LOW-flying airliner in Washington area (Frederick,MD) 5-3-10

On the morning of Monday, May 3, 2010, around 7:10-7:15am, some kind of large jet, presumably an airliner, flew VERY LOW over our house in Frederick, Maryland. It woke me from my sleep. I went to the front window to look out, and the ceiling appeared to be very low. From the sound of the engines, it had to have been some kind of large airliner.

From the sound of the engine noise, you would have thought we lived near the approach end of the runway!

Ordinarily, inbound flights over Frederick approach Dulles from the north or north-northeast. Inbound to BWI fly over Frederick from the west.

Looking at arrivals to Dulles yesterday, it was hard to say what flew over. Even if I spotted a likely flight, I could find no ground track information.

Local elevation is around 300. There’s no way that aircraft could have been higher than 1000 feet above the ground. It must have been lower.

Doesn’t flightaware provide historical ground track information, including altitude, for a designated flight? If so, how can I view that information?

Can anybody offer any advice as to how I could identify this aircraft and what the circumstances were?


Could you tell what power the engines were at?

Check the track log on this one,

flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL6 … D/tracklog

looks like he had a more gradual descent than the others.

By your post, is it safe to assume you only heard the aircraft, and did not actually see it? Do you realize there is a small airport in Frederick as well, that corporate jets utilize?

An ERJ-145 is pretty loud… A 750 uses the same kind of engines…

That flight appears to have landed an hour before the OP stated. There was LJ35 landing in Frederick less than an hour after the OP stated, and those aren’t exactly quiet.

Engines sounded like there were at an approach power setting as they would be with full flaps and gear down.

Maybe it was a blue and white 747 on another photo shoot.

Did not get to the window in time to see it, but the ceiling seemed low. Indeed, Frederick Municipal is nearby, but the engines still sounded like a large aircraft, larger than what would have landed on the 5220’ runway at FDK. And we’re not even in the flight path for Rwy 5-23.

Approaches for IAD and BWI come over Frederick, but at a much higher altitude.

The arrival of the LJ35 came a good hour and a half after that low pass which occurred around 7:15 eastern.

Have since learned of an eye-witness who I hope to get their account of what they saw (work colleague of a neighbor). Based on what they described, I will post Wed evening. The word is that they saw a very large aircraft, definitely an airliner. Will confirm the time as well, which might have been somewhat earlier that my original post.

Engines sounded like they were set at approach power setting… with full flaps and gear… My best estimate…

:laughing: :laughing: