Unusually stacked Lufthansa cargo planes?

Discussion in 'Spotting' started by orbscure, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. orbscure

    orbscure New Member

    I've got no idea if this is unusual or not, but on my way to work yesterday morning, I noticed what appeared to be an unusually thick contrail above. A quick glance at the Plane Finder app confirm my sighing as a pair of Lufthansa Cargo planes . The top example was LH439 an A340-313 registered D-AIGS which was at 38000ft, whilst the lower example was LH8171, a B777-FTB D-ALFB at 37000ft. Both were en route to Frankfurt and both were on identical headings. This is the best shot I could grab from my bus and the perspective might not do my sighting much justice. When they were overhead, they appeared to be much closer together/above each other than the photo below might appear to show:


    Not having seen anything like this before, is this common practice for two airliners to be 1000ft apart, travelling at 500+kts on the same heading in this manner? Just curious...

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  2. Teecee

    Teecee New Member

    Vertical seperation of 1,000 feet is the accepted norm, what is unlikely is they were both going the same direction, with 1,000 feet seperation. Usually even numbered flight levels go one direction & odd numbered flight levels go the opposite direction. ( I assume you didn't just 'round up/down' one/both of the numbers to the nearest 1,000). There are proscribed 'airlanes' and Air Traffic Control will have vectored them both into the same 'airlane' as they were both going to the same destination.
    As a general rule 4 number flights are cargo, 3 or less pax.
  3. orbscure

    orbscure New Member

    Many thanks Terry...

    With regards the 1000ft vertical separation, here are the screen shots from the Plane Finder App at the time the photo was taken:


    I'd imagine that like many of us here, we spend much of our time looking up at the sky, but in all of my 48 years, I've never seen anything like this before... :)
  4. Teecee

    Teecee New Member

    Hi Orbscure
    Can't argue, perhaps Plane finder rounded up/down, bit unlikely that one will have 'wandered' up as the other 'wandered' down. At those heights the altitudes may well have been given as flight levels (500 feet increments) and Planefinder will have 'translated', though my SBS displays in increments of 25 feet & SBS units are what feed Planefinder.
    I have noticed of late that many pilots seem to cruise at X thousand 900+ feet and I can never remember which (even or odd) is which direction, to know if they are high in the X thousand or just below the Y thousand.
    Have fun
  5. orbscure

    orbscure New Member

    Cheers Terry... appreciate the feedback..

  6. airbus340

    airbus340 New Member

    If they are 1000 feet apart, and none of them are climbing, then they most likely are on a one direction airway. Most airways are for both directions, and thats when the odd/even flightlevels are valid, but there is also many airways that allow traffic in one direction only.
  7. orbscure

    orbscure New Member

    Many thanks Airbus... :)
  8. RoguHelihunt

    RoguHelihunt New Member

    No, it is not contrail but chemtrail, unless you observed the track or trail vanishing within 5 minutes, it is not contrail. Chemtrails will persist and exist for a long time and for hours because it is composed of dozen chemicals like barium, Lead, aluminum etc used for atmospheric control or geo engg, but actually it is a massive abuse operation, the result of breathing these chemicals can be deadly over time. From your comments I think this could be one of those fictitious operations, if you have video or picture, I can take a look at to discern better info.

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