooney pilot … never mind. 🙂

    • Well, it was not a deviation since he intentionally flew through the restriction.
      That is what makes us all look bad since this was not just human error or some simple mistake.
      If GA cannot be trusted to follow the rules…. Government will act.

    • “According to the pilot, he made the flight in order to test “frequencies” in the restricted airspace.” NOT a mistaken deviation from regulations but blatant intent to enter the airspace. That makes pilots look like idiots, so Get Him.

  2. It appears he busted the Restricted Airspace on purpose. Yeah, that’s bad for all of us.

    “According to the pilot, he made the flight in order to test “frequencies” in the restricted airspace. He also mentioned he did not see any signs of UFOs or alien life forms.”

  3. Not such a big deal, several years ago I was based at KLAS flying a Medevac 200 and Nellis would give me direct to and from Tonopah when we had a critical patient. It’s just restricted, not prohibited, and ATC can give you clearance. Their only question was whether we has photographic equipment or foreign nationals aboard. No concern about the weirdos (me and the med crew) operating the plane.

    Rest assured, anything important was moved underground long long ago.

    • “Rest assured” … NOT 100% true. If you’re talking to ATC and if they clear you through, it’s not an issue … THEN. At times, it is. Do that at night at the wrong time and you might meet your maker. Making ‘light’ of that place just shows me you’re in the running, too.

      • >> “Rest assured” … NOT 100% true.

        Actually, he’s right. Nothing sensitive is left out on the ramp. They know when any foreign satellites are going to be overhead so then know when things can be left outside. And as soon as this bozo busted the restricted airspace, I guarantee that if something was on the ramp, it was moved inside pretty quick.

        So yeah, “Rest assumed” is 100% true.

  4. When I was a ZLA kinda guy, we had various restricted areas. Usually so live firing could be accomplished. But when not being actively used, the owners of the airspace would release it to us, sometimes all, sometimes just above a certain altitude. Maybe the USAF does that for Area 51. Don’t know. But you better get ATC’s approval before trying it.

    • NO ONE flies into or above Area 51 without prior authorization, even current military pilots flying military aircraft. If they don’t have a reason to be there, they don’t go there. The airspace above it is never “released” to civilians.

  5. Open question: Has the advent of the Internet encouraged ever increasing outrageous or disrespectful behavior among pilots or is the Internet making us aware of what was always happening?

    My guess: there were more accidental violations back before GPS was commonplace, and more deliberate violations now by evermore click-bait publicity hounds?

  6. I wonder if he was planing to hang up his wings and decided to do so in an attention-grabbing (and likely exciting to him) manner.

  7. It’s really very simple, we should always be talking to someone, either IFR or Flight Following. Things like this would never happen. Also, it doesn’t matter what type of airplane it is, everyone makes mistakes.

  8. What “frequencies” was he testing, and what gear does he have to run the tests?

    I think it’s kind of funny that he’s expecting a call from the DoD.
    >RingBeeep”Yaaah, DoD here… Yaah, we’ll get on it… see yah…” >click< "ANOTHER one!"

  9. Wasn’t there a while back 2 old dudes in a 152 busting Washington DC airspace? No GPS, didn’t get a weather brief, and never called flight services?

  10. Another nutso who believes every conspiracy theory on the web. It’s a given the person’s identity is well known to the Feds. Alzheimers is a distinct possibility for the pilot’s cognitive process. Kinda reminds me of bridge flyer Martha (except the current entitled pilot is a grand stander, while Martha tried to duck all responsability for her irresponsibility).

    • Looking to record the communications with aliens that originate from Area 51, no doubt. We laugh at these things, but I suspect I’m not the only one who has been astonished to discover an intelligent and seemingly well-grounded friend I thought I knew well was a passionate “believer” in something of this nature.

  11. The fact that he gave his statements and “explanations” to The Daily Caller tell you most of what you need to know about his motives and IQ. He’ll probably have a podcast on *ucker Carlson’s little “network” soon as well as appear regularly on InfoWars. Then when he loses his licence and, hopefully, his freedom, he’ll rant about the guvmint conspiracy against him and all the mindless sheep will believe and support him.

  12. As Forrest Gump liked to say, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Maybe this Mooney pilot can enjoy the YouTube video he took over Area 51 while waiting, and waiting, and waiting for his license to be restored.

  13. Not that I’d advocate either but . . . perhaps should’ve flown over in a high wing aircraft, not a Mooney? The truth is out there . . . er . . . down there.

  14. Joe says, “Dang fool to take an airplane. Next time he should take a Chinese weather balloon and nothing would happen.”