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Unusual contrail formation


Coast
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Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Not necessarily an unusual atmospheric condition, but I noticed this contrail last night over Eastbourne and wondered what would have caused an aircraft to do a complete 'about turn' in the sky?

     

    We are not under any normal holding pattern for Gatwick airport and I understand that contrails generally form above 26,000ft anyway. So did the pilot suddenly decide he'd left his sandwiches at home or the SatNav sent him down a wrong route?

     

    I didn't check any of the flight trackers so can you get historic flight information from them for a specific time?

     

    post-6667-0-70083300-1378192314_thumb.jp post-6667-0-09461200-1378192338_thumb.jp

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire

    That's odd because I also saw a strange contrail formation over where I live near Aldershot last night.  It looked a bit like a 'question mark' in the sky!  Unfortunately I do not have a photograph.

    Edited by Don
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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    That's odd because I also saw a strange contrail formation over where I live near Aldershot last night.  It looked a bit like a 'question mark' in the sky!  Unfortunately I do not have a photograph.

     

    Well this was similar, but definitely not over Aldershot. I wonder if this is military traffic and connected with the current unrest in the Middle East??????  Maybe they already know something we don't?

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    Posted
  • Location: Morley, Leeds West Yorkshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and thunderstorms
  • Location: Morley, Leeds West Yorkshire

    It was a RAF sentinal aircraft. Was doing it all over the south of england then headed towards Lincs and landed.

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    It was a RAF sentinal aircraft. Was doing it all over the south of england then headed towards Lincs and landed.

     

    Thanks for that, so maybe we are going to help the Yanks out in Syria then????? :whistling: 

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    Posted
  • Location: Northiam, East Sussex, 70m asl
  • Weather Preferences: snow,thunder,tornados
  • Location: Northiam, East Sussex, 70m asl

    I took photos of this over rye last night,looked great with the sunset

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    Posted
  • Location: Newbury, Berkshire. 107m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Summer:sunny, some Thunder,Winter:cold & snowy spells,Other:transitional
  • Location: Newbury, Berkshire. 107m ASL.

    Not necessarily an unusual atmospheric condition, but I noticed this contrail last night over Eastbourne and wondered what would have caused an aircraft to do a complete 'about turn' in the sky?

     

    We are not under any normal holding pattern for Gatwick airport and I understand that contrails generally form above 26,000ft anyway. So did the pilot suddenly decide he'd left his sandwiches at home or the SatNav sent him down a wrong route?

     

    I didn't check any of the flight trackers so can you get historic flight information from them for a specific time?

     

    Posted ImageSeptember 2013 013.jpg Posted ImageSeptember 2013 014.jpg

     

    Coast, my Mate, his kids and I saw exactly same thing and thought what the hell would cause a presumed aeroplane to do just that. We saw it overhead almost as the sun set, around North of Winchester along the A4. Bear in mind, there were one or two Air shows about, namely Bournemouth (where we were on a scorching Monday). Had us puzzled too. Posted Image

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    Posted
  • Location: Newbury, Berkshire. 107m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Summer:sunny, some Thunder,Winter:cold & snowy spells,Other:transitional
  • Location: Newbury, Berkshire. 107m ASL.

    That's odd because I also saw a strange contrail formation over where I live near Aldershot last night.  It looked a bit like a 'question mark' in the sky!  Unfortunately I do not have a photograph.

     

    Don, see my post above this one. Exactly the same contrail as Coasts' with a complete loop at the Western end but a crossing of what looked two contrails at the Eastern end.

    Edited by gottolovethisweather
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    Posted
  • Location: Lancaster and East Devon
  • Location: Lancaster and East Devon

    Worth bearing in mind high altitude contrails can be further away than many people would think, though I guess that applies more when seeing them in the distance, a bit like the top of CB's can be seen 50-100 miles away visibility permitting. So I guess it could be seen from quite far and maybe from places like Aldershot and Newbury in a different part of the sky?

     

    Though not sure why such a contrail would mean they are planning for military action in Syria? I thought such planes generally flew about anyway.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newbury, Berkshire. 107m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Summer:sunny, some Thunder,Winter:cold & snowy spells,Other:transitional
  • Location: Newbury, Berkshire. 107m ASL.

    Thanks Paul, must be one of these, then.

     

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/sentinelr1.cfm

     

    There was a similar jet flying over parts of Bournemouth and then headed inland, so maybe it was an innocent jet posing about at one or two of the latest Air shows. Posted Image

    Edited by gottolovethisweather
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    Posted
  • Location: Downton, Wiltshire
  • Location: Downton, Wiltshire

    I saw it out of the bedroom window. Here it is on the first loop, probably near Bath.

     

    post-7340-0-99784200-1378196312_thumb.jp

     

    I had a look on http://www.flightradar24.com/ There's a historical feature on there, if you have the inclination. I think it was called 'GLEX'.

     

    It showed it heading back North East, before heading South East towards Gatwick. It then looped round and did it all again. We saw it about an hour later, following a very similar track.

     

    Decided as it was transfer deadline day, it was a premiership footballer waiting for that multi-million pound deal to be signed.Posted Image

    Edited by jtay
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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Though not sure why such a contrail would mean they are planning for military action in Syria? I thought such planes generally flew about anyway.

     

    I've just never seen a contrail in this configuration before here and knowing now it was a military aircraft that has a primary role of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, I've just assumed that running regular loops at high altitude over Southern Britain isn't necessarily a 'routine' training exercise?

     

    When Parliament voted not to act militarily in Syria last week, no mention was made of an observational or intelligence gathering role..... :winky: 

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    Posted
  • Location: Lancaster and East Devon
  • Location: Lancaster and East Devon

    Well maybe it is, but I guess there's many possibilities of why it was flying like that, though I'm also not sure why it would be doing regular loops over southern England, even if it was to do with Syria though. 

    Thats true, can they gather intelligence from above the UK?

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Thats true, can they gather intelligence from above the UK?

     

    No, I guess you'd need to be over or near the actual Country, but they can make sure the systems are calibrated and ready to go.

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    I guess that could have been what they were doing, though who knows, we can only guess.

     

    "The Libya operation proved the versatility and utility of the aircraft," says Melville. "We were massively in demand from coalition partners."

     

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/raytheon-touts-future-roles-for-rafs-at-risk-sentinel-r1-370715/

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    Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

    Very interesting that it happened in other places too last evening. Many West Wiltshire people posted about it on Facebook around 20.00-21.00 last night and we watched the plane make it's 2nd loop in the twilight after going out to see the initial contrail.

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