Debunked: Tankerenemy - Contrails at 13,000 feet? [Wrong Plane]


Update: The plane in the video claiming low altitude contrails was misidentified, and was actually flying at 39,000 feet, see discussion in thread below.

Original first post follows:

The latest video by Rosario M. "The Antitanker", involves a FlightRadar24 reading which seems incompatible with a contrail seen from the plane:

Honestly it is difficult from the video to understand the connection btw the plane releasing the contrail (as seen from Liguria, Italy) and the FlightRadar24 reading, an Austrian Airlines Fokker 100 at 4000m going to Nice.

Any feedback, folks?
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Senior Member.
The aircraft has been misidentified.
a Fokker 100 has engines on the fuselage and a T Tail. at about 23seconds intot he video when he zooms in, you can clearly see it does not have a t Tail and the engines are on the wings. so it is probably a 767 or A320 family of plane.
As the plane is going from right to left on the screen, I think he is just assuming it is the plane nearest to him on flight radar 24. I suspect it is the plane further to the left on the FR24 screen at 18 seconds into the video. Perhaps someone who is good at FR24 can check this.


Thanks Efftup, very useful observation, I still do not have enough expertise on airplanes like you guys ;)


Senior Member.
The latest video by Rosario M. "The Antitanker", involves a FlightRadar24 reading which seems incompatible with a contrail seen from the plane:

Honestly it is difficult from the video to understand the connection btw the plane releasing the contrail (as seen from Liguria, Italy) and the FlightRadar24 reading, an Austrian Airlines Fokker 100 at 4000m going to Nice.

Any feedback, folks?

I've matched his live FR24 from the video:
Screen shot 2014-11-08 at 19.37.46.png

to today's (November 8) playback:
Screen shot 2014-11-08 at 19.52.14.png

and checked the plane that has flown further away in approximately the same direction:
Screen shot 2014-11-08 at 19.57.12.png

This Portuguese Airbus A319 (TAP871, registration number SC-TTD) has flown at 39,000 ft. It appears to have similar proportions and livery to the plane in the video (note the tailfin colours)
Screen shot 2014-11-08 at 19.56.11.png

PS The video almost certainly has been taken today. In the previous days, the Austrian airline flights were made by the planes with different registration numbers flying notably different paths.
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Senior Member
It is true to say that for MOST of this planet, there will never be any contrails at 13,000 feet.

Possibly, in a few very rare occasions in extremely cold (and humid) conditions where a jet airplane is flying? Such as near the poles, at that low altitude....(AND, since there is no place to land for such aircraft in the Arctic, this defaults to the Antarctic)...still...

EDIT:: Because a jet will normally NOT be at "13,000" feet as a cruising altitude. It is climbing or descending THROUGH that altitude.....MIGHT be "stopped" at such an altitude, due to ATC reasons (ATC = 'Air Traffic Control'). There is MUCH to learn, and thus know about how modern civil aviation actually works.


Senior Member.
Apparently, Rosario Marcianò (Tankerenemy) is aware of the debunking his latest video, but dismissed it on his FB page. He also has added the following comment to the video:
Screen shot 2014-11-09 at 18.00.29.png

In this comment he "brushes off" both criticisms: 1) the wrong shape of the plane is because Austrian Airlines changed the plane to A319; 2) the alternative plane at 39,000 ft was to the North of him, whilst the video was shot in the West direction.

I would not be bothered with discussion of the absurdity of his first rebuttal, but can show that his second rebuttal is a lie. In the above shot, the camera faces North. It can be deduced from the balcony shadows in the bottom left corner and the time of video (about 13:00 UTC). Or it can be proven beyond doubts by finding the camera location and direction with the help of Google Earth and StreetView.

And, yes, the correct identification of the plane as TAP871 has been of great help too. Displaying on Google Earth its flight path, downloaded from FlightAware, and highlighting the plane locations around 13:00 UTC, allowed to narrow down the area and direction of search. To cut the story short, here is Google StreetView of the location:
San Remo location.jpg

and zoom on the hill in the background:
San Remo zoom.jpg

Compass in the upper right corner shows that the camera indeed points North, like the video. At the beginning of the video, the plane was only about 27 km (16 miles) away from the camera in that direction.
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Mick West

Staff member
Overlaying TAP871 from 08-Nov-2014 gives a flight path that matches the video:


  • FlightAware_TAP871_LIPE_LPPT_20141108 (1).kml
    28.7 KB · Views: 539


Senior Member.
Can you do the same with AUA425L?

Flightaware does not seem to have the tracks for that flight, so I can't get it into Google Earth.

Really need a FR24 - > Google Earth converter.....

According to FR24, AUA425L followed essentially the same path on the map as TAP871, but was about one minute behind and descending at the time of the video. When it came in the camera's field of view, it already was below 17000 ft (5 km). I've modelled its path on Google Earth as a level flight at this altitude, it turned out to be obscured by the hills. Therefore it is not likely that this plane could have been seen from this viewpoint.
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