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I have no aviation knowledge/experience but I observed something on a flight tracking app I was curious about:

Early morning (7 AM) I watched two small planes (one of them was a piper archer) traveling close together (visually: they stayed a few streets apart) around 100 kts at an altitude of 1200 feet with both planes staying at minimum 300 feet apart in altitude. They traveled together for about 30 minutes while one plane landed and the second one flew to another airport. The second plane eventually landed at the airport but almost immediately took off after coming to a stop (say 20 seconds of time on the ground). It did a loop around the airport and then landed and didn't take off again.

My question is: what explains the behavior of the two planes? Was this some sort of training exercise? I've never seen two small planes travel so closely for so long so I'm curious.

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  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you have noted the registration number in the tracking application? This would allow to check the business of the owner. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Aug 23, 2023 at 14:08

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The planes travelling together may simply be a coincidence. They had matching flight plans till the first one landed, and were simply maintaining visual separation as per Visual Flight Rules (VFR). It may also have been a formation flying exercise, but the planes landing at separate airports does not support this assumption.

The second plane seems to have made a stop-and-go landing, which is a training procedure where you land the plane, come to a full stop and then proceed to make a takeoff. If the runway is sufficiently long, the takeoff may be made without taxiing or backtracking to the beginning of the runway.

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They might have been doing a photo shoot.

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