Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Bizarre Flight Path From FRA To ATL Today  
User currently offlineAirplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 12414 times:

Today I returned home from Nurnberg, Germany after an amazing two weeks there. I flew on Lufthansa, leaving this morning on an A321 flying from NUE to F R A and then on an LH A340-300 from F R A to ATL. The flight path today for that second flight was bizarre. Below is the great circle route:

We deviated a lot from this. The plane took off and circled around, flying to the north and going over the German coast to the North Sea. We flew over the North Sea, never reaching Great Britain, but instead passing just north of the Shetland Islands. A little while later, we flew over the Faeroe Islands and continued northwards towards Iceland. We made landfall over Iceland on its west coast and flew across the country leaving back over water on the opposite coast. Later, we crossed southern Greenland and finally made landfall over Canada. The plane turned southward, crossing the southeastern tip of Hudson Bay and turned completely south, flying over Michigan, Dayton, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Tennessee, and then finally into ATL. At times we were moving extremely fast (greater than 630 mph). The flight took a total of 9 hours, 8 minutes. First of all, why did we fly so far off the great circle? I understand that rarely do flights follow a great circle exactly, but this was extremely off. Also, was this a rare circumstance that we had tail winds headed west, given our high speed? Any other input would be appreciated. Thank you very much!


21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineHB-IWC From Indonesia, joined Sep 2000, 4551 posts, RR: 71
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 12334 times:

Seems like an exceptional flight path to benefit from the weather conditions. That however didn't prevent the flight from arriving just a bit late in ATL at 2.08 pm, scheduled 2.00 pm. The return flight is due early into Frankfurt though, almost half an hour ahead of schedule, so the favorable winds Westbound didn't have any impact on the winds Eastbound.

User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 12290 times:

there is a lot of weather on the east coast this time of year, so that probably explains the US portion of the trip

User currently offlineCaribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1645 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 12283 times:

I had a silimar flight path once on a KLM flight AMS-YUL. Over the Shetlands, directly over Iceland (which was spectacular), then Southern Greenland and into Labrador & Quebec... then almost straight south into Montreal.. also a 9 hour+ flight including a good 40 minute circling of Montreal and a final decision to land at YMX because of a bad snowstorm at YUL.. I recall we were late leaving and pilot losing his position on the traditional flight paths so this was a last minute replacement but we were warned beforehand this may happen.

User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4747 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 12252 times:

Yesterdays tailwinds from US-EUROPE were very strong, and resulted in most Europe bound flights from IAH arriving around 50 minutes early. Maybe they were trying to avoid these winds.


User currently offlineSkibum9 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 12179 times:

I was looking at AirNav this morning, the same day as this posting, and I noticed that the Atlantic track, westbound, was to the extreme north. Your LH flight into ATL was not at all unusual today, in fact I saw many Delta flights crossing over Greenland, down through Canada by the Hudson bay, and down through Ohio into ATL. This was way off the more southerly Atlantic tracks that go over Gander and down the east cost to ATL.

I do know that the North Atlantic are established daily and it is based on prevailing winds and weather. I just checked some of the flights crossing the pond tonight, they are on the southerly tracks, and they have some pretty high groundspeeds going (KLM662 is showing a speed of 635kts.), indicating they have some strong tailwinds. So I would say the chances are pretty high that the reason you were sent up north was because of the headwinds, in your case, and tomorrow's flights will probably be on northerly tracks as well.

User currently offlineBig777jet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12093 times:

One of the database photo that someone who jumpseat on an Air France A340 from CDG to ORD. The caption said, it flew over Cleveland OH!!! It doesn't fly from Traverse City, MI it is popular routes from Europe to Chicago always flying over Traverse City. That's why AF A340 changed direction to Cleveland it is possible of weather conditions.


User currently offlineTs-ior From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3601 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11939 times:

I think that this wasn't a NAT Track or at least the nordest one; NAT A.

Flights may follow a fixed route via the Shetland Islands, Reykjavik, the
Groenland,...when economically better than the daily NAT tracks or when
being outside OTS times.

User currently offlineDgeHfx From Canada, joined May 2001, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11751 times:

I recall one time taking off from LHR on an AC flight for Canada and then circling Wales several times before beginning the Atlantic crossing. My understanding was that we had a take-off slot time that we didn't want to lose but the transatlantic route was so crowded that we had then to wait our turn to join it.

User currently offline9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 756 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 11193 times:

I just flew LAX- TPE - SIN and vv and we took completely different routes both times. SQ 29 went extremely north, over the aleutian islands, down kamchatka, touching speeds of 850-900 km/h while SQ 30 went extremely south of the aleutian islands, hitting landfall just west of SFO with speeds of 1000-1050 km/h. SQ 29 was 13:40 and SQ 30 was 11:45. I guess those winds really make a difference!


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4296 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 11057 times:

KBP-JFK not too long ago on AeroSvit took us over West Ukraine; Poland; The North Sea; North of Shetland again; Touched South Greenland; headed towards somewhere near Chicoutimi, Canada and then we went dead south.
Must be the wind this time of year.
-Mr. X

What now?
User currently offlineA3xx900 From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10791 times:

those are that NATs for today, June 28.
Your description doesn't fit to those tracks though. I don't know why the LH crew decided to fly off-track on this flight...

Why is 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.
User currently offlineDeltabobo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 209 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 10555 times:

One flight that I was on did that. It was a DL 767-300 from MUC to ATL. (It was flight 131). We flew over Hudson Bay to avoid storms in the northeast corridor. We landed only 30 minutes later than scheduled, considering all the mileage that we added on.

Dispatchers...saving pilots from themselves and their egos since 1938!
User currently offlineNonrvsmdmf From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days ago) and read 9602 times:

This is what happened.

Eurocontrol and the UK have preferred routes that must be followed from
the east side of Europe when using a northern coast out point.

If I were at my office I could pull up your exact route in the Eurocontrol

It boils down to, best wind route vs preferred route and where the NAT
tracks are.

I did not forget...I just misplaced the thought...
User currently offlineN102daman From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 155 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 week 2 days ago) and read 9587 times:

Sometimes the shortest distance doesn't mean the fastest flight. My best guess for you would be the winds. I have been on many LGW - ATL flights (Delta of course) and have flown the northern track over Greenland many times. The inflight flight tracker is wonderful in Business Elite. I remember one of the bumpiest flights I have ever been on was a DL 767-300 ride ATL - LGW that went straight across the Atlantic and arrived almost an hour early. Of course the Midwest and east coast was having some pretty gnarly weather that winter.

"Fly Widget Fly"
"Keep Singing Song"
"ASA Silver and Soaring"

"Service and Hospitality from the Heart." (C. E. Woolman, Delta airlines first CEO and founder.)
User currently offlineIberia340600 From Spain, joined Oct 2003, 804 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8715 times:

It could very well be that one of the radio antennas were out. I am not sure which one it is but it is the one that works with long waves...which allows planes to go over the Atlantic or any body of water for that matter and still have radio contact. If that radio antenna is out...they have to use the short wave radio which uses line of sight....hence the track you took to be near land. LH may have done this to avoid cancelling the flight.

I can attest that this happened once to IB's flight leaving New York to Madrid a few years back...instead of cancelling the flight, just added extra fuel and told passengers that the flight time would be about 2 hours more due to the technical problem with the radio.

Can anyone confirm?

Visca Barça!!
User currently offlineAirplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8537 times:

Thank you for all of your responses. Is there a way for me to see the North Atlantic Tracks from day to day, like in the screenshot above?


User currently offlineKDTWFlyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 837 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8480 times:

That odd routing to the north happened to me once on NW57, a DC-10 from AMS to MEM. We took a highly skewed great circle route over central Greenland then down over the southern peninsula of Michigan. That was my longest flight ever at 4,500 miles.

NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
User currently offlineA3xx900 From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8408 times:

go to http://www.natroutes.glideslope.de/ and download the Natplot program. It's free of course. Then you can download the NAT text file (at the same address as above or maybe here: https://www.notams.jcs.mil/common/nat.html which seems more up to date) and open it with natplot.

Have fun,


Why is 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.
User currently offlineNudelhirsch From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 1438 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8322 times:

Great Link, A3xx, just downloaded Natplot. This is fun.

Dankeschön...  Big grin

Putana da Seatbeltz!
User currently offlineA3xx900 From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8172 times:

bitte bitte, no prob  Big grin

As a passionate FS pilot I use it regularly  Smile

Why is 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 9161 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8156 times:

That route to the north happened to me on a UA flight from MUC to IAD. We went right over Toronto and down across New York state. I've also been on a southern route from AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA to BOS where we departed south towards the coast of Northern Spain and directly across the Atlantic making landfall on Cape Cod.
Both of these routes were so we could avoid the strong jetstream.

Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
What Is The Flight Path From Taiwan To Europe? posted Wed Feb 6 2002 02:29:03 by Airplanetire
Why Was LH Flight From FRA To BHX Diverted To MAN? posted Sat Nov 26 2005 18:28:37 by Aeronick
Would A A330-300 Reach From FRA To PHX Effectively posted Tue Dec 6 2005 23:53:35 by Jdwfloyd
Flight Time From DUB To MCO posted Fri Jul 15 2005 16:47:53 by AMSMAN
DL Ferries MD1 From YMX To GYR Today posted Fri May 13 2005 00:53:30 by AkjetBlue
Flight N60697 From HKG To BFI? posted Wed Feb 9 2005 19:07:30 by Clickhappy
RJ's From DEN To ATL posted Mon May 10 2004 05:02:00 by Klwright69
TWO LH Flights From FRA To PHX On 12/8/01! posted Fri Dec 7 2001 19:50:34 by Lhuaaua
Which Airline From FRA To Paraguay? posted Tue Nov 20 2001 17:21:35 by FRA_GIM
Flight Path From LGA Over Yankee Stadium? posted Fri Nov 2 2001 08:51:33 by Spacecadet