I have just found this site: http://www.flightradar24.com/ If you zoom out, you realize how congested is the sky! Quite frightening, if you think that, in many instances, planes cross the same position at exactly the same time, although at different levels. I have got the feeling that keeping such a air traffic under control is not an easy job... my impression is that flying at the same altitude is a mistake that captains can easily make...

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I love this site! I can watch it for hours. Have you tried clicking on a flight and then clicking on 'cockpit view'? It's all kinds of awesome.

I was also amazed by the sheer number of planes in the air when I first saw this, but they're all in their own 'corridor' and a fixed distance away from each other. And looking at flightradar you can see lines of planes following the same routes, frinstance planes out of Kiev seem to only go in one of three directions.

The pilots fly at a pre-determined altitude and if they want to change, they have to clear it with ATC first (this happened on one of my flights in the summer, the captain came on the intercom and told us he'd requested a change of altitude cos it was a bit bumpy where we were) so I don't know that they'd 'easily' find themselves at the wrong altitude.

Hi Sarah, nice to hear from you.

Yes, they are all in their own corridor, but, if you notice, some of them are away from each other by only a short distance! What about if the pre-determined altitude is miscalculated?! The other day, I saw a plane coming from the left, below our plane, and it looked like it was only 20 mt down... My point is: how easy is it  to miscalculate pre-determined distances between planes? Especially when they are approaching congested airports, where distances between aircrafts are even tinier... 

Yo!  When it comes to air corridors there are actually a lot of failsafes to stop planes from even being near each other on the same level.   Not only do they have the air traffic controllers, but also a system on the plane called ACAS specifically designed to keep the pilots informed of the planes around them.   It would also put out a loud warning with directions should the unthinkable actually get near to even thinking of happening.  It's not all on the air trafic controller's shoulders thankfully, and if I remember right there hasn't been a collision for an extremely long time.

I do love 24radar though, it's good fun to watch.

I'm sorry to say that this is quite the wrong interpretation of ATC.

Why and how could you mistake 33,000 for any other altitude. Though I understand that you feel there may be a possibility...it is so unlikely as to be non existent. Planes have collision avoidancxe systems that instruct the pilot what to do if there is the possibility of conflict.

Keith

Enrico ..it just doesn't work like that. Planes are 1000 feet apart and all the speculation and doubt in the world doesn't change that FACT.

Keith

Enrico said:

Hi Sarah, nice to hear from you.

Yes, they are all in their own corridor, but, if you notice, some of them are away from each other by only a short distance! What about if the pre-determined altitude is miscalculated?! The other day, I saw a plane coming from the left, below our plane, and it looked like it was only 20 mt down... My point is: how easy is it  to miscalculate pre-determined distances between planes? Especially when they are approaching congested airports, where distances between aircrafts are even tinier... 

Flightradar24 and another site called planefinder.net have been great resources for me in dealing with my flying anxiety. There is not much better way to state the fact that thousands of planes make safe journeys every day than staring at a screen full of them going about their business in a predictable and repetitive way. It looks congested because the plane graphics are out of proportion to the size of the map - they have to be otherwise it wouldn't be very interesting to look at and you wouldn't have any idea where they were all travelling. When I've been very nervous about my flight, I've imagined myself as being in one of those little computer graphic planes - the ones I've been following for days or weeks beforehand on the computer - and it helps put my perception of risk into perspective and remind me that my anxiety is grossly distorting reality.

This site is brilliant. It does not make me nervous - it helps! You realise how many flights there are for a start and I agree with David - puts it all into perspective. I think I will try David's technique and think of being one of those computer graphics... good idea!

Thanks

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