Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rush hour

Living in the center of France, we are under a major southbound flight path from Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, and other northern cities. The destinations, I imagine, are places like Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, and points in Corsica, Spain, Italy, North Africa, and beyond. This view of our piece of the sky is typical in the mornings around eight o'clock.

A few of the southbound airliners I see at sunrise.

Most of the flights I see are going south. There are some northbound planes, usually more to our west than right over us. Sometimes, usually on a summer evening, I can see the sun glinting off an airplane as it passes overhead. And in the night sky the flashing navigation lights compete with the stars for attention.


  1. Walt. We get a lot of southbound planes, but also plenty of northbound ones at about 7.00am in summer.

    At a guess , if yours are heading slightly to the east of south, they come from London.

    word verification in "ungrappe" Isn't it a bit late for that?

  2. They're rather close together, are the air traffic controllers on strike, too?

  3. I work near Melbourne Airport. From my office window I see planes landing and departing to unknowing destinations and I want to be exchanging my office chair for an airline seat. Hurry on 2012 ( our next trip).

  4. Last year on our way back to Paris from Toulouse, we flew over your area and right over Versailles.

  5. Walt, at that height they are beautifully quiet... before moving here we lived near Leeds-Bradford airport... planes landing at all hours.... and if the wind direction was in the opposite direction, screaming take-offs.
    We woke the other morning to a sky like this, but with the ghosts of other vapour trails as well... but we couldn't hear a thing... great!!

  6. simon, yes, the majority of our planes are southbound, and many are just to the east of south. The northbound planes are usually more toward the west.

    starman, I suspect it's just an illusion; they're pretty far apart. And I haven't heard that the controllers are striking.

    leon, are you coming to France in 2012, or do you have another destination in mind?

    nadege, cool!

    tim, I know what you mean. We lived under a double flight path in San Francisco. The smaller jets (737s) that took off to the north but then had to double back to go south went over the house, and above the, the big liners from Europe would come in southbound over our house and make their turn back toward the airport about 25 miles beyond. We got used to the engine noise. But now we just see them and rarely hear them.


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