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What's With Zigzag Contrails South Of PHX?  
User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3047 posts, RR: 9
Posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2826 times:

So I'm out grilling dinner, and for a while this evening, the usual cloudless PHX sky in June gave way to some long lasting contrails. I'm always looking at contrails, probably because I was brought up in the 70s when they were more interesting with all of the 4 holers up there. But at around 6:30 PM at pretty much the same time, contrails of 2 airliners to the south made a 90 degree turn to the right almost all the way up to PHX, then a >90 degree turn back down towards San Diego. It was pretty funky to see. A quick look at my phone's flightradar app showed the flights to be these.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA215
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL1467
The turns seemed even more abrupt than the line on the flightaware graphs.

So what gives? Turbulence? There were no clouds at all to indicate any "weather".
Anyone have an idea?


Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetribird1011 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2778 times:

Did the aircraft make those turns, or just the contrails?

If it was just the contrails, good chance that they may have gotten caught in the jetstream.


User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3047 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2731 times:

Definitely turns. If you zoom in on the flight paths on the links you can see. And like I said, visually, the contrail turns looked tighter than what you see on flightaware. These were big sweeping S turns.


Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineGuitrThree From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2059 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2672 times:

If you look at the flightaware maps of those particular flights on a PC or Mac (not mobile), change the map setting from "classic" to "aviation sectional" (box in upper right corner of the map).

You will see many restricted areas and parachute locations in the area they avoided by the turns. While the restricted areas are height limited, I'm betting they had some kind of operations going on in the upper FL's that prompted the S-turns you witnessed.

Of course, that's just a guess......



As Seen On FlightRadar24! Radar ==> F-KBNA5
User currently offlineJHwk From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2672 times:

Exercises at Barry M Goldwater Air Force Firing Range? Looks like it was planned for the Delta flight at least.

User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3047 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2496 times:

Then why not fly direct towards PHX instead of tight turns?
Also, this flight took the "normal" flightpath close to the same time, but no detour...
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...9/history/20130618/2205Z/KDFW/KSAN

But I agree that something going on at the Goldwater Range is a good guess...



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2908 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2312 times:

Well, a buddy of mine mentioned on Facebook a pretty wild ride from BUR to PHX, "I think I want to congratulate the pilot for his hurried rush to get us to Phoenix as the doctor worked on the girl in the back of the plane; putting us in a perpetual nose-dive to accelerate, low-altitude banking barely over the buildings of Phoenix, full throttle landing, and 90mph race-skidding into the gate... But I also want to slap him for the White-knuckle adrenaline rush he put us in for 45 min from Burbank to Phoenix. Girl is doing fine. Walked off the plane with paramedics on her own." Posted Monday at 3:07 PM in Scottsdale, AZ. No clue if it was US or WN, but if I had to guess - WN  .


Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2185 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2254 times:

I saw them too--there were three up there for about 45-50 minutes and just kind of merged together. I'm sure they were just spraying some chemicals on us in the Valley.  

Seriously speaking, I bet the turns were for spacing.

Right after sunset there were a couple beautiful contrails that were lit up nicely by the sun and glowed red for quite a while.


User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1249 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2010 times:

Yea, absolutely that controller was vectoring to get in trail spacing on the LYNDI3 prior to flashing the handoff to LA Center.

User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2185 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1531 times:

I just flew PHX-SAN today and did the same sharp turn south out of PHX. Went right over the Vee Quiva Casino before turning back to the west. Thought for a minute we were going to pay Tucson a visit!

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