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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: Pilots & UAP

From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 15:26:21 -0400
Archived: Thu, 22 Nov 2007 06:37:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 21:55:23 EST
>Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 13:09:25 +0000
>>Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>>>From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 19:57:56 -0800
>>>Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP


>>Hello David,

>>Thanks for the very worthwhile response,

>>>Thus there can be many possible clues to distance, and hence
>>>size and speed. It is simply NOT true that a pilot (or anybody
>>>else for that matter) can NEVER estimate distance/size/speed of
>>>an unknown object with any accuracy. That, unfortunately, is
>>>just debunker propaganda talk. It is more accurate to say that
>>>distance, speed, size cannot be determined with accuracy in the
>>>complete ABSENCE of any cues.

>>The point that I was making as I am sure you will appreciate is
>>that in the absence of other cues that you mention in the
>>snipped portion from your post, pilots are really no better than
>>anyone else when it comes to estimating size/height/speed of an
>>unknown object (as you imply in the final sentence above). There
>>are many examples of people accepting such estimates without
>>querying how they were arrived at, simply because the witness
>>was somehow an "expert observer".

>Your post seems to cleverly confuse the issue. A pilot _on_
>_the_ground_ might be no better a witness than any other person
>_on_the_ground. But we are not talking about observation from
>the ground. We are talking about observation from the _air_
>inside an aircraft traveling at perhaps 500 mph depending on the
>aircraft and circumstances. You seem to be trying to assert some
>absolute rule of physics here but that rule would be wrong.

>Sight-lines from an aircraft in motion provide a continual
>series of baselines which can triangulate an unknown object's
>position, and thus its speed, distance and size, via something
>that is roughly analogous to interferometry.
>As an observation progresses over time a pilot in an aircraft
>flying at say 500 mph can gain legitimate visual cues about an
>unknown object's relative speed and position, which a stationary
>observer on the ground cannot. Thus, equating the two
>situations, ground and air, is not valid. Furthermore, with more
>experience in making observations from the air, the better able
>a pilot will be to process these dynamic visual cues.

>The fact that a pilot may make mistakes in such situations
>inside a moving aircraft, or that there may be a few situations
>where no dynamic observational cues are perceived, are merely
>the exceptions that prove the rule: The rule is that in general
>pilots in flying aircraft <do>have an ability to perceive and
>estimate size, speed, distance and relative position of unknown
>objects in the sky, <unlike>observers on the ground.

Brad, I'd like to ask you and David Rudiak to address this
problem that has bothered me for some time; this being reports
by pilots - or explanations by the FAA, TC, CAA etc. of them
encountering/reporting a weather balloon.

Weather ballons usually explode once they expand to a given
diameter of 8-10 feet which occurs at an altitude of about
40,000 feet.

My question is: If an aircraft at 40,000 feet is flying at
approx. .87 Mach what are the chances that the pilots can
acquire it as an object long enough to identify it at these
closing speeds  given the size of 10 feet. This is assuming that
the pilot was looking in the right place at the time.

I bring up this question because of my own experiences with
weather ballons while flying my Cessna 172. My typical cruise
speed was 120 mph. My typical altitude would be around 2,500 to
3,000 feet depending on circumstances [could range as high as
9,500 feet]. For the most part private pilots in the 172 sized
aircraft has his or her eyes out the window with the occassional
instrument glance then back outside.

Each of the weather balloons [it's either 6 or 7] I observed
first appeared as a dot through the windscreen. It took usually
a couple of seconds to make sure it wasn't a bug on the
windscreen [by moving my head around to a different angle]. The
weather balloon would quickly expand in size and I either had to
maneuver to avoid it or it passed under, above or on either side
of me. The whole thing would be over in 5 to 6 seconds from the
acquired dot to the passing of the balloon.

The speed of the thing was of course my aircraft's closing
speed. At the nominal 2,500-3,000 foot altitudes the weather
balloon would be about 4 feet in diameter. Because this happened
so quickly in my own cases I question the ability of pilots at
35,000 to 40,000 feet at .87 Mach [typical] to acquire or even
see one of these. Even at say 10 feet in diameter the speed of
about 600 mph would make it extremely difficult to spot the
balloon before it was passed by the aircraft in a matter of a
couple of seconds.

Any thoughts on this?

Don Ledger

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