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low-flying jumbos
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beijing101


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #1
03-08-2011 08:08 PM

It's probably just me but has anyone noticed an upsurge in low-flying jumbos over HOP/Forest Hill area? It's my first summer here - is this normal? Just wondering if there has been a subtle flight path change.

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #2
03-08-2011 09:02 PM

I think it's probably just you! There's a handy facility at http://webtrak.bksv.com/lhr where you can replay the track of every aircraft arriving at, or departing from Heathrow up to the previous day. I've just taken a look at some of yesterday's flights and planes are generally at about 4500' when they come over Forest Hill. True to say that they do look closer when the sky is clear, but that's the same height they have been at for years!

Planes going into City are lower - generally more like 3000' - but they don't have Jumbos into there.

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beijing101


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #3
03-08-2011 09:58 PM

cheers andrewr - I shall put my mind at rest. Like that webtrak thingy.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
04-08-2011 06:18 AM

I was told that aeroplanes head for the Crystal Palace mast as a directional finder. if thy clear that they are high enough. Then they head for the Thames and follow that to Heathrow.
They are a lot lower over west London!

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #5
04-08-2011 07:33 AM

You may have noticed the BA flights into Docklands which are Boeings so bigger than the normal Wisper Jet and Turbo Props. It's a flight to New York.

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ringingcod


Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2005
Post: #6
04-08-2011 10:38 AM

It's a bit more technical than looking for the mast. Courtesy of the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7196158.stm

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #7
04-08-2011 01:14 PM

We would indeed have something to worry about if planes arriving at Heathrow did so by heading for the Crystal Palace mast and clearing it! Might be even more tricky when the top was in cloud. Fortunately standard approaches to keep the planes safely above the ground were developed as long ago as the 1930's - at Croydon Airport. In fact a controller at Croydon Airport got the world's first Air Traffic Controller's licence.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
04-08-2011 02:04 PM

You all have a lot of confidence.
I have a friend who has a private pilot's licence.
He does not even know which way west is!

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
04-08-2011 02:06 PM

I've visited West London and don't know why anybody would want to live there with all that noise!

Plane heights from a quick check on WebTrak:
Forest Hill = above 4,000ft
Fulham = 3000ft
Putney = 2,700ft
Kew = 2,000ft
The flight paths are more spread out across south east London so we have nothing like the density of air traffic.

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Andy


Posts: 57
Joined: Feb 2005
Post: #10
04-08-2011 02:51 PM

I did notice that yesterday (when this thread was initiated that between 6.30 and 7.30 am there were loads of planes and they sounded particularly loud. Atmospheric conditions perhaps but I have lived here for 12 years and though it was definitely noticeable.

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #11
04-08-2011 05:02 PM

I thought it was only in India that pilot's licences could be bought - commercial ones at that. Sherwood's friend must have found somewhere else to get one. Certainly it would be rather difficult to get a PPL legitimately without understanding compass headings (although pilots would tend to refer to 270 rather than West).

To stick on thread - anyone flying over Forest Hill whether on a private, or commercial pilot's licence has to be under the control of Heathrow Radar (although they could be over Crystal Palace and 'uncontrolled' if below 2500' - the 'BBC' mast is about on the southern edge of the area where control extends down to the ground). A pilot with a Private Pilot's Licence over Forest Hill would be likely to be kept below 2500' - but wouldn't be flying a jumbo!

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Erekose


Posts: 555
Joined: May 2010
Post: #12
04-08-2011 07:12 PM

Yes I also noticed the planes very early yesterday. I put it down to having all the bedroom windows open because of the temperature making them seem louder.

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jollyrog


Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #13
04-08-2011 07:21 PM

Quote:
To stick on thread - anyone flying over Forest Hill whether on a private, or commercial pilot's licence has to be under the control of Heathrow Radar (although they could be over Crystal Palace and 'uncontrolled' if below 2500'


<2,500ft over the Anerley (Croydon) mast seems to be OK, but the London City CTA starts at 1,500ft right over the Crystal Palace mast.

As the Crystal Palace mast is 1,087ft AMSL, you couldn't legally fly over it uncontrolled at 1,500ft as you'd be less than 500ft from it, which is very naughty.

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jollyrog


Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #14
04-08-2011 07:25 PM

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #15
05-08-2011 10:18 AM

You would also not be 1500' above a built up area - to say nothing of the glide clear rule assuming single engine...

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #16
16-08-2011 03:41 PM

I would agree that it seems that larger planes are DEFINATELY lower over our area lately! Theyre so low as you can clearly see the tail fin and which airline it is..much noisier than before too!

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #17
16-08-2011 04:16 PM

Don't know about Poolsneighbour's eyesight, but I have often been able to identify airlines overflying us (assuming they are clear of cloud!). A relevant factor, albeit slow, is that planes using Heathrow have got bigger over the years, so their tail fin logos are bigger - and they appear lower. An old Boeing 737 has a wingspan of 29 metres. An Airbus A380 has a wingspan of 80 metres. Crudely, the brain will perceive the Airbus to be almost one third of the height of the 737!

In general, jet engines have got quieter, so the A380s of today are, I think, significantly quieter than the 707's that used to use Heathrow. Incidentally, the 707 had a wingspan of about 40m so would have appeared twice as high as an A380.

In my experience how noisy the planes appear to be depends a lot on the weather - temperature, humidity, cloud and wind direction all have an effect - as, of course, does the extent to which windows are open. I'm pretty sure that if you check on http://webtrak.bksv.com/lhr you will find that they are at the normal height of around 4500'.

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