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Jets and Vapour streams over Canberra

By loki964 - 9 December 2009 57

[First filed on: Dec 6, 2009]
Hi all,

So, has it just been me noticing all the Jets flying over Canberra today?? (Sunday) I have watched more planes flying over head all very close together today then I think have ever flown over Canberra before (ok slight over statement…but you get the idea…), Anyone know if there was any military ops going on as im sure there cant be that many people flying to and from Sydney and melb!!

[Ed] I took some photos of what was left:
Only possibilities I came up with was RMC or ADFA graduation but RMC is probably not until Tuesday.

    What’s Your opinion?

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    57 Responses to
    Jets and Vapour streams over Canberra
    housebound 10:45 am 07 Dec 09

    White rainbows – cool.

    Hercsie 10:03 am 07 Dec 09

    I understand that a qantas aircraft has some technical issues and was given a priority clearance to Melbourne. Everyone else had to give up their “slots” which caused the traffic jam visible heading south.

    sloppery 9:56 am 07 Dec 09

    It’s surprising that the trails are white, I thought most carbon derivatives were black. The emissions from these jets have lots of hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide, PLUS they’re up so high that plants reach them to metabolise them.

    bileduct 8:50 am 07 Dec 09

    jase! said :

    bileduct said :


    kooktrails 😀


    I should have used sarcasm tags, though I thought it was obvious.

    harvyk1 8:13 am 07 Dec 09

    Two things, one we are right under the 4th busiest air route in the world (Sydney to Melbourne). Second of all that big oval circle is actually an aircraft holding pattern.

    I’d guess that Sydney airspace was a little crowed yesterday afternoon, and thus just before decent air traffic control decided to put an aircraft into a holding pattern.

    Whilst it’s a little unusual for the contrails to remain, it could have been due to no high altitute winds (jet streams).

    Either way, it still looked pretty cool…

    taninaus 7:13 am 07 Dec 09

    Saw the white trails too and was wondering why – thought maybe a recreational pilot?

    And the white trails are no longer the official name after my nephew christened them white rainbows! cute

    JC 3:46 am 07 Dec 09

    bileduct said :


    No they aren’t. They are (water) vapor trails.

    jase! 11:47 pm 06 Dec 09

    bileduct said :


    kooktrails 😀

    Mr Evil 11:24 pm 06 Dec 09

    “I think your photo would be showing a plane doing a holding circuit before being allowed descent into Sydney.”

    Agreed. Bloody Sydney air traffic congestion!

    Northbound civil passenger flights passing over the ACT travel along the western side of the ACT, while southbound flights travel along the eastern side.

    Military traffic can sometimes be seen passing directly over the centre of the ACT at fairly high altitude.

    loki964 10:21 pm 06 Dec 09

    Do you think they were passenger planes? I saw 3 all flying pretty dam close in the same direction, and 2 others flying in a similar way in the other direction, I thought passenger planes had to keep quite a bit of distance, which this lot certainly weren’t doing…

    GottaLoveCanberra 9:56 pm 06 Dec 09

    Yeah I’ve noticed this too. Many many large passenger aircraft flying over ACT.

    bileduct 9:53 pm 06 Dec 09


    Deckard 9:13 pm 06 Dec 09

    It’s probably a passenger plane in a holding pattern waiting to enter Sydney airspace. I’ve seen them making figure 8’s over Canberra before.

    s-s-a 9:12 pm 06 Dec 09

    The one in your pic was quite spectacular – we saw the latter 2/3 of it and couldn’t work out whether (initially) the pilot had left the iron on at home and was doing a U-ey or (later) just random zooming around.

    Anna Key 9:02 pm 06 Dec 09

    I also thought it looked quite spectacular today. At one stage saw 3 heading to MEL, one to SYD, and one flying directly north (no idea – Hobart to Brisbane???), all leaving very prominent contrails.

    I think your photo would be showing a plane doing a holding circuit before being allowed descent into Sydney

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