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By non-poster request: "Foo fighters"

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Old October 23rd 07, 04:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default By non-poster request: "Foo fighters"

In article ,
"Gatt" wrote:

Overheard the telecom guys chatter today about "foo fighters" and how "back
in the day" pilots used to report them all the time, etc. I mentioned that
I'd never seen anything strange or met anybody who claimed to have, but I've
only been flying since '91. So, by request, I'm passing the question on to
the forum:

"Have you ever seen..."?

They're more interested in upper atmospheric phenomenon, etc, than spacemen.

( It was either ask on their behalf or tell them where the forum was so they
could come ask themselves. )

Was flying my glider in S. Ohio this past June. I was a few hundred feet
below cloudbase. A blue and orange (red?) Delta 737 went by just a few
hundred feet above the clouds on his way into Cincinnati. I was maybe
1500 feet below him and about that far horizontally at his 7 o'clock
when I first saw him. Just a hundred feet or so below his tail was a
small blue and orange craft. It paced the big jet precisely, almost like
a remora or pilot fish on a shark. I watched it for 7 or 8 seconds
before my view was obscured by clouds and the jet got to be too far
away. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen in 25 years of flying. My
first thought was "Is that a fighter escorting that airliner?" But the
"fighter" was way too small. The fact that it was painted in the same
colors as the 737 was odd too, as was the fact that it looked sorta like
a tiny version of the 737 tail. I think that I was looking at a
reflection on the inversion layer. I have heard of that phenomenon, but
have never seen it before. It was a very vivid illustration of the
phenomenon. The reflection of that fin looked as solid as the actual

I've seen refraction in the air above the wings when I've been a
passenger on 757's. Really odd to see little crescent shaped shadows
dancing back and forth on the wing when there is nothing there to cast
shadows. Looking carefully, I could see thin refraction lines in the air
just above the wings. These were casting the shadows on the wing just
like ripples in water cast shadows on the pool bottom. A retired airline
pilot friend said they used to see these on 727 wings back when fuel was
cheap and the planes weren't over gross.

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