|Occurred : 4/4/2021 21:00 (Entered as : 04/04/21 21:00)
Reported: 6/15/2021 5:45:15 PM 17:45
Location: Albuquerque (west of), NM
|Airborne pilot observed supersonic light/object
On the night of April 4, 2021 I was captain of a commercial passenger airline flight. A FAR part 121 airline flight from KTPA to KLAS.
While in level cruise flight I happen to see an object out my left window south of our position slightly ahead of our 90* abeam point moving from left to right at what I believed to be supersonic speeds. The object appeared as a dim yellow/amber single point of dim light approximately 15* above the horizon and diverging slightly from our tract traveling in a westerly direction.
The light increased gradually in intensity slightly dimmed then increased again before fading out of view.
I estimate I tracked the light visually for 1 to 2 seconds and approximately 10* of arc horizontally. I could not estimate it’s altitude however it appeared to be in straight level flight and diverging slightly from our track in a westerly direction.
As the light faded away I observed what I would describe as visible atmospheric disturbances similar in appearance to the trail of a shooting star but emanating from the front of the object as though it was moving so fast that it heated the air ahead distorting the atmosphere like a bow wave but did not leave a tail.
The light intensity I observed was much less in intensity then any shooting star that I’ve ever seen .
The object/light did not streak across the sky at high velocities in the way that I’ve seen shooting stars behave, it was slower but obviously much faster then our Airbus 319.
The object traveled at a steady rate in high speed level flight leading me to believe that it wasn’t a shooting star or another airliner.
I observed this object sometime after we past Albuquerque NM in route to Las Vegas NV at 36,000 feet on a moonless clear night approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours prior to landing.
To my knowledge I was the only observer.
I recently became aware that there is a way to report such sightings and this sighting is the only truly unusual thing I’ve observed in my 20+ year career in aviation.
Sincerely, Captain *** ATP Airbus pilot