|Occurred : 5/8/2005 11:00 (Entered as : 05/08/2005 11:00)
Reported: 5/9/2005 1:44:54 PM 13:44
Location: Phoenix, AZ
|Small sphere, moving very fast to the west, directly under my aircraft, 3,500 feet
Flying alone in a private aircraft, I was inbound to Phoenix, approaching from the southwest, just south of South Mountain, at the eastern tip of the mountain range. I was at 3500 feet.
Something approached the plane -- I got a sense of speed before a sense of it's shape -- from the right front quarter. It darted right under the plane, I would say at about 15 to twenty feet below me.
At first I thought it might be a bird, and was alarmed. A bird strike, even in a small plane, could do some serious damage.
I quickly looked to my left and saw the object. It was a sphere, about the size of a large softball, or maybe a bit smaller than a basketball. It was pale yellow in color, and it was moving very fast, in a horizontal path, not diving, or climbing. It disappeared to the west very quickly. I lost it on the horizon.
I told myself it had to have been a bird, but no bird moves that fast. Even with combined closing speed (I was only doing 90 knots indicated -- about 103mph) a bird would not have looked like it was going that fast. I had to collect myself and fly the plane, I was about to enter busy airspace, so I had to think about other things.