N243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1566 posts, RR: 21 Posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3842 times:
As some of you may be aware, I live in MKE, about 30 miles north to be exact. While outside washing my car this evening around 17:30, I saw a string of commercial jets flying quite lower than normal over the house, all with headings generally anywhere from north to east. I was able to identify some type of MD-80 (probably YX) passing twice in the same direction (possibly in a holding pattern), or else I saw two different MD-80s. About ten minutes later, a FedEx A300 (I don't believe it was a 767) made a very broad 180-degree right banking turn from the north to the south. The FX aircraft was followed by a Frontier 733 and then a NW DC-9 (in the new livery, I have to mention). Although I can not give a good estimate of their actual altitudes, all the planes were low enough for me to identify the aircraft type and airline by using my primitive Sears binoculars.
Normally air traffic is only present this far from the airport during bad weather, especially when it's foggy or raining, and whenever I see an aircraft in these weather conditions, I have never seen any other airliners routed this far north. The weather conditions were certainly ideal, and I can not think of any reason for any delays at MKE or even ORD, if the a/c were diversions (which is unlikely in my opinon).
Anyone know why these planes would have been so far north this evening? I've been itching to find out any possible explanations. Thanks!
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3793 times:
Sometimes, when eastbound departure traffic off ORD/MDW gets backed up (either due to weather or volume), they will run some departures on an offload route that runs north out of the Chicago area direct to the "PETTY" intersection (around the MKE area), and then east towards Muskegon (MKG) and to other points east to their destination(s). I don't know if this was the case with the flights that you saw tonight, but it's the only thing I can think of offhand.
N243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1566 posts, RR: 21 Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3579 times:
Thanks for your explanation; it makes sense as far as explaining the planes way up here. Where exactly is the "PETTY" waypoint in relation to MKE? However, it still seems like these planes were a bit too far north to be from the Chicago area. Does anyone know if MKE was using a different runway than normal last night? That might be a possible explanation.
N243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1566 posts, RR: 21 Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3364 times:
IF PETTY is southeast of MKE, and I live about 30 miles north of the airport, then I don't really see how the traffic could have been from ORD or MDW. Also, I neglected to mention that all of the planes I saw could very well have been from MKE (even the F9 733) as those airlines all serve the airport. Thanks for the info so far!
N243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1566 posts, RR: 21 Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2017 times:
Your explanation sounds like the most logical to me. The weather was perfect and no delays were occurring at any of the nearby airports as far as I can tell. The planes could have indeed been MKE flights diverted further north because of a candidate in the MKE area; they have been doing a lot of campaigning in Wisconsin lately.
And yes, for the record, the incident did indeed occur at around 17:30 on the day of 9/10, not 9/11.