N243NW
Topic Author
Posts: 1597
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:29 am

Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:23 pm

Hi all:

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!

-N243NW Big thumbs up
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:25 pm

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.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
N243NW
Topic Author
Posts: 1597
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:29 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:04 am

OPNLguy-
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  Big thumbs up
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:24 am

PETTY is 33.5nm southeast of the Badger (BAE) navaid (which is west of MKE), so I'd say PETTY is roughly 15-20nm southeast of MKE....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
N243NW
Topic Author
Posts: 1597
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:29 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:09 am

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  Big thumbs up
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5051
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:26 am

ALIENS FLYING IN FORMATION!!!  Big thumbs up  Wow!  Laugh out loud
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:04 am

Uh one question. If you live in MKE, how can it be 530 considering it's only 5 on the east coast?  Laugh out loud
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
crjdispatchkid
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:15 pm

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:27 am

I know there was a Presidental bus route, or maybe Kerry up around MKE yesterday. I'm guessing this holding had something to do with it.
Thanks...C-Ya...Bye
 
smcmac32msn
Posts: 1661
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 9:25 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:30 am

Uh one question. If you live in MKE, how can it be 530 considering it's only 5 on the east coast?

Look at the date stamp, its from about 18 hours ago. (11:30pm CST on 9/10/2004) He was posting about 9/10/04.

Heres the datestamp:
Posted Sat Sep 11 2004 06:23:36 UTC+1 and read 638 times:
Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
 
N243NW
Topic Author
Posts: 1597
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:29 am

RE: Can Anyone Explain What I Saw?

Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:30 pm

CRJ-
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.

Thanks for the replies, everyone!

-N243NW  Big thumbs up
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.

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