NASA DC8 Very Low Altitude

This one is curious and I would think a little dangerous knowing the amount of normal air traffic.

I hear a very low big jet overhead so I try to see what it was doing.

A NASA DC8 from Wright Patterson AFB was about at 1200 feet buzzing the Chicago area. (Note the Chicago MSA averages about 579 feet.) Once over Lake Michigan it was at about 800-1000 feet.

Here’s it’s mission: DC-8 - AFRC | NASA Airborne Science Program

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It was flying as low at 1300 ft MSL, which is around 800 ft AGL in this part of the country. That would be wild to see!

Edit: Wow, FlightRadar actually shows it as low as 850ft MSL! That’s crazy.

I missed it because it was too fast and I’m inside. It was gone before I could get to the door. Actually, I initially feared it was a plane in distress.

It just turned to avoid a little Piper over Lake Geneva.

It was on the news.
" Very loud’ NASA research flyover lifts off; flight path released"

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1200 feet… low altitude? Here’s a low altitude DC-8 for you…


He baaaaack. Got a photo of it this time. It was at 965 feet above the ground and passed a little over a mile south of me.

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If any one is still interested, the NASA DC-8-72 that was over the Chicago area was performing a mission for the AEROMMA project. It’s a NOAA project on their site. Or just google AEROMMA.


It is reassuring that these experiments have NASA pilots at the controls, those guys can probably fly the DC8 50ft above the trees with 2 engines while drinking some coffee.


Im a tad bit late but I do have a video of it going over my house if youre still curious

Yes, this is your opportunity to go viral :rofl:

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I haven’t been able to see it on your video.