this never used to happen


It happened on a flight from London, England to the Canary Island of Lanzarote. I didn't notice the behaviour on takeoff. Perhaps I was too distracted. On the way down in Lanzarote I noticed people didn't only not turn off their devices, the guy next to me didn't go on airplane mode either. There was the generic 'turn off your electronics' announcement, but the flight attendant that came around to ensure we had our seatbelts on didn't seem too bothered by the fact that this guy appeared to be on Facebook!

Then I looked out the window, and there it was; another airplane! Right there! Almost next to us. It was a little disturbing, but I trusted the pilots knew what they were doing. I hoped rather. 

It goes without saying that nothing catastrophic happened - quite the opposite actually.  A smoother than normal landing, yes, with people listening to music, checking Facebook and so on.

I'm not sure when it happened, but someone flipped a switch and suddenly all this stuff is ok now. Whatever happened to radio interference? I guess the technology has moved on since those days. What about airplane proximity rules? You know, since that incident I have been looking up at the sky quite a lot. If you follow my Instagram posts, you would have seen some of my shots of airplanes and the lines they leave in the sky. These days I now see what appears to be near-misses, planes trailing each other, criss-crosses, parallel flying, and so on.

This never used to happen!

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