Mystery jet sightings spark local speculation

This picture, sent in by Michael Kheng, shows the trails left by the circling plane.

This picture, sent in by Michael Kheng, shows the trails left by the circling plane.

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A MYSTERY plane seen circling above the Lincolnshire Wolds on Monday was revealed to be from NATO bases in Belgium.

Concerned readers from around the area contacted the Standard reporting the aircraft circling for a number of hours.

A spokesman for Humberside Airport and East Midlands Airport said it wasn’t one of their passenger planes and believed it was an RAF training exercise.

And Martin Tinworth, from the Ministry of Defence, confirmed the plane was on exercises for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation), which has its headquarters in Brussels.

He told the Standard the aircraft was a NATO Sentry E3, a surveillance plane, which was on a sortie completing a standard UK orbit.

Thanks to the clearest of clear days, people as far south as Peterborough and up to Louth and the Lincolnshire Wolds could see the concentric circles being created by the aircraft, which was flying at 33,000 feet.

Reports also came in from Skegness and as far west as Lincoln and Grantham.

Reader Michael Kheng sent this picture of the circles being created by its flightpath.

Sorties can last up to 10 hours and the E3 is providing assistance to other aircraft in the UK thanks to its 300-mile radar system.