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Virgin Galactic White Knight 2 Formation Near SFO

Presumably this was with a Virgin aircraft. Anyone know for sure? ( More...

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Tim Huseby 2
This was all planned and done a few years ago when T2 in SFO opened
flyingj481 2
The landing:
randomguy 2
old news, and yes, virgin aircraft and media flight.
siriusloon 3
Where did anyone claim this was new news? It's an interesting video and he had a question about it.
Joseph Howes 1
no one claimed it was news, john's just saying that this happened a while back and has already been seen
So what? Some folks had not seen it yet... and it is new to them. Very exciting, cannot wait until they get up to space.
joel wiley 1
When was this taken?
Whose airline was this shot from, and can we get pics from the photo plane that was flying behind?
Great footage.
Joseph Howes 3
from the winglets it looks like a virgin america a320
joel wiley 1
That would explain the cozy formation!
John Grove 1
Several pics are available of Virgin Atlantic's A319, N527VA, with the identical winglet design. Might have been a different ship used in this flight but it's pretty apparent it would have been one from VA.

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siriusloon 1
Check the Virgin website. I'm sure they hired the photographer in the chase plane.
ADXbear 1
This was probably done entirely for promotional purposes based on listening to the landing announcements.. so probably flown as a Part91 Non rev flight.. just an educated guess.. never the less very cool stuff..
Looks like the Beechcraft shadowing Virgin Galactic was set-up as a photo plane. Expect to see some commercials soon on your local TV.
R.W. Mann 1
Is formation flight even permitted under Part 121 or under Part 91 carrying passengers for hire?
donald kiel 1
Probably was!! SFO does do parallel approaches to 28's with two restrictions-One you wouldn't be that close to the other aircraft and two-the trailing aircraft CANNOT pass the lead aircraft. Fun approach, ALWAYS briefed the passengers so they knew what to expect and NOT alarm them!!
dee9bee 1
I agree with flying481. The islands look like the Farallons, offshore from the Golden Gate. Maybe a charter flight for folks who have put down deposits for future space flights?
joel wiley 1
Agree, Southeast Fallarone, check NOAA chart 18645.
Very nice
Mike Mohle -2
TCAS anyone?!?!? Was it inop? If this was a real flight this would be quite a safety issue.
Purdue13 4
First of all, TCAS doesn't even have anything to do with this. Secondly, if you've never flown a formation flight before, don't talk about the safety of a formation flight. WK2 was clearly at least 1 1/2 A320 wing spans away. Thirdly, if you have ever flown a formation flight, you wouldn't have even have commented about its safety.

flyingj481 2
Watching the landing video makes it clear it was a press/promotional flight. I'm pretty sure this woudln't be done with just a random scheduled flight. I'd be willing to bet that everyone got on that plane knowing it was going to happen, and probably signed a waiver for it.
siriusloon 1
This was obviously pre-planned. They didn't just intercept an airliner for the hell of it. It's perfectly legal. Whether it's a safety issue or not depends on the flying abilities of the pilots involved. I've done lots of air-to-air photography, mostly with military aircraft and pilots, some with civilians. I've also turned down a request to "come along and shoot some pics" because I didn't trust the close-formation flying competence of the pilots involved -- which took all my diplomatic skills because one of them was my father-in-law.


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