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View Full Version : Have you ever seen commercial aircraft fly this close together??



Scragbat
01-11-2008, 12:36 PM
On my way home yesterday I noticed two aircraft at high altitude flying very close together over the city where I work.

As memory serves, I have never seen aircraft this close together at such an altitude over a city. For all I know they could have been several hundred feet apart but from the ground they looked closer than normal. Have any of you guys seen anything like this?

I'm assuming they were commercial by the look of the contrails, but I'm not sure. Thought it was quite strange and so did other people around me.

Sorry for the poor quality of images but all I had was the 2megapixel camera on my phone! There are a sequence of 6 images. On the fifth you can see the aircraft on the right start to turn and in the next image the other aircraft turns to follow.

Regards
Scrag

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/Scragbat/DSC00073.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/Scragbat/DSC00074.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/Scragbat/DSC00075.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/Scragbat/DSC00076.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/Scragbat/DSC00077.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/Scragbat/DSC00078.jpg

xTHRUDx
01-11-2008, 12:59 PM
Chem trails http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

blairgowrie
01-11-2008, 01:01 PM
Military maybe?

Scragbat
01-11-2008, 01:11 PM
I wondered that...

Krt_Bong
01-11-2008, 01:27 PM
Once, years ago mind you and this is back when McDill was still an active SAC base.
On a cloudless night I watched; what I was sure at first glance was UFO's or something, 4 aircraft go through refueling operations at really high altitude and all I could really see were the nav lights on probably F-4s and MARs on the Fueler and some contrails and it looked strange till I put what I was seing into perspective.

berg417448
01-11-2008, 01:36 PM
Most likely military.

ptg101
01-11-2008, 01:41 PM
2 x BUFFs?

Waldo.Pepper
01-11-2008, 01:58 PM
A mere two has us impressed and in a tizzy.

x 500 = a single thousand plane raid. Wouldn't that be impressive. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Capt.LoneRanger
01-11-2008, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by ptg101:
2 x BUFFs?

That was my guess, too.

Urufu_Shinjiro
01-11-2008, 02:24 PM
Actually, that looks like a single craft, seems like it's not as high up as it looks and it seems the trails are coming off the wingtips. Could be wrong but thats my impression.

Scragbat
01-11-2008, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
Actually, that looks like a single craft, seems like it's not as high up as it looks and it seems the trails are coming off the wingtips. Could be wrong but thats my impression.

I thought it was at first. However, the right contrail started veering before the left one (pic 5)... Wish I'd had my decent camera with me. I'd have shot pics at 12x (432mm equivalent) with video too. Probably would have picked out a shape...

2xBUFFS? Amazing to think what could be passing over our heads while we're oblivious. On the bus in my case http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Airmail109
01-11-2008, 02:56 PM
Are they heading towards the middle east? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

jarink
01-11-2008, 03:12 PM
Maybe two military planes getting ready for some air-to-air refueling?

Snyde-Dastardly
01-11-2008, 03:31 PM
Military for sure.

Cajun76
01-11-2008, 04:14 PM
You didn't mention which city, but could easily be C-17's or C-5's as well. Depending on the region, BUFF's or transports might be more common than you think.

I live on the biggest C-130 training base in the world, so it's not uncommon to see them, however, it's uncommon to see a C-130 that high around here. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Scragbat
01-11-2008, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Cajun76:
You didn't mention which city, but could easily be C-17's or C-5's as well. Depending on the region, BUFF's or transports might be more common than you think.

I live on the biggest C-130 training base in the world, so it's not uncommon to see them, however, it's uncommon to see a C-130 that high around here. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

The City is Birmingham, UK, time 3.45pm.
Perhaps TaylorTony might know what was flying over the Midlands yesterday afternoon...?

MB_Avro_UK
01-11-2008, 05:35 PM
Interesting pics http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Cajun76
01-11-2008, 07:58 PM
Forgot you were in the UK Scragbat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Mildenhall

RAF Mildenhall is roughly 160km due east of you. They have tankers, transports, recon and whoever is stopping by. Very likely that is what you saw: Formation flight or refueling, but due to the slightly separate flight paths, I'd say a formation of some kind.

buzzsaw1939
01-11-2008, 08:41 PM
Rods?..... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

Cold_Gambler
01-11-2008, 10:22 PM
It may be that they had adequate vertical seperation but that they appear to be close together due to the altitudes involved.

One might have been at 37,000 feet and the other at 32,000 feet, flying the same air route. 5000 feet separation is plenty, but not easily discernible from the ground.

Monterey13
01-11-2008, 10:50 PM
Cajun76, where do you live?
I live by Fort Campbell, and C-130's buzz by house frequently. Drives my dog nuts...they rattle the windows.

Cajun76
01-11-2008, 11:21 PM
I live on Little Rock AFB and it's located just northwest of Jacksonville AR, which is about 15 miles northeast of Little Rock.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Air_Force_Base


Hmmm, Ft. Campbell has an Army airfield, and is about 300 miles away as the the Herk buzzes. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Quite possible they fly up that way for joint ops and training. C-130's can be found following each other all over the place around here, usually in 3's, trailing one another.

Nearly half my career was fixing them as they go "fly around the flagpole" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

I know they play games at Fort Polk, LA. That's the Army's Joint Readiness Training Center.

"With great emphasis on realism, the JRTC provides rotational units (BLUEFOR) with the opportunity to conduct joint operations which JRTC scenarios allow complete integration of U.S. Air Force and other military services as well as host-nation and civilian role players. The exercise scenarios replicates many of the unique situations and challenges a unit may face to include host national officials and citizens, insurgents and terrorists, news media coverage, and non-governmental organizations."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Polk

Most of my folks live south of Fort Polk, and I pass by it whenever I'm going to see them. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Stuntie
01-12-2008, 04:33 AM
Originally posted by Scragbat:
The City is Birmingham, UK, time 3.45pm.
Perhaps TaylorTony might know what was flying over the Midlands yesterday afternoon...?

Which is right between the East Anglian bases such as Conninsgby and Lakenheath etc. and the north Wales/Angelsey training areas.

Probably military on their way to scare some sheep in the Welsh valleys.