The pilot of a Lan Chile Airbus A340, which was travelling between Santiago, Chile, and Auckland, New Zealand, notified air traffic controllers at Auckland Oceanic Centre after seeing flaming space junk hurtling across the sky just five nautical miles in front of and behind his plane about 10pm last night.
"Auckland is talking to (an) Aerolineas Argentinas (pilot) who is travelling (in the) opposite direction at 10 degrees further south asking if they wish to turn back to Auckland.
"They have elected to carry on at the moment.
A spokesman for Airways New Zealand, which provides air navigation services across airspace known as the Auckland Flight Information Region, confirmed the incident this morning.
He said it occurred about 10 minutes after the Lan Chile flight had entered the Auckland Flight Information Region.
Airways New Zealand had been warned by Russian authorities almost two weeks ago that a satellite would be entering the earth's atmosphere sometime today between 10.30am and midday NZ time (6.30-8am WA time).
That is scary. But it also makes me think... With all the current paranoia, if a disaster happened because of this, wouldn't people be quick to start rumours?
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