Close Encounter With A Model Rocket?


Investigations are currently underway concerning a report of a possible model rocket flying notably close to a Continental Airlines 737 mid-morning on Memorial Day. Shortly after departure from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the pilot of Continental flight 1544 reported to controllers what appeared to be a model rocket with a flaming tail and trailing smoke just in front of the aircraft.

The airliner was east of the airport flying at about 5,000 ft. when the sighting occurred. The aircraft did not deviate and the flight continued on to Cleveland without incident. The FAA and FBI are conducting investigations to find out exactly who was involved and if indeed the object was a model rocket. According to the Houston Chronicle, local model rocketry clubs were questioned and none had scheduled launches during the holiday weekend. Also, any model rocket launch would have to be reported to the local ATC facility in accordance with FAR Part 101.25.