Google Earth: leading cause of aircraft collisions

On my favorite aviation gossip site,, someone posted this Google Earth image of Heathrow Airport in London:

It looks like there are two planes on the same runway, and a third about to land on top of them. In reality, this is just an optical illusion of sorts caused by the way the composite is made: multiple photos are put together, and each photo is taken at a different point in time, resulting in what looks like too many planes on the runway. You can see similar effects around many other major airports. Or you might end up like this guy, who found an Airbus right over his house:

And the resolution is good enough to read the name of the airline!

2 thoughts on “Google Earth: leading cause of aircraft collisions”

  1. I was just wondering yesterday (as I played around on Google Earth at the office) if there were shots of airbourne aircraft. That second photo is sweet!

  2. To be honest, it’s crazy that we can find satellite pictures that show aeroplanes flying over the location we’re looking up. That kind of thing would have been impossible 5 years ago, let alone 10.

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