This morning I was flying from Knoxville to Newark on UA 5797. Looking out the window I saw a really close US Air flight heading in the other direction. It shocked me it was so close and fast. I noted the time as 8:48am when it happened. I know that the view can be deceiving.
I was wondering if anyone could figure out where my plane was and how close they actually were?
The flight path was really cool as it went up past DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia before landing in Newark.
1000ft vertical separation from ground level up to FL 290, above FL290 it’s 2000 feet unless the planes are in RVSM airspace and are RVSM capable.
I was tracking my wife’s flight back from Rome to JFK last week. They were near Martha’s Vineyard and I saw there was an AA flight on the same track, 1000ft lower, and going maybe 40 knots slower. My wife’s plane overtook the AA flight and then I saw the AA plane loose about 300ft of altitude and make almost a 90 right turn. After my wife’s plane has passed the AA flight turned left back onto its original track. Didn’t think it was that close but obviously somebody freaked out!
Get a grip. The pilot didn’t “freak out” from normal separation. Nobody did. Because this type of separation is normal, planes pass by each other and can be easily seen by passengers in either aircraft practically every minute of every hour of every flying day.
Is there any way to rewind the radar to see my plane’s position at that time and also view other planes that were nearby? I’ve accessed the log for my flight so I know where my plane was but I don’t see where I can see other flights at the same time that may have been nearby.
Get a grip? Can you not read? The other plane dropped a few hundred feet and made a hard right turn, then came back on track after the other plane passed. I’m well aware of the separation minimums. This was not an observation from a passenger. It was an observation from me watching the flights on Flight Radar 24 and reading the data from the AA flight.
I’m no pilot, but wake turbulence came to mind. As in the passing aircraft may cause a bit of turbulence which would wake the walk-on cargo in back. So with the ATC blessing, we’ll just dip and sway around it. Sort of like edging around roadkill on the highway.
As mentioned, dRVSM was implemented 10 years ago, in which you are right; if RVSM capable, 1000ft vertical separation is all that is needed.
However, aircraft that are not RVSM capable could not fly above FL290. Why? Taking NEODD/SWEVEN into account, If an RVSM flight was flying eastbound, FL310 is a valid flight level for that direction of flight. For non-RVSM capable, the next available flight level for WESTBOUND travel is FL310 (FL300 was not a valid usable flight level for east nor westbound flight for non-RVSM capable aircraft). That could potentially put an eastbound flight directly head-on into a westbound flight.
2000ft vertical separation resumes after FL410, if memory serves me right.