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Appeal to Aircraft Experts, Help with Identification.

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posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 12:16 PM
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Hey ATS'ers, just a simple thread looking for a simple answer to appease my thinking mind.

I'm in Scotland and early this morning, say 5am(ish), I was checking out of my window to observe the moon (what with the Supermoon Event), unfortunately it was a bit cloudy, although there were breaks through the cloud and illumination from the moon was still prominent. I also noticed, what presumably was an aircraft very high up leaving a very obvious and defined contrail, maybe made even more so by the illumination of the dawn moon.

What initally attracted my attention was the lights, there was one blinking white light (probably flashing every 2-3 seconds) and no visible anti-collision lights, which I found to be the strangest part, although the speed and height was consistent with an airliner. However when I proceeded to get a closer look with binoculars, the only shape I could make out was curved yellow lighted windows (presumably) in a convexed pattern with the flashing single white light, and still no visible anti-collision lights. There was no sound, but it was quite high up so maybe this isn't surprising. Was flying South West to North East.

There is no question in my mind that this was obviously a terrestrial craft, however I can't seem to identify it, I also checked Flight Tracker and could see nothing that matched up.

My main questions, for anyone with knowledge of aircraft:

- Could the moon light have made the contrail seem more apparent than it was?

- Is it normal for an aircraft to fly with no visible anti-collision lights (the red and green on wings)?

- Ultimately, what was it?

I can also appreciate that there may even just be a mundane answer to this.




posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:07 PM
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The contrail and lack of sound is interesting, but having no position lights is unsurprising these days. I'm not sure about how the regulations work but I have seen enough in the sky to know that they are not always used. I've had craft over my head with no lights at all at around 500 feet or less, more times than once.

I guess there are two answers here. Maybe the most logical is that the trajectory of the aircraft, which in this case may have been an airliner going in to land, meant that you could not see its blinkers due to the angle you were looking at it. Thus, you could only see one of its lights. The other option is that is simply had no blinkers at all, and given that it had a contrail then I'd speculate it having been a fighter jet in such a case. Since it was not on the public radar then I'd be inclined to go with the latter, that's kind of a give-away really.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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originally posted by: Zcustosmorum
Hey ATS'ers, just a simple thread looking for a simple answer to appease my thinking mind.

I'm in Scotland and early this morning, say 5am(ish), I was checking out of my window to observe the moon (what with the Supermoon Event), unfortunately it was a bit cloudy, although there were breaks through the cloud and illumination from the moon was still prominent. I also noticed, what presumably was an aircraft very high up leaving a very obvious and defined contrail, maybe made even more so by the illumination of the dawn moon.

What initally attracted my attention was the lights, there was one blinking white light (probably flashing every 2-3 seconds) and no visible anti-collision lights, which I found to be the strangest part, although the speed and height was consistent with an airliner. However when I proceeded to get a closer look with binoculars, the only shape I could make out was curved yellow lighted windows (presumably) in a convexed pattern with the flashing single white light, and still no visible anti-collision lights. There was no sound, but it was quite high up so maybe this isn't surprising. Was flying South West to North East.

There is no question in my mind that this was obviously a terrestrial craft, however I can't seem to identify it, I also checked Flight Tracker and could see nothing that matched up.

My main questions, for anyone with knowledge of aircraft:

- Could the moon light have made the contrail seem more apparent than it was?

- Is it normal for an aircraft to fly with no visible anti-collision lights (the red and green on wings)?

- Ultimately, what was it?

I can also appreciate that there may even just be a mundane answer to this.


Moonlight definitely can illuminate a contrail. As a long haul "freight dog", I fly a lot at night and often see contrails like this.
The red and green lights (and a white one on the tail, are not the anti collision lights. They are called navigation lights. A flashing white (or red) light is the anti collision light. Regulations require the "nav" lights to be on at night but that doesn't apply to military aircraft.
If I had to guess, and I hate doing that, I would say what you saw might have been a refueling tanker from someone's military. The nav lights are much lower intensity than the anti collision light, for the obvious reason. And the white light you saw may have even been the receiver director light under the tail of the tanker. This light can appear to flash as it is intermittently blocked by the moving refueling boom.
Finally, I can assure you that night air refueling is anything but mundane.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: VigiliaProcuratio



meant that you could not see its blinkers due to the angle you were looking at it


This is possible.



I'd speculate it having been a fighter jet in such a case


Through the binoculars and although I couldn't see a defined shape (only the convex yellow lights), combined with height, it certainly didn't look like it and I think it was much bigger than a fighter jet.


a reply to: F4guy




Moonlight definitely can illuminate a contrail. As a long haul "freight dog", I fly a lot at night and often see contrails like this. The red and green lights (and a white one on the tail, are not the anti collision lights. They are called navigation lights. A flashing white (or red) light is the anti collision light. Regulations require the "nav" lights to be on at night but that doesn't apply to military aircraft. If I had to guess, and I hate doing that, I would say what you saw might have been a refueling tanker from someone's military. The nav lights are much lower intensity than the anti collision light, for the obvious reason. And the white light you saw may have even been the receiver director light under the tail of the tanker. This light can appear to flash as it is intermittently blocked by the moving refueling boom. Finally, I can assure you that night air refueling is anything but mundane.


That clears up a few points and it may definitely have been military, the white light was what actually got my attention. Would a military plane have convexed/yellow type windows around it though?

And I can't say I've ever thought about trying out night air refuelling

edit on -216002016-11-14T13:29:10-06:000000001030201610112016Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:29:10 -0600 by Zcustosmorum because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:29 PM
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originally posted by: F4guy

If I had to guess, and I hate doing that, I would say what you saw might have been a refueling tanker from someone's military.

Surely that would be on radar? MADRAS always is, that's for sure.

And by sheer coincidence, it's just about to land at Brize...

www.flightradar24.com...

That's a refueller.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:33 PM
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originally posted by: VigiliaProcuratio

originally posted by: F4guy

If I had to guess, and I hate doing that, I would say what you saw might have been a refueling tanker from someone's military.

Surely that would be on radar? MADRAS always is, that's for sure.

And by sheer coincidence, it's just about to land at Brize...

www.flightradar24.com...

That's a refueller.


www.raf.mod.uk...

This is possible, although as I said, I couldn't see it on the Flight Checker at the time.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: Zcustosmorum

Well, how close to your location did you check? If you're anywhere near Edinburgh then it's actually quite possible that it was MADRAS you saw, even though it didn't go over Scotland. I see it going over me every now and then, but it's not going to be as high as it would be once its well on the way to the North Sea and I can assure you it is quite loud. I'm thinking that if it's far enough away then you might not be able to hear it but you'll still be able to see it. I didn't think about the refueller option at first, but that thing has certainly been active near Scotland today and has only just got home.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:43 PM
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originally posted by: VigiliaProcuratio
a reply to: Zcustosmorum

Well, how close to your location did you check? If you're anywhere near Edinburgh then it's actually quite possible that it was MADRAS you saw, even though it didn't go over Scotland. I see it going over me every now and then, but it's not going to be as high as it would be once its well on the way to the North Sea and I can assure you it is quite loud. I'm thinking that if it's far enough away then you might not be able to hear it but you'll still be able to see it. I didn't think about the refueller option at first, but that thing has certainly been active near Scotland today and has only just got home.


The only point of contention I have is why couldn't I see the red/green directional lights? I would've thought they'd be even more important on a refuelling tanker.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:51 PM
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a reply to: Zcustosmorum

Judging by the flight path it took today then I think there's a reasonable chance it was that aircraft, maybe even a certainty if it was leaving the Newcastle area at around 5am. Given how far away it would've been, and we're talking quite a way since it didn't enter Scotland, then you maybe either couldn't see the position lights because of the angle or they were obscured by the stronger anti-collision strobes. This is an utter guess, but I honestly can't imagine a more logical explanation than an A330.

edit on 14th November 2016 by VigiliaProcuratio because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 01:53 PM
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Did you see any green?

There's a certain green lady that's out flying.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 02:04 PM
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originally posted by: VigiliaProcuratio
a reply to: Zcustosmorum

Judging by the flight path it took today then I think there's a reasonable chance it was that aircraft, maybe even a certainty if it was leaving the Newcastle area at around 5am. Given how far away it would've been, and we're talking quite a way since it didn't enter Scotland, then you maybe either couldn't see the position lights because of the angle or they were obscured by the stronger anti-collision strobes. This is an utter guess, but I honestly can't imagine a more logical explanation than an A330.


It is a very logical explanation and quite possibly the answer.


originally posted by: grey580
Did you see any green?

There's a certain green lady that's out flying.


No green and I would certainly be able to identify a flying green lady



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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originally posted by: Zcustosmorum

originally posted by: VigiliaProcuratio

originally posted by: F4guy

If I had to guess, and I hate doing that, I would say what you saw might have been a refueling tanker from someone's military.

Surely that would be on radar? MADRAS always is, that's for sure.

And by sheer coincidence, it's just about to land at Brize...

www.flightradar24.com...

That's a refueller.


www.raf.mod.uk...

This is possible, although as I said, I couldn't see it on the Flight Checker at the time.


While military aircraft do use Mode S transponders, they do not transmit automatically any position info, so flightaware24 doesn't show them. You can sign up for a special app called Mlat that gives approximate position by using raw data.




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