Something Unusual on Mode-S – A 3-160 SOAR MH-47G

Yesterday evening, I was watching the NASCAR Trucks race coverage from Daytona and listening to the radios when I noticed something interesting on the ADS-B Exchange screen: an aircraft (Mode-S hex AE1860) showing the callsign R03746. It immediately rang a bell with me because ARMY 03746 is a 3-160 SOAR MH-47G that flies out of Hunter AAF here in Savannah.

I began tracking R03746/AE1860 as it tracked north through Florida and South Georgia and sure enough, its heading was pointed toward Savannah. Eventually, once it tracked far enough north, my Mode-S receiver here at home began to pick it up and it and it checked in with Savannah TRACON on 125.300 shortly as ARMY 03746 shortly after another MH-47G, ARMY 03741. Both ended up landing at their home base of Hunter AAF.

This really was an unusual catch; I’ve had a Mode-S receiver since 2012 and this was the first time I’ve seen one of 3-160 SOAR’s aircraft transmitting Mode-S. I’ll also be surprised if we see it again in the future, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

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