DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

Night Flight Unidentified

Sun May 20, 2001 7:21 am

I have been watching the skies my whole life. I have seen everything from Apaches, C-5s, Blimps, 747s, Jolly Greens, F-4s, Concordes, to weather balloons. You name it, I've probably seen it, just like many of you.

Recently, I was looking out my east-facing bedroom window at 11:00pm, I can see for miles, I can see Buckley operations, and DIA operations as well, including flight paths.

I don't know what I saw a few nights ago.

It flew over my house with a heli/jet noise, but traveling about as fast as a regular F-16 or similar aircraft at low level flying speeds. It flew east for about five miles at 1-1,500ft, lining itself up directly with Buckley's Northerly approach pattern. It virtually stopped heading east and started climbing at a 90 degree angle from the ground, yes, straight up! It climbed for about five minutes at a rate a helicopter would. It must have reached 20-25,000ft before it just disappeared. I stayed for another ten minutes and it never reappeared.

Okay, so here is what I noted:

1. The lights were standard navigational lights, just not in any configuration that I have ever seen.

2. It was too big to be a helicopter. And the lights too far apart width-wise as well.

3. Why did it turn its lights out at altitude?

4. Why was it traveling so fast at such a low altitude over a residential neighborhood at 11:00pm?

5. Jet noise with a large blade sound?

6. Could it have been an Osprey or a Harrier?

7. Have I witnessed something that I was not supposed to pay attention to?

8. Yes, I was sober and awake.

9. Does anyone have any guesses or knowledge of this manuever or possible aircraft.

10. I see F-16s and F-18s takeoff and go straight up to altitude all the time. . .this wasn't the same.

11. I've never seen the helicopters out here fly that fast and then go up to that type of altitude. Especially that large.

Anything you know helps, maybe one of you know exactly what this was. Any ideas?

Regards, DIA

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jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Night Flight Unidentified

Sun May 20, 2001 3:24 pm

Osprey might give jetnoise and bladenoise both in transition flight, and does of course have the lights further apart than a regular helicopter.
They might be beginning to reach units, not sure about the production rate (and if they even started).
If so, specops would likely be among the first recipients. They usually fly without lights, which might explain them turning them off once out of the departure zone.
I saw one once, but never heard it (it was sitting on the ramp at Quantico, grounded after the accidents during the testprogram).

Harrier is a unique sound. If you ever heard one, you'd instantly recognise it again  Smile It has no rotors, so no bladenoise.
I wish I were flying
 
DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Night Flight Unidentified

Mon May 21, 2001 12:55 am

Thanks Jwenting.

I spoke to a couple of distant friends in the southeastern states and they actually said pretty much the same thing you have typed in. They too think it could have been an Osprey.

I thought the Osprey was still grounded. Maybe they were just conducting more high-altitude tests.

Regards, DIA
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Night Flight Unidentified

Mon May 21, 2001 2:32 am

I think the grounding is political. There are powerfull forces trying to kill the program in Washington. Maybe the armed forces are taking a low-key approach with V22 operations in the hope that the hawks will forget about it until after the budget has been approved.
I wish I were flying
 
Aerotech
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:44 am

RE: Night Flight Unidentified

Mon May 21, 2001 9:03 am

Sorry, it can't be a V-22. I've heard one, and it sounds very similar to a Blackhawk. There's no jet type noise. You may have heard a Chinook.

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