Two F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Jets Have Landed At MCAS Miramar

One of the two F-117s landing at MCAS Miramar on Oct. 2020. (All images: Colin Odneal)

The F-117 saga continues. Two Nighthawks have landed at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar outside San Diego.

On Oct. 20, 2020, two F-117s have made a surprise visit to MCAS Miramar. Using their usual radio callsign “KNIGHT”, the two stealth jets have landed at the air base located north of San Diego at around 17.30LT.

While the reason for the visit is unknown, what’s certain is that the aircraft did not perform an emergency diversion: the audio obtained by The War Zone clearly proves the F-117s were not emergency traffic (otherwise they would have stated their status on their first radio call to Miramar Tower) nor did they perform any precautionary pattern. They simply followed the standard VFR recovery, reporting the Initial Point for the visual pattern.

Our reader Colin Odneal sent us a few shots he managed to take with his smartphone from his car, as he drove past Miramar on the 15 South.

One of the two F-117s on approach to MCAS Miramar on Oct. 20, 2020.

If the F-117s deployed to MCAS Miramar to take part in some kind of exercise in SOCAL, then we will probably find out in the next few days. Indeed, as explained in various articles, while some of the F-117s retired in 2008 and kept in a “Type 1000” storage at Tonopah Test Range have been disassembled before being transferred to museums around the U.S., sightings of F-117s flying over Nevada and California have continued. We have reported them in 2018, in 2019 and also 2020.

The appearance of the “Wobblin’ Goblin” also fuelled some rumors according to those the aircraft was  re-introduced to combat in Syria and Iraq in 2017, although these claims have never been substantiated. On the other side, it seems to be confirmed that the enigmatic Black Jets have been involved in aggressor tasks during the latest Red Flag iterations.

Another image shows one of the two F-117s landing at MCAS Miramar.

Interestingly, this is the second time the F-117 makes the news in California lately. In fact, on Oct. 3, 2020, the Palm Springs Air Museum (PSAM), in Palm Springs, California, welcomed the F-117A #833 with a military retirement ceremony.

Upon arrival at PSAM the aircraft, nicknamed “Black Devil”, towed by a ground vehicle, was greeted by a flyby salute from two pivotal Lockheed aircraft (the WWII vintage P-38 Lightning and a first-generation T-33 Shooting Star jet) along with a water arch tribute and a final radio call from the control tower that recognized its 20-year service in the U.S. Air Force.

Update: there’s now a video that shows the touchdown of one of the two F-117s. We have published it here.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.