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Commercial Formation Flying?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:11 am

On Sunday September 19 at appx. 6:45 p.m. local time, I witnessed what appeared to be two twin engine "commercial" airliners (7X7?) flying in an extremely tight formation, one behind and above the other. This occurred at about 7000' msl (guessing) and about 2 miles NNW of the LAS VOR. The planes were heading West to East. Hopefully this is enough information to help pin down what was going on. I initially suspected midair refueling, but couldn't make out a boom (besides, why would they refuel at such a low altitude over a heavily populated area?) If anyone has any knowledge or ideas about this, I'd love to hear it. Thanks for you time!
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RE: Commercial Formation Flying?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:22 am

KC-135's fly formation occasionally. They could have just been going into the break at Nellis... Big grinTC
FL450, M.85
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RE: Commercial Formation Flying?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:28 am

Well using your information, if they were roughly at 7000' as you say and 2 miles from a VOR, my guess tells me that they were probably established on a hold over said LAS VOR. Due to where you were standing looking up, it would appear that they are in close formation, but infact, one could be at 7000' and the other at 8000', for example, giving the false impression. That is a common occourance at busy airports/airspaces where traffic is very high.

I remember seeing photos on here recently about 3 SAA aircraft doing a close formation for an audience. One was an A346, the other a 744 and 747SP.

Hope that helps!
You are said to be a good pilot when your take-off's equal your landings.
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RE: Commercial Formation Flying?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:41 am

I thought you said "twin engine" aircraft? I dont know of any refuelers that are twin engine as of yet until those 767s get approved.

Maybe it was a couple of commercial airliners doing a promo shoot over Las Vegas, you said it was near LAS right?

I am sure you have all seen the pics of the AA aircraft in formation for the AA promo shoots, maybe it was a Southwest promo shoot with a couple of their special painted aircraft.
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RE: Commercial Formation Flying?

Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:29 am

KC-10's, from an angle, could look like a twin engine plane.
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RE: Commercial Formation Flying?

Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:08 am

You've looked for them on I don't see them, which suggests they were military all right.