Unusual vapor trails in the skies over Southern Colorado Monday morning baffled skyward-looking residents and little to no explanation has been provided by agencies in charge of monitoring airspace in the area.
A plane was flying in circles southeast of Colorado Springs Monday morning and it attracted the attention of many across southern Colorado.
The plane had been circling for an hour or so and created an unusual contrail pattern in the sky, according to witnesses including Fountain Police Department’s Sgt. Robert Koski. “I saw a lot of contrails crisscrossing in the eastern sky,” said Koski.
Contrails are defined as a trail of condensed water from an aircraft, and according to John Clare are fairly common. “The upper air is still and super stable. Anything that’s laid up there, there is nothing to make it dissipate other than gradual evaporation itself,” said Clare, chief flight instructor at Peak Aviation.
Clare said the trails last longer when the atmosphere is stable and cold, similar to the conditions seen around southern Colorado this morning. As for the circular patterns the contrails were forming, Clare said these occur when an aircraft turns at high altitudes. Clare said this said this is common behavior in military aircraft training. “If you had several aircraft practicing air combat maneuvering, that would give you lots of your little squiggles, but absolutely standard. Not a problem at all,” said Clare.
The representative with the Colorado Springs Airport says the plane was not in contact with the control tower at the airport and was not in airport controlled air space. NORAD also said the plane was not associated with their operations.