Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:11 pm

Other Traffic On Final Approach!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:16 am

An interesting sight last Wednesday, can you tell me if anything similar has happened to you and whether this is a common occurrence?

I was a passenger on board a Monarch A321 heading west on final approach to LGW at 1400 local. I was sat in row 9 on the port side, forward of the wing and visibility was clear with odd scattered clouds and sunshine. We were up at about 2 or 3,000 feet, just moments from touchdown. I was looking down at the ground, at the buildings and roads, in fact I was looking for houses with swimming pools! Suddenly a very fast dark grey coloured F15 Eagle passed directly below us, heading in the same direction. I watched it for maybe a couple of seconds at most, but it surprised me that we were so close to touchdown, yet there was other traffic that appeared so close to us. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to my camera quick enough, but I certainly didn't imagine this.

Are low-level military aircraft under ATC or do they just tear about on their own? Has anything similar happened to you? Am I being an old fart???
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Other Traffic On Final Approach!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:34 am

There have been some military low level routes around Sussex for many years. I lived for 12 years in Crowborough, close to the Mayfield VOR, and plenty of Hercules and fast jet traffic crossed the area at levels below 1,000 feet, under and paralleling the Gatwick approach base leg.

The aircraft are under RAF control which is liased with NATS and used to be at West Drayton (has it now gone to Swanwick?). Gatwick approach would be aware of the traffic and would have passed the information to aircraft in the area.

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