officials deny near miss - photo

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
According to the CAA these two planes were at least 2.5 miles apart.

The DHL plane appears to be smaller, so its hard to believe its so much closer as that should make it appear larger than the other one.

Its amazing the tricks the eye can play on us. Maybe the other plane is MUCH bigger than the DHL one.

Full story...
 

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Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
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OBJECTIVE reality
Hmm. I might buy that explanation, except that both planes look to be in the same focal plane (no pun intended).

Perhaps if the picture were taken with an extremely long lens at a great distance, you might be able to get this result.

OTOH, maybe they're just lying to you....
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
Thomas Veil said:
OTOH, maybe they're just lying to you....
The Civil Aviation Authority doesn't usually try to hide when near misses occur, so I see no reason for them to do so here either.

I saw something very similar the other week walking to Tesco's and I thought 2 planes were going to hit, until they actually passed and it became clear that they were infact very far apart.
 

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2003
1,804
5
UK
Thomas Veil said:
Hmm. I might buy that explanation, except that both planes look to be in the same focal plane (no pun intended).

Perhaps if the picture were taken with an extremely long lens at a great distance, you might be able to get this result.

OTOH, maybe they're just lying to you....
maybe the photographer is lying...........
 

zarathustra

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2002
770
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Philadelphia, PA
The picture is very deceptive. Since planes are so long and thin (settle down children :) ), It seems they are very close together. But look at the engines. I took it into photoshop and small plane needed to be scaled 135% to make it the same size.

So while it's close, it probably happens more often and is safer than we think. (I hope)
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
zarathustra said:
But look at the engines. I took it into photoshop and small plane needed to be scaled 135% to make it the same size.
But the plane that appears smaller (including its engines) is obscuring the other one so it must be closer to the photographer whereas you'd expect it to be further away if it appears smaller.

I don't think theres anyway it could be obscurring the other plane and be further away, therefore it must just be a smaller plane.

The more I think about it, the more I think it may have been photoshopped.
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
5,551
695
having a drink at Milliways
zarathustra said:
It seems they are very close together. But look at the engines. I took it into photoshop and small plane needed to be scaled 135% to make it the same size.
but that would make sense only if the smaller plane was in the background, but it is in front, meaning that it is closer and therefore, in reality, even smaller than it looks relatively to the other plane.

If the exact model of the two planes can be identified, than it would be possible to calculate how far they are, by measuring the relative (picture) and real (specs) lenghts.
 

ebow

macrumors 6502a
Don't panic said:
If the exact model of the two planes can be identified, than it would be possible to calculate how far they are, by measuring the relative (picture) and real (specs) lenghts.
My investigative journalism skills have found that the lower, smaller plane is an A300 while the higher, larger plane is an A330. (Okay, maybe I just read the article.) I'll leave it as an exercise for others to get length specs from the Airbus site and calculate the necessary difference in distances.
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
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I doubt it's Photoshopped...look at the grain, the angle of the shadows, the edges...nah, if it's a phony, then it's a masterwork.

Most likely, the DHL plane is quite a bit smaller than the other, and it's the factors I mentioned earlier, especially distance from the photographer. Say the JAL's flying at 35,000 ft., and the DHL is roughly 13,000 ft. (2.5 mi.) lower, at an altitude of about 22,000 ft. If the photographer's on the ground, that puts the DHL about a third closer to him, yet with the camera's lens set to infinity, everything would look like it's the same distance. (I'm not much of a photographer, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

The only thing that would amaze me then is that the photographer managed to get such a clear shot of objects moving that fast at an extreme distance. But then he probably allowed himself lots of space in the actual photograph. The picture in the news story is just fuzzy enough that it looks like a blown-up detail of a larger photo.
 

Nickygoat

macrumors 6502a
Dec 11, 2004
992
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London
ebow said:
My investigative journalism skills have found that the lower, smaller plane is an A300 while the higher, larger plane is an A330. (Okay, maybe I just read the article.) I'll leave it as an exercise for others to get length specs from the Airbus site and calculate the necessary difference in distances.
The A300 is 54.1m in length
The A330 is between 59m and 63m in length, depending on the exact model.
I'll leave it to someone else to work that out.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
According to www.airliners.net, the Airbus 300-600 and 300B2/B4 are 53.62m and 54.08m long respectively, and the Airbus 330-200 and 330-300 are 59m and 63.69m long respectively.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
16,724
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Taking the smaller A300 size and the larger A330 size for the widest size differential, the A300 would be about 84% as long as the A330. However, according to some very rough calculations, the photo appears to be showing the A300 as about 76% as long as the A330. It seems to me that the only way this could be the case would be if the smaller plane was further away than the larger plane, but that clearly isn't true.

The plot thickens...
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,454
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Houston
OutThere said:
Regardless of the planes actual size, this is an example of a phenomenon called perspective distortion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_distortion_(caused_by_camera_to_subject_distance)). In the pictures on that page, notice how flattened the image taken by the 100mm lens looks, now think about how that applies to two planes being photographed from a great distance.
The images in the wikipedia article illustrate the point very well. I think that is a very good explanation for the image shown above.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
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Actually, the article states it's a 777, which can be up to 74m in length, which more closely matches the photo's seeming size discrepancy.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
WildCowboy said:
Taking the smaller A300 size and the larger A330 size for the widest size differential, the A300 would be about 84% as long as the A330. However, according to some very rough calculations, the photo appears to be showing the A300 as about 76% as long as the A330. It seems to me that the only way this could be the case would be if the smaller plane was further away than the larger plane, but that clearly isn't true.

The plot thickens...
Yep, that makes it pretty clear that the picture's a fake. Looking closer at the photo, the shadow of the engines on the planes do not appear to be right. I don't think it's possible for the planes to be in that relative position -- the sun would have to be in two different places at the same time.

edit: okay, so if the larger plane is 77m, then it's 143 percent larger than the other plane. If the image shows a 135 percent difference, then the big plane should be about 7 percent farther away from the photographer than the small plane. If the planes are 2.5 miles apart, then the photographer would have to be 35 miles away from the planes. You're not going to get a shot that clear from 35 miles, so either the photographer or the air traffic controllers are lying.
 

ebow

macrumors 6502a
emw said:
Actually, the article states it's a 777, which can be up to 74m in length, which more closely matches the photo's seeming size discrepancy.
Ah, the article has been updated.

Regarding the 2.5 miles separation, not all of that is necessarily along the point of view of the camera. I still find 2.5 miles hard to believe, but some of that separation could be lateral (N, S, E, or W) rather than altitude. I think. :confused:
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
OutThere said:
Regardless of the planes actual size, this is an example of a phenomenon called perspective distortion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_distortion_(caused_by_camera_to_subject_distance)). In the pictures on that page, notice how flattened the image taken by the 100mm lens looks, now think about how that applies to two planes being photographed from a great distance.
Thanks for the link. It will help in the Digital Photography discussion on DOF, FOV, and perspective.
 

BearRanger

macrumors member
May 23, 2005
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Deep in the Woods
emw said:
Actually, the article states it's a 777, which can be up to 74m in length, which more closely matches the photo's seeming size discrepancy.
Wouldn't it depend on the the focal point of the camera? The small plane appears on descent as opposed to the larger plane's level flight. They're probably well apart.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
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One other note - if the planes truly were as close together as they appear in the photograph, it is highly likely that the smaller plane would have crashed as a result of the incredible turbulence it would have experienced flying in the wake of the 777.

At the very least, it would have suffered a severe shaking, and passengers would be talking about it.
 

kiwi-in-uk

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2004
735
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AU
emw said:
At the very least, it would have suffered a severe shaking, and passengers would be talking about it.
DHL - the ultimate in discount passenger airlines.

"Thank you for choosing DHL. Here's your packed lunch, ma'am! Now just step into this cardboard box and fasten your cargo net - oops - seat belt! Enjoy your flight!"
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
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kiwi-in-uk said:
DHL - the ultimate in discount passenger airlines.

"Thank you for choosing DHL. Here's your packed lunch, ma'am! Now just step into this cardboard box and fasten your cargo net - oops - seat belt! Enjoy your flight!"
Ah, yes. My bad :p I don't suppose the packages would be complaining too much!

Still, I believe that the cargo plane likely would have suffered severe turbulence and potentially have crashed if it truly were that close to another airplane.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
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Northern Virginia
emw said:
Ah, yes. My bad :p I don't suppose the packages would be complaining too much!

Still, I believe that the cargo plane likely would have suffered severe turbulence and potentially have crashed if it truly were that close to another airplane.
This is from years ago, but some cargo carriers did have a very small passenger seating area, IIRC 6 to 10 seats - used by company employees as a perk.

As to the turbulence, that was my first thought.
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
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wordmunger said:
Yep, that makes it pretty clear that the picture's a fake. Looking closer at the photo, the shadow of the engines on the planes do not appear to be right. I don't think it's possible for the planes to be in that relative position -- the sun would have to be in two different places at the same time.
Not really....I would guess the picture is entirely legitimate. There was a discussion about this same sort of scenario a couple of years ago here:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=87706

regarding the attached picture, posted at:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=652327&TopOfYest=yes

This picture is real, as far as I know.
 

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kiwi-in-uk

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2004
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Chip NoVaMac said:
This is from years ago, but some cargo carriers did have a very small passenger seating area, IIRC 6 to 10 seats - used by company employees as a perk.
Yeah - I guess Tom Hanks knows all about that one.