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Counting Contrails

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1. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

You all have seen airplane contrails in the sky. Those are the vapor trails left behind by airplanes as they scream through the atmosphere.

1) On an average day, how many do you see?
2) Do you ever wish you were on one of those planes?
3) If so, where would you be headed?

2. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

hahah Isa! When I was little, I thought those were the 'seeds' that made clouds ;) I live not to far from an airport...so I see too many to count (Airforce base and all) and I ALWAYS wish I were on one of them! Especially during the long winters...when I wish I were going anywhere that had temperatures above freezing!

3. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

or do you mean "chemtrails"

U.S. Air Force aerial tankers may be causing and seeding clouds to modify the weather. The condensation trails and chemicals spread by these aircraft could be what is making some people sick in Tennessee, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Washington state and California.

Tommy Farmer, a former engineering technician with Raytheon Missile Systems, has been tracking patterns of jet contrails phenomena for more than a year. Farmer has "positively identified" two of the aircraft most often involved in the aerial spraying incidents as a Boeing KC-135 and Boeing KC-10. Both big jets are used by the US Air Force for air to air refueling. A Boeing T-43 used for navigation training and mapping may also be involved...

4. Posted by ChubbDub (Full Member 132 posts) 11y

Good topic!

I live in a pretty big city so I see lots flying over the Navaid close by..

Yes I wish I were on a lot... specially the ones heading west =)

As for spraying chemicals, we have a unique program in
Southern Alberta because we get some of the most damaging hail you can imagine... I think it was in '92 Hail the size of baseballs destroyed roofs of cars and houses in Calgary and cost millions in insurance claims... Now we have a small army of airplanes housed at a hangar I work at. They're suited with a bunch of little flares and 2 containers on the wings and they're on call 24 hours... So whenever we have thunderheads in the area they fly right into them and spray these chemicals (we're assured its all safe...?) which dissipated the hail and breaks in into smaller chunks or just plain old rain...

Its pretty cool... National Geographic did a program on it and dubbed us "Hailstorm Alley".... Better then Tornado Alley I guess =p.

5. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

yeah it is like that all over Red Deer as well Delth, personally I don't like it... it is just another example of humans changing things as they see fit...

6. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 11y

Excellent post Isadora!

I believe that the coolness of the air temperature has something to do with the conditions that those trails form under. Hence I only see them every so often.

But I saw one today when I was in the shower at home getting ready for work. I simply wondered where the plane came from, where it was heading, and the cicumstances of the passengers (business people, excited first time travellers, someone escaping a bad situation, someone starting a new life, etc). There must be so many emotions in that small steel tube flying at an incredible speed so high in the sky.

7. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

kind of on the same topic, have you ever been to a part of the world where you never saw a plane fly over head?

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I was aware of planes seeding clouds for creating rain, etc - but was not aware of their use to break up hail and the like. I am going to have to check this our for our area. As for the safety of these chemicals? Well, guess it's all in who you ask now isn't it...

We see very few contrials overhead. though, we've been able to track the early morning patterns headed to Chicago O'Hare. ("Oh, there goes the 6:15 from Minneapolis...")

(Daddy Bush's plane - and fighter escorts - flew directly over our house on 9-11, when he was rerouted and directed to land in Wisconsin. They flew very low overhead. I will never forget watching them fly directly north and feeling as though I could touch them. No planes have a north/south route over us, normally.)

9. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 11y

I live not too far from the airport so i see them quite often, normally if they're flying over the area i live then they're heading to the States, sometimes i like to think i'm on them but more that i was the pilot and had control to change direction whenever I wanted, today I feel like heading to India, its in my head since Saturday (I'm blaming Eve for putting it in my head !! ) but then again next Wednesday I head to Holland for a few days and in about 4-5 weeks i head to Istanbul for 8 days (flying on Friday 13th, emmmmm mybe a bad choice )

10. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

I've always tended to see quite allot, even when i haven't been all that close to an airport where i've lived, but that's probably because Europe has so many criss crossing services. It's not at all unusual to see 5 or even 10 on occassions criss crossed at diff altitudes/directions etc through the sky

2) Do you ever wish you were on one of those planes?

Absolutely not, no!!