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Close Calls In The Air?

Tue Jun 20, 2000 10:34 pm

I was flying from ATL to TPA on Delta last year and I believe we were at cruising altitude. I was gazing out the window (as usual) from the left hand side of the plane. I was amazed to see another plane whiz by directly below us....it came from the right side of the plane so I didn't see it coming and it shocked me. It had to be no more than 500 feet below us. I'm pretty sure it was a DC-9. Anyway, at that altitude & speed, it was awesome to see how quickly we separated from the other plane at a 90 degree angle. I could not help but wonder if that was a normal occurence for pilots?or was it a close call? There was no evasive action taken so I assume the pilots knew it was safely below us.

Anyone else have a story like that to share?
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RE: Close Calls In The Air?

Tue Jun 20, 2000 11:21 pm

Are you sure that is was only 500 feet? I think it is very hard to judge the distance. As I know they must have at least 300 m (thats about 1000 feet) distance in the vertical. Please correct me if I am wrong.
I had a flight over the atlantic from ZRH to JFK and almost the whole route (over the ocean) another plane "followed" us on a lower flight level and little bit to the side.
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RE: Close Calls In The Air?

Tue Jun 20, 2000 11:28 pm

I'm wondering IF it was that close, that you'd probably hear it too!!??!!

Must have been an awesome sight, but my thoughts are it was alot more than 500 feet below as TCAS wouldve caused the pilots to act evassively.

Try going to your local airport and guaging the size relative to the distance of a similar aircraft standing there  
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RE: Close Calls In The Air?

Tue Jun 20, 2000 11:56 pm

I'm sure it was probably more like the required minimum of 1000 feet but it did seem a lot closer than that at the time. It was still a bit un-nerving to think we had the entire sky to use at 33,000 ft. and these 2 planes would have t-boned each other if there was a 1000ft, miscalculation!
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RE: Close Calls In The Air?

Wed Jun 21, 2000 1:22 am

On 2 flights from DFW-SAN, flying over Nex Mexico and Arizona, i have seen multiple Air Force tainers go zipping by below. It's really a cool sight! Also, i remember seeing a MD-80 flying paralell to us, and other planes making descents. Pretty neat.

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RE: Close Calls In The Air?

Wed Jun 21, 2000 2:06 am

It always looks pretty close - I was in a Virgin 747 that overtook an Air 2000 757 over the North Atlantic, presumably with 1,000 ft seperation, but I could look down and see the first officer's tie, individual rivets, that kind of thing. Although it was easier cos we were both travelling in the same direction.

It's really weird to see other jets going in the other direction, we are completely conditioned to think of the 747 as a lumbering thing that moves slowly along the runway, but when one flashes past in the other direction with a combined speed of over 1,000 mph, well, it's pretty spectacular and unexpected.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz