Investigated: W-shaped contrail near Central California Coast

Jason

Senior Member
Over-thinking.


Just my $0.02.
Probably, most definitely, but I'm just trying to understand it. The flat scissors practiced in formation would look like that, the picture I posted is deceiving because it looks like there's a significant amount of vertical movement but it could be done horizontally..
 

captfitch

Senior Member.
That original Facebook post is amazing.
Probably, most definitely, but I'm just trying to understand it. The flat scissors practiced in formation would look like that, the picture I posted is deceiving because it looks like there's a significant amount of vertical movement but it could be done horizontally..

Yeah but the point of that maneuver is to "out turn" your enemy and those look like constant rate turns.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
I think he's saying they were practicing that particular track. they weren't doing the other one.
Well then I think we are both saying the same thing. A lead an his wingman practicing flying together in that maneuver prior to trying it out on other aircraft. We just said half. Still don't know for sure.
 

Jason

Senior Member
I'm not drawing anything. In those circumstances the other track would also have a contrail.
I highlighted one track to show that particular maneuver which can be performed or practiced by itself without have a counterpart.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

That diagram is of rolling scissors, not flat scissors. But neither of them look like what we see in the OP, which is very large diameter turns linked perpendicular to the major direction of travel. And since there are two jet, it seems most likely they are simply practicing formation flying with some fixed radius turns.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I have considered the possibility of a reconnaissance mission before but found it being less likely. Firstly, because the aircraft had flown at a relatively high altitude of 39,000 ft, secondly, because there probably still was a marine cloud layer underneath.
Yes....debris recon missions would seem unlikely at such altitude....I think they track the debris immediately, and/or they let it sink into the ocean fathoms....if it is not float-able debris.

"Can you verify if a NOTAM was issued for W-532n/e/s on June 23rd 2014?"

Are NOTAMs required over/around Vandenberg AFB ?....I think it's permanently restricted airspace.
But if debris may fall, I think NOTMARs are (Notice To Mariners).
(kinda off topic, but interesting)
 
Last edited:

Faithless

Member
When I first saw this photograph my immediate reaction was that it was a pair of military jets making a series of 'Tac turns'
Nobody has suggested this so I thought I would. It could explain the contrails seemingly crossing over.

 
Top