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Matt:

My girlfriend and I have a long-standing difference of opinion. I live directly under Lindbergh Field's flight path. On most planes I can see a thin stream emanating from the wings as the planes approach a landing. I say this stream is fuel being released upon approach. My girlfriend says what we are witnessing is condensation coming from the wings of the plane. Which of us is right?

-- Nameless, in the flight path

In the 80, 90 years I've been toiling at this gig, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon. When hubby/wifey, loverboy/sweetiepie, whoever, have a disagreement, it's always the man who's so sure he's correct that he's wiling to air the issue in public. But nine times out of ten, the woman has the right answer. I draw no conclusions from this statistical oddity. In fact Nameless might be just a darned fair-minded guy who simply wants the argument settled once and for all. But of course, Nameless's answer is wrong. The reduced air pressure above the plane's wing produces an area of lowered air temperature, which causes the condensation to form. Fuel dumping is strictly an emergency procedure for aircraft.

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