My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

white MD-80 mystery

Thursday morning, I took my daughter to the airport (BDL) to catch a flight to Phoenix. After she disappeared into the bowels of the terminal, I headed home.

Exiting the short-term parking lot ($2.50 for 1/2 hour), I noticed an MD-80 moving slowly on the tarmac in front of me. This was not your everyday MD-80. It had no passenger windows, it was painted white, and the only insignia was a small US flag on the side (behind the wing, but ahead of the engine) with an N-something identification number below the flag.

Friday afternoon, I walked my dogs and as we headed back home, I hear a jet airplane approaching from the north. It was louder than most, so I figured it must be low. When it cleared the trees blocking my view, it was indeed low and it was a white MD-80 just like the one I saw the previous morning. My guess is that it was the same plane having just left BDL, which is less than 25 miles away.

I am familiar with the routes of planes in my neck of the woods and everything related to BDL in my neighborhood flies north into BDL. I never see a plane flying south from BDL, but my white MD-80 was flying south from BDL.

This unusual plane and its unusual route caused me to believe that this plane was involved in some kind of government operation.

I began researching the mystery on the Internet and I had my answer quickly via AIRLINERS.NET. On the web site's discussion list, the white MD-80 puzzle was solved: U.S. Marshals use it to transport prisoners.

I highly recommend AIRLINERS.NET for information and photos regarding aviation. By today's count, the web site has 1,188,164 photos on line!

By the way, the white MD-80 looked spectacular winging its way over Downtown Wolcott.


  1. I have seen this aircraft depart O'Hare twice in the last 2 weeks.

  2. A Simular aircraft was loading at O'Hare today at 10:30 but it had windows. I did look like they were loading prisoners.