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Airliner Circles Midlands?

Old 16th Jan 2012, 11:35
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Airliner Circles Midlands?

Hi Everyone,

Anyone know anything about an airliner currently circling the west midlands, looks to be in some sort of hold from west midlands (stourbridge) down towards Malvern hills... Its on about its 8th circuit now...
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 12:41
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I noticed an aeroplane approaching Stoke on Trent from the southeast do a complete u turn to the left and return back to the southeast.

Something I've never noticed before.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 13:46
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No idea, but you could see the contrails all the way over here in Essex.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 13:52
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From another thread:

Originally Posted by Simtech
A couple of E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft have been reported in the area.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 14:00
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Rehearsals for the Olympics...?

Cheers -SLF
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 14:49
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Was watching it from the office window with my new leicas, deffo looked like a 707
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 15:49
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I was near to Leicester and also saw the trails very clearly, I had no bins so couldn't identify the bird.

I have just heard a NATO callsign, but not sure if the same aircraft.

The contrails have been very good today but I guess the air temperature has changed and they have now disappeared.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 15:56
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One was NATO E3 LX-N90453 and the other was a RAF version ZH102.

Don't know the reason why though.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 16:20
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This may be related, it was certainly unusual. 10:30 this morning near High Wycombe there was a rear-mounted twin jet at (very roughly) 20,000 feet heading SE. It made a 180 degree left-hand turn and headed off NW. Looking at the vapour trail, it appeared to have come in heading SW and made a 90 degree turn onto the SE heading described above.

I couldn't imagine why an airliner (round here it would have to be an SAS MD8x or a BMI Embraer) would do this, or a business jet. But now I've read this thread, I recall reading that the RAF use private jets (HS125?) as 'targets' for training purposes. Anyone got a better (more sensible) explanation?
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 16:38
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Anorak on

The smaller jet was a Sentinel - or modified Global Express - which the boys in blue use for surveillance.

Often to be seen over the UK but not noticed in the area mentioned until today when the vapour trails were very long lasting - so it was up in the 30,000 ft + range

Anorak off

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Old 16th Jan 2012, 18:48
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Saw this 10.30 today was about level J10 M1 near Dunstable
Long straight contrail due south then a 180 left and back the way she came, left lights on at home? after 20min still in sight a 270 left and then 180 right (large 'S'shape) and off in the direction of Bristol

'Bought 2 hours later another (same) plane do the same at same location

Tried looking at FR24 and Casper but no joy

Eyesight only but looked like 2 wing mounted engines from the trail

Where's Heathrow Director when you need him?
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Old 17th Jan 2012, 10:53
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Kiltrash, what you saw was ZJ692 - which is a 5 sqn Sentinel from RAF Waddington on just a routine training exercise.
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Old 17th Jan 2012, 13:27
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Is it possible that the Sentinel which was performing the large anti-clockwise circuits over the south and midlands was working in tandem with the 2 AWACS aircraft which were circuiting Lincolnshire, maybe pre-Olympics work?
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Old 17th Jan 2012, 20:36
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Just joined the forum after a few months of watching because of this plane, so Hi to everyone.

Seen this yesterday in Dudley in the West Midlands as well at about 12:30pm. Couldn't ID the aircraft here even with binoculars as it was pretty much directly overhead when I noticed it but it looked like a DC9 sort of shape with the 2 engines at the back. Looking at the trails that were still clearly visible it had come from the south east and pretty much turned 180 degrees and headed back to the south east.

If I had ventured out into the back garden 5 minutes earlier I would have got a brilliant picture of it as the 400mm zoom lens was sitting on my DSLR
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 23:30
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Just came across this articles someone manged to snap a few pictures.

Spy in the sky mystery as aircraft circles city (From Worcester News)

And a picture of the contrails.
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 07:38
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Ah! Good journalism at its best!

"It was well above 2,000ft, the level below which all traffic is monitored by RAF air traffic controllers who were unable to shed any light on its identity."

PS Sean Mooney will be getting a knock on his door, I suspect!
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 09:58
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I'm originally from Stoke-on-Trent - if an aircraft was circling and headed towards Stoke it's quite possible it was told to 'Phuq Off Youth!' and that would explain the U-turn.
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 12:23
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Visible in Manchester too!

I think what is truly remarkable is that the sky was clear over so much of the UK
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 13:59
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Something similar happened yesterday over southern Ireland causing much disquiet to the good citizens of County Kerry. A mystery plane circling overhead. The local radio station was bombarded with calls and internent forums had questions asked. I spoiled it all by pointing out that it was simply an airliner just out of maintenance on an airtest.

It's funny how people still get excited when they see aircraft doing something non routine.
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Old 23rd Feb 2012, 17:28
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Seen this again over the West Midlands this afternoon, came from the South East and turned north of Birmingham then headed back off towards the south at about 4:30pm, managed to get a picture although not exactly a good one due to the camera I had with me...

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