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Passenger spots plane ‘hanging in mid-air’ over San Francisco in bizarre optical illusion

This is the incredible moment a passenger spotted another plane ‘hanging in mid-air’ over San Francisco.

Posted to Reddit, the video attracted many commenters who questioned the reason for the plane being at a standstill.

‘It’s parallax, which is the observed displacement of an object caused by the change of the observer’s point of view. We see it all the time,’ said one commenter. 

A pilot told Daily Mirror the stunt is an optical illusion – that involves two planes landing at the same time and the smaller one moving slower.

A passenger from another plane caught the moment that a separate aircraft was at floating in mid-air near the San Francisco International Airport

‘San Francisco has a procedure when the weather is adequate and both aircraft [sic] can see each other, they can land with less separation laterally than you’d normally need,’ the pilot told the outlet following a similar incident. 

‘The aircraft is much lighter than the one where the passenger is filming, so it will be flying much slower – and there could be a strong headwind which means less movement over the ground too.’

Commenters thought otherwise about why the aircraft was hanging in mid-air. 

‘No no glitch in the Matrix is the more rational explanation,’ a Reddit user commented. 

‘No, I thinks [sic] it’s stopped in time guys, anyone see if it’s still stuck there,’ said another. 

Locals to the area said that they have witnessed this spectacle time and time again. 

‘As someone who lives it this area and drives on that bridge all the time, I’m sure hundreds or thousands of people on it would have stopped and recorded the plane just floating above them in mid air,’ said a commenter. 

‘I live rite [sic] by a airport, they come in all the time going super slow like that. It looks impossible but it’s not,’ said another.  

San Francisco locals commented under the video posted to Reddit of the plane hovering over the bridge and shared how this was a normal occurrence in that area

Others commented and insisted that this was a ‘glitch in the Matrix’ or happened due to aliens and different supernatural phenomenon’s

In 2013 San Francisco International Airport implemented new arrival procedures called Closely- Spaced Parallel Runways. In order to orchestrate this amazing site an airport must have two parallel runways separated by a small distance 

San Francisco International Airport initiated new arrival procedures in the fall of 2013 called Closely- Spaced Parallel Runways.

‘This will allow staggered arrivals on parallel runways during poor weather conditions, further improving on-time performance at SFO. Arriving aircraft are separated by 1.5 nautical miles,’ SFO said on their website. 

Visual flight rules are a set of guidelines that pilots follow in an aircraft, under clear weather conditions.

‘VFR flight is based on the principle of ‘see and avoid.’ The presumption made in establishing the basic VFR weather minimums is that aircraft flying at lower altitudes and/or in airspace with radar approach control and/or an operating control tower will be moving more slowly, or that they will be under positive control,’ said The Federal Aviation Administration.

When this happens, aircrafts do not need as much flight visibility or distance from clouds in order to avoid other air traffic. 

A similar incident occurred in August as a passenger in another plane posted a video to Reddit of a United Airlines aircraft hovering just above land. 

The passenger captioned the video: ‘Landing at SFO. What is happening here?’ They ended the caption with an alien emoji and a question mark.

The wing of the moving plane reveals a plane not too far away, completely still and hovering in the air with its wheels out.

‘UFO at SFO,’ said one commenter. 

‘It’s a glitch in the matrix,’ said another.

Some commenters appeared to know exactly what was happening to the plane and went on to explain it. 

‘It is an optical illusions [sic] caused by a shifting perceptual frame where one plane is moving at a moderate rate of speed, while simultaneously, the other plane is floating perfectly still in one spot in the air,’ said another. 

Another said: ‘Tell me you have never had a duel [sic] landing at SFO before posting it on social media. They are famous for it [un]like any other airport in the country.’

Other US airports that have the appropriate facilities to conduct simultaneous take-offs and landings include Newark Liberty International Airport and Kansas City International Airport. 

At Newark Airport United Airlines maintains their own operational hub to do so.

According to Simple Flying: ‘In fact, 23 different US airports can accommodate three aircraft approaching three runways simultaneously, some of which are rather small.’ 

In a similar incident, a passenger recorded from the inside of his plane window as the wing of the moving plane reveals a plane not too far away, completely still and hovering in the air with its wheels out

A similar video posted to Reddit in August also caused a lot of speculation on why exactly the plane was hovering so low and close to land. Some blamed it on aliens and the Matrix, while others said it was a dual landing taking place

Other airports can accommodate more than three aircraft taking off at once, like Denver International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 

‘Chicago-O’Hare International Airport (ORD) can even hypothetically permit six aircraft to land simultaneously, which would truly be a sight to behold,’ said Simple Flying. 

Though this moment is rare, it is a beautiful phenomenon to witness from another aircraft. 

It is unclear exactly where the floating plane was coming from or if there were passengers onboard. 

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