Oddity Commodity

Member for

7 years 5 months

Posts: 16

Hello Everyone! I was just looking up Luxembourg Airport (LUX/ELLX) on Google Maps, and I found something quite strange. Right after the second set of threshold markings on runway, there is a plane. The shadow suggests a higher altitude, yet it appears (probably a trick of perception) to be much lower. There is a weird light refraction as well. The plane is off to the left of the runway, so it does not appear to be landing, and it is to short a distance to have taken off. The aircraft is small, a GA, which is weird as the airport is rather large, and again it is not in the act of take off or landing. It doesn't especially look to be making a go-around either, as the nose looks flat angled, but looking at the shadow might not be. Anyone have any ideas? -DMac10121
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Profile picture for user Matt-100

Member for

7 years 2 months

Posts: 569

Upwind join, maybe? There are actually quite a few GA movements at Luxembourg - if you look at taxiway B3 to the west of the airfield you can see the GA parking stands.

Member for

14 years 5 months

Posts: 1,077

Hi Dmac, As you zoom-in on Google earth, the image sometimes changes from a satellite photo taken from directly overhead to an image taken from an oblique angle and possibly taken from a much lower altitude. I noticed it the other day when looking at/zooming-in on a location in Spain, and I think the same thing happens on the image of Luxembourg airport. So, if the oblique photo was taken from the north, any aircraft directly over the runway might appear to be displaced to the south of the runway, due to the perspective and angle of the photograph. As you say, the shadow suggests the aircraft is actually flying quite low - about to touch down I would guess. So, I believe the aircraft is actually directly above the runway about to touch down rather than off to the left (south) as it first appears, or that it has maybe started a missed approach/go-around, and that the oblique angle of the photo makes it look like it is not over the runway. The curious optical "rainbow" is probably the sunlight being reflected back off the propellor, and/or due to raindrops/moisture in the air? Paul F