WATCH: Rocket plane flies 'vertically' into the sky over Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 19:10 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:13 14 January 2020
Looking up during a walk through Needham Market, Steve Russell saw a plane on a 'rocket trajectory' - but was it really flying vertically or was it just a matter of perspective?
My experience was similar to that reported by many readers on Christmas Day when a "mysterious object" was spotted in the sky - see here
It looked like a plane accelerating straight up, like a rocket, and was seen by folk in Aldeburgh, Snape and elsewhere.
There was talk of UFOs, which other people ridiculed. The consensus seemed to be that the aircraft was nothing more than the kind of jet (usually travelling to or from Stansted) we see daily in the skies above East Anglia. It did look intriguing and spectacular, though.
I witnessed something similar last weekend, when finishing a walk around Wickham Market at 4.10pm. It was more or less sunset, the skies were clear, and in the west I watched five aircraft and their contrails streaming in various directions.
Then I noticed one plane appearing to be heading straight up, rather than on the usual steady climb - and pushing hard, too. It was a bit like those acrobatic aircraft that fly straight up during displays, appear to stall, spin down, and then right themselves. This one didn't stall or spin, of course. After a few minutes it levelled out and headed east at a fair lick.
I don't pretend to be an expert on aviation, but I'm happy to accept it was simply climbing steadily - and that distance and perspective made it appear to be flying at a right-angle to the ground.
I'm no expert on trigonometry or Pythagoras's theorem, either, but I can imagine how what looked like a "rocket trajectory" was not the plane flying perpendicularly but on a sloping "hypotenuse" course. Watching from the ground, face-on, it appeared to be a straight-up line.
Fun to observe, though - and beautiful in its way. And it's good that, in a shrinking world where we think we've seen everything, we can still feel a sense of awe in experiencing something powerful and uncommon.