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View Full Version : Suspect Aircraft Just Sighted Over Yeovil, Somerset.


galexander
11-07-2010, 08:39 AM
I have just sighted a suspect aircraft flying over Yeovil, Somerset.

The time was around 3.20 pm today. A passenger jet airliner with four engines was going east bound at I estimate around 2,000 feet (certainly below the cloud cover) at a painfully slow speed. It looked almost like it was coming into land. However the nearest airport is Bristol some 50 kilometres away NNE. All the air traffic I have seen in the area is high altitude, i.e. +30,000 feet, and eastbound presumably to London.

As it began to disappear from sight it banked 90 degrees to the north and appeared to lose altitude as it did so. (All aircraft lose altitude when they bank unless the pilot is skilful enough to increase his power while doing so. In fact banking steeply at a low altitude can be a dangerous maneouvre.)

The last time I saw this phenomena was some months prior to 9/11 from High Wycombe, Bucks. And again it was a pretty much identical situation with respect to direction and altitude, etc.

However you never hear anything about this in the news.

What is the explanation for this curious phenomena?

Dervish
11-08-2010, 12:25 PM
We saw the plane too - it was very worrying. My son said that he heard at school that it was a Russian Cargo plane and that it definitely landed at the unused/emergency runway at the nearby Yeovilton airbase. Several people saw it circle Yeovilton before it came in to land. Very strange indeed.

galexander
11-10-2010, 11:16 AM
We saw the plane too - it was very worrying. My son said that he heard at school that it was a Russian Cargo plane and that it definitely landed at the unused/emergency runway at the nearby Yeovilton airbase. Several people saw it circle Yeovilton before it came in to land. Very strange indeed.

Thanks for the reply!

It did cross my mind actually that it may have been heading for Yeovilton. However its manoeuvres in the sky still looked a bit risky.

I also couldn't help wondering where it had flown from and if it was a cargo plane (which are the same size as a passenger jet) why it had not landed at Exeter, Bristol or Bournemouth as it would have flown over one of these airports to get to Yeovilton.

Still a bit of a mystery.

kirstym01
01-11-2011, 03:04 PM
Hi, Sorry to dig up an old thread but just wandering if there was ever any further news on the low aircraft over Yeovil?
I too saw the plane, it went straight over my house and I honestly thought it wasn't going to land safely! But bizarrely hardly any of the people I spoke to in Yeovil about the plane saw or heard it.
I would really like to know why it was coming over so low and where it eventually did land, I thought perhaps it was going to Yeovilton, I'm more than sure it wouldn't have made Bristol!

Dervish
01-11-2011, 04:06 PM
Hi there
Never heard any more about it apart from the fact that it was a Russian Cargo plane and landed at the Yeovilton Airbase. I found it odd that there was nothing reported about it in the local media. I guess it will just be one of those things we never know!

kirstym01
01-12-2011, 01:08 AM
It was very strange! I've just thought actually one of my neighbours is a bird handler at Yeovilton, wander if he'll share any info?!!
It really looked like a passenger plane, thats what I thought was so weird, but as I saw above Russian Cargo planes are the same size as passenger planes, maybe it ran into difficulties?

galexander
01-12-2011, 12:06 PM
It was very strange! I've just thought actually one of my neighbours is a bird handler at Yeovilton, wander if he'll share any info?!!
It really looked like a passenger plane, thats what I thought was so weird, but as I saw above Russian Cargo planes are the same size as passenger planes, maybe it ran into difficulties?

Cargo planes are almost identical to passenger planes, all that is missing are the logos on the side.

What I find perplexing however is whether the runways at Yeovilton are large enough to take a plane of that size with its accompanying landing speed?

The aircraft at Yeovilton which is Royal Navy are all small, i.e. the type of aircraft that can land on a boat with a very short runway.

I also find the absence of the story in the media interesting which echoes my original observation in the opening thread.

kirstym01
01-12-2011, 12:34 PM
I am most definately going to ask my neighbour when I see him, I had actually forgotten about this until a family member came over last night and started talking about it, made me recall that Sunday afternoon! I still can't believe quite how low it came over Yeovil, we are used to low helicopters with Westlands in the town so wasn't too bothered about the aircraft noise until I looked out my living room window and saw it, it was huge!

I remember at the time thinking it would be in the local paper that week but nothing at all!

Why would you think it has all been kept so quiet???

galexander
01-13-2011, 12:53 PM
I have just sighted a suspect aircraft flying over Yeovil, Somerset.

The time was around 3.20 pm today. A passenger jet airliner with four engines was going east bound at I estimate around 2,000 feet (certainly below the cloud cover) at a painfully slow speed. It looked almost like it was coming into land. However the nearest airport is Bristol some 50 kilometres away NNE. All the air traffic I have seen in the area is high altitude, i.e. +30,000 feet, and eastbound presumably to London.

As it began to disappear from sight it banked 90 degrees to the north and appeared to lose altitude as it did so. (All aircraft lose altitude when they bank unless the pilot is skilful enough to increase his power while doing so. In fact banking steeply at a low altitude can be a dangerous maneouvre.)

The last time I saw this phenomena was some months prior to 9/11 from High Wycombe, Bucks. And again it was a pretty much identical situation with respect to direction and altitude, etc.

However you never hear anything about this in the news.

What is the explanation for this curious phenomena?

Correction to the above.

The suspect aircraft at High Wycombe was heading due west, not east.

This was away from London and away from the nearest airports. The only thing that lies in that direction is an army base on the Salisbury Plains and I don't know if they have a runway there.

galexander
01-13-2011, 01:04 PM
I am most definately going to ask my neighbour when I see him, I had actually forgotten about this until a family member came over last night and started talking about it, made me recall that Sunday afternoon! I still can't believe quite how low it came over Yeovil, we are used to low helicopters with Westlands in the town so wasn't too bothered about the aircraft noise until I looked out my living room window and saw it, it was huge!

I remember at the time thinking it would be in the local paper that week but nothing at all!

Why would you think it has all been kept so quiet???

I actually know a pilot of cargo planes and yes, apparently they are identical planes to the passenger aircraft.

Landing a plane of that size is not easy, they are real monsters. You need to get the correct approach first, i.e. the plane has to be perfectly lined up with the end of the runway. Then you need to adjust your altitude and speed. The 'flaps' are deployed to decrease the planes stalling velocity and then an altitude appropriate to landing is obtained.

In short this does not match the behaviour of the "Russian cargo" plane at all whose behaviour was rather erratic.

To suddenly turn at 90 degrees at such a low altitude was a risky manoeuvre and I doubt this would have lined the plane up with the end of the runway at Yeovilton.

These planes are so big it is not the same thing as landing a light aircraft at Yeovil airfield which even your granny could probably do.

kirstym01
01-13-2011, 02:59 PM
Ohhhh yes now you have put those facts forward that seems even stranger. I remember watching it turn as it passed over Yeovil, assuming it was landing at Yeovilton, and the only thing I thought was that it was a passenger plane that had run into difficulty and couldn't make it to Bristol or indeed Bournemouth or Exeter.

Do we know if the plane actually did land???

galexander
12-01-2011, 08:13 AM
Yesterday, shortly before noon, I saw some more curious aerial manoeuvres over the Yeovil/Yeovilton area.

Several miles to the north of where I am I saw a passenger jet-sized aircraft at no more than two thousand feet flying eastwards along the horizon. It then suddenly turned through 180 degrees and immediately began losing altitude where it disappeared from view and I can only assume it landed at RNAS Yeovilton.

Further, about an hour before I saw this I heard some uncharacteristic loud aircraft noise overhead which certainly wasn’t a helicopter.

To turn an aircraft of this size through 180 degrees and then land immediately afterwards is not an easy manoeuvre and would have taken quite some piloting skills. But what was the purpose of such a manoeuvre? An ‘emergency landing’ from a cargo plane would not have required such a risky approach and I can’t imagine any training exercise for an emergency landing requiring such a precarious approach either.

Has anyone out there any ideas and did anyone else see this?

kirstym01
12-01-2011, 11:33 AM
This sounds almost the same as what happened last year, how very weird! I live in Yeovil but I didn't see or hear anything, but having read what you have put a few of my facebook friends were commenting on the loud noise and rumble in Yeovil which they described as feeling like an earthquake, I'd be really interested to know why these aircraft come over Yeovil as such an altitude

galexander
12-01-2011, 02:31 PM
This sounds almost the same as what happened last year, how very weird! I live in Yeovil but I didn't see or hear anything, but having read what you have put a few of my facebook friends were commenting on the loud noise and rumble in Yeovil which they described as feeling like an earthquake, I'd be really interested to know why these aircraft come over Yeovil as such an altitude

Thanks for your reply kirstym01.

That is odd. The noise I heard was certainly more like an aircraft than an earthquake and I didn't experience any vibration.

It is also odd if the same low flying aircraft produced the same noise as it would suggest it had been circling the area for over half an hour.

kirstym01
12-01-2011, 02:57 PM
I am completely amazed I didn't hear anything! Are you actually in Yeovil? Just wandering in relation to my house where the plane might have flown, I know the one last year literally flew straight overhead and there is no way I could have missed that!

galexander
12-03-2011, 05:03 AM
I am completely amazed I didn't hear anything! Are you actually in Yeovil? Just wandering in relation to my house where the plane might have flown, I know the one last year literally flew straight overhead and there is no way I could have missed that!

I'm in the more northerly part of the town towards the Mudford Road.

I don't know a lot about piloting, the only experience I have is from playing flight simulation computer games, but to turn through 180 and then land straight away on a long and narrow runway is actually extremely difficult indeed.

For a large aircraft like a passenger jet a long approach is used so the pilot has plenty of time to make fine adjustments to make sure is completely lined up with the end of the runway.

Also banking steeply at a low altitude is a little dangerous as well as the plane immediately starts to lose altitude. If you bank at an angle of 45 degrees for example you lose half the lift and the plane starts to fall.

This basically was what raised alarm bells for me.

galexander
12-04-2011, 07:25 AM
Just to add to the above, knowing how difficult it is in practice to get a 180 degree arc to join perfectly onto the end of a straight line fixed onto the end of a runway, I wonder if the aircraft in question was not computer controlled itself?