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What flight patterns are over Wilmington?

Gareth McGrath
Cape Fear River entrance

Cape Fear River entrance. (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center map)

They say the Cape Fear juts out in the Atlantic, making our area a magnet for tropical systems moving up the coast.

The same can be said for jets traveling up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

As the first or last tip of land on many north-south flight routes, depending on which direction you are going, Wilmington is uniquely placed along the popular and busy flight paths between warm and visitor-friendly destinations in Florida and the Caribbean and the heavily populated big Northeastern cities.

That means lots of jets are often visible at high altitude crisscrossing the Port City’s skies.

It also means Wilmington International Airport is a popular diversion point for airliners – including some foreign carriers traveling between Florida and Europe – when they have a medical emergency or an equipment problem pop up.

Military traffic from Eastern North Carolina’s plethora of military bases, including Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, also can add to the contrails in the sky.

User-contributed question by:
Alan Evans

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One Response to “ What flight patterns are over Wilmington?”

  1. On January 6, 2012 at 7:28 am Gloria wrote:

    I believe these are military jets, as they look like they are playing around in the sky all day.
    The make crosses, x’s and sometimes look as though they are going to crash into each other.
    They do this all day and have the white smoke coming from the rear.

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