Photos of Planes and Contrails (That you took yourself)

M Bornong

Senior Member.
That looks like an MD-11

When I saw it in the sky, I expected it to be an MD-11, if it was, it didn't show up on flight radar, the position was correct for the United flight. Possibly an MD-11 without ADSB was in that part of the sky, also.

A second photo taken a as it passed, shows a little more of the tail fin, I can't tell if there is an engine there or not.

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Senior Member.
I've spotted an interesting contrail during lunch break today. It looked like yarn with a few spaced fluffy bits on a string:

A close up shows the string being hybrid contrail and fluffy bits being remnants of an ordinary exhaust contrail:

The plane appeared to be a military C-17 that did not show on FR24. It was leaving an ordinary exhaust contrail:

At the end, the hybrid contrail string dissipated first leaving a row of small fluffy clouds. These were similar in appearance to cumulus clouds below but moved with less apparent speed:


Senior Member
some beautiful contrails in the UK sky today

stepped out of St James Park station (London)

and saw this @ 10.05 today (looking south to the house of parliament)


walked past New Scotland Yard, looking west across Victoria Street



Senior Member.
Classic three-engined exhaust (MD11) at 37,000ft & 495kts (UPS 5X213);

Engine 2's contrail existed for slightly longer than 1 & 3 for some reason.


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Staff member
An example of being fooled by perspective. This plane appeared to make a 180-degree turn. Unfortunately my phone battery died right after taking this photo but the turn continued as I indicated in red and the plane then appeared to be heading "right" when before it was heading "left".

image.jpeg image.jpeg

I wondered if it might be a military flight but when I got home I checked the flight radar and it turned out to be an ordinary charter flight making a 90-degree turn as it descended. (By the time I took this screenshot it was too low to be making a contrail.)


Senior Member.
Smoke rings;


And a dual-colour contrail from sunset;


There was a nice grid built last night, am going to try some time-lapse next.


Senior Member.
Any idea what they're in the UK for? Didn't realise the ANGs made it this far, at least not with Hercs. Where are they flying out of?


Senior Member.
Any idea what they're in the UK for? Didn't realise the ANGs made it this far, at least not with Hercs. Where are they flying out of?
Likely repeat training? "9/17/2014 - RAF MILDENHALL, England. -- Ohio Air National Guard units came together with the active duty Air Force, as they performed annual training during the month of July and into August, 2014, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Members of the 180th Fighter Wing, 179th Airlift Wing and 121st Air Refueling Wing trained with their active duty counterparts from their specific career fields, working with both RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath."


Senior Member.
Any idea what they're in the UK for? Didn't realise the ANGs made it this far, at least not with Hercs. Where are they flying out of?
This one was out of RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. I've seen USAF C-17s and C-5 approaching for landing there over the same area, but it was my first sighting of a C-130 in this location.
However, I regularly see the RAF and other European Air Forces Hercs closer to home, as they are serviced nearby. Here is a Swedish one 'spraying soot' over Cambridge:
IMG_8459.JPG IMG_8465.JPG


Senior Member.
Thanks both, interesting to see they're serviced there, would have confused me seeing one take off from that airfield..

I looked for their press office statements but was looking at the 179th - there's a lot of Herky birds out there!

I see Brize Norton traffic occasionally and plenty of UK chinooks, and the odd S-60 or Apache, as well as anything that does a London flypast. 20 years ago the skies here would have been filled with F-111s :/

Mick West

Staff member
I saw this C-130 fly over my house last week (Feb 22). Same soot trails.
It has coastguard markings, but might be the Forest service (fire fighting), as some were recently transferred.


Senior Member.
I'd imagine that's a FLIR in the gyro housing underneath, which serves search'n'rescue as well as fire detection.


Senior Member.
A military KC-10 tanker (not on FR24) heading west a few minutes ago. The pictures have been taken from my window through the glass. A contrail from the tail engine "merges" after a gap with the port engine trail.


Just a few whisps of cirrus around in Sydney earlier this-afternoon. Oh, and this A330.


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Senior Member.
I've just seen an A320 in unfamiliar livery landing in our local airport but had no camera to take a picture. So I have checked FR24 instead and found myself in Casablanca:
Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.15.44.png


Senior Member.
I've seen others mention odd glitches with FR24 today so can only presume it's to do with the new 3D update rollout.


Staff member
I just checked Planefinder and it also lists that flight as Bologna to Casablanca. Weird.

According to Flightaware it ran BLQ-CMN weekly until December 2, then did one flight to CBG on Feb 10.

Edit: and now FR24 says "diverted to CBG". Maintenance flight, using a retired flight number?

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Staff member
I think they're trying to tell me something in Chinese. :)


Plane in shot is easyJet flight 6837 from Glasgow to Geneva at 37,000ft.


Senior Member.
no contrail but a c17 dropping turning nose on at eye level then low right over head was a thrill,, the chooks and sheep were not so pleased




Senior Member.
A very dull morning today. The sky was completely overcast, apart of a small window that opened briefly in the South:
When I spotted it, the window was fully criss-crossed by three young contrails, but the pattern did not last long enough to capture it on camera.


Staff member
An interesting pattern just now. This was from an Air France A330 at FL360. The trail formed a sine wave shape and mostly dissipated. On closer inspection the waves coincided with a faint banding of cloud perpendicular to the flight direction, presumably some kind of wind rippling effect.


Second pic with enhanced contrast



Staff member
Just seeing if this works: a quick timelapse of the above trail, showing how it formed waves along with the cloud ripples.

Edit: no way to embed MP4 files directly?


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Senior Member.
Took a picture of some straight contrails while looking due east in Roseville, CA today around 3:30. The mountains shown at the bottom are near the edge of Desolation Wilderness, southwest of Lake Tahoe. For some reason I completely missed the big curvy contrail to the right of the photo and by the time I saw it while looking at the shot, I couldn't find it again. :(
Tried to track it but FlightRadar's playback is temporarily disabled, so I'm dropping it here until they get it back up. There were a LOT of cool trails out there today, I was a bit stunned.


Senior Member.
Good Friday morning. Clear blue sky without a single cloud or contrail. I had to resort to FR24 to spot high-altitude planes passing by, like this Eurowings Canadair CRJ-900LR EW1331 at about 28000 ft at the time of photo:
Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 08.49.27.png

The forecast shows a quite dry air at 250 hPa at the moment, but a wet patch comes our way from the west and will arrive here in the afternoon:
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Staff member
Good Friday morning. Clear blue sky without a single cloud or contrail.
There was heavy rain last night (as I know because I was cycling home in it!) Often the clearest skies come in the wake of an active rain-bearing front, because there is a band of dry air behind the cold front that marks the back of the system.

This is the weather chart for 6am today. The front with triangles is the cold front, just clearing the southeast. We're now in the ridge of high pressure (but not for long - it is a holiday weekend after all :rolleyes:)



Staff member
i suspect its VA101 on holding pattern before Melbourne but can not confirm and need to show the drift was to the SW
If that was today, the winds appear to have been from the south.


Could it have been JQ710?


5.45pm = 6.45 UTC.
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Marin B

Active Member
Took these pictures yesterday at about 6:40 pm just east of San Francisco - a pair of wavy trails with what I think is a sundog. Knowing that I shouldn't be taking pictures while driving, I got off the highway to take a better shot. The direction of the trails is typical of Asia to LAX flights. Wondering if winds can shape the trails like that or if it was the flight path?

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