Posts: 563
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 11:36 pm

KC-10 & Companion Over Chicago 9/11/04

Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:30 pm

Can anyone confirm this info for me: At approx. 1pm, I was waiting for friends at Wrigley Field for the 1:20pm Cubs game, glanced up, and saw a contrail arcing from the south to the northwest. Nothing unusual for the skies over Chicago, and I noted the three distinct exhaust plumes coming from either a DC-10 or MD-11. What was unusual was the single contrail following closely behind it. Obviously I couldn't make out the type, but I'd guess it was an F-16 or similar joining a KC-10 to refuel. So was the Air Force or Air National Guard performing overflights of major US cities yesterday? My first thought was a flight being intercepted due to something, but as they continued to fly in formation away from Wrigley, I'm assuming it was a refueling. Any more info to confirm would be appreciated. I want to be sure I wasn't just seeing things! (I've currently got a bad case of Cubs fever.)
Posts: 1502
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:27 am

RE: KC-10 & Companion Over Chicago 9/11/04

Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:51 pm

Usually they don't refuel at altitudes high enough to leave a contrail. Also, in the U.S. there are dedicated "tanker tracks" away from populated areas that they used for refueling. There is a big one over Lake Michigan but it doesn't extend over Chicago.TC
FL450, M.85
Posts: 3329
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: KC-10 & Companion Over Chicago 9/11/04

Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:20 am

Last month when I was digging up dinosaurs in Wyoming, I saw a KC-135 refuelling 2 B-1s (not at the same time, one was on boom, one was off of the others wingtip) in the contrail belt. Altitude for contrail formation can vary widely, but it can happen.
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