AIM 120 AMRAAM Model Rocket

AIM 120 AMRAAM Model Rocket

In early June a Continental Airlines Commuter jet had a close encounter. While flying out of Houston, they saw a missile-like object flying at about 16,000 feet. At first the six foot long object was heading towards the aircraft, but fortunately veered off. This near miss happened almost exactly one year after a similar occurrence in the same Texas county.

It is now believed to be a model rocket fired from a hobbyist on the ground.  Even though there was no immediate danger to the plane, it still could have turned out terrible if the rocket would have hit the plane and obviously caused a distraction of the pilots.  Model rockets of this size require a permit to launch in Texas.

 Source: KAUZ Image: karl.simpson

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:

If I was a pilot in that situation I probably would have soiled my pants! In times like these, one can never know that dangers there are out there.


I had no idea model rockets were so big or could go so high! Guess it’s time these “toys” were more closely regulated!

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