flyenthu
Topic Author
Posts: 544
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm

Polar Route Decision

Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:28 pm

Hello:

I am wondering how a decision to fly a polar route is made? When I flew EK 211 on Jan 08, we went directly over the north pole: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U...1/history/20130108/0530Z/OMDB/KIAH

However, today's flight is transatlantic: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U...1/history/20130112/0530Z/OMDB/KIAH

How come such major differences in routing?

Just wondering!
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18987
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Polar Route Decision

Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:55 pm

Quoting flyenthu (Thread starter):
How come such major differences in routing?

Location of the strong westerly jetstream winds on the day in question is probably the biggest factor.
http://www.salares.net/?en_world-jet-stream-forecast,38
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: Polar Route Decision

Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:20 am

Also in areas like Alaska we have volcanic activity which causes frequent changes to flight plans. I would most likely assume though it was due to different wind speed / directions for the flight above.

atct
Trikes are for kids!
 
Yukon880
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:26 am

RE: Polar Route Decision

Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:45 pm

Just for the sake of further discussion, and not to discount the rationale of the previous responders, is it possible that the flight track shown by Flightaware for EK211 on 8Jan is not precisely the route flown on that particular date? From one date to the next, the variation in the plotted tracks is not just huge, but (virtually) off the chart!
Pratt & Whitney, In thrust we trust!
 
flyenthu
Topic Author
Posts: 544
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm

RE: Polar Route Decision

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:07 am

Quoting Yukon880 (Reply 3):

I actually flew on EK 211 on Jan 8 and we flew right over the North Pole. The Flightaware track flattens out at the top, but in reality we went polar that day. I was expecting a day flight, but as we headed towards the North Pole it got darker, and eventually it was night only for a few hours. I took pics of the flight map and will post it on a trip report when I get to it- hopefully soon.

One clarification, the second track link is from Jan 12.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 17094
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Polar Route Decision

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:44 am

Quoting Yukon880 (Reply 3):
is it possible that the flight track shown by Flightaware for EK211 on 8Jan is not precisely the route flown on that particular date?

What input does Flightaware use? If it is radar it would be off. There's no radar coverage over the pole.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: Polar Route Decision

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:51 am

When I worked the tower at IAH, i noticed 2 or 3 times a week she'd go up over a NA track as opposed to the Polar route over Chicago / Hudson Bay.

atct
Trikes are for kids!
 
Yukon880
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:26 am

RE: Polar Route Decision

Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:37 am

Quoting flyenthu (Reply 4):
I took pics of the flight map and will post it on a trip report when I get to it- hopefully soon.

Looking forward to the report!
Pratt & Whitney, In thrust we trust!
 
apodino
Posts: 3027
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

RE: Polar Route Decision

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:05 pm

World Air Routes is a company based in Boston that produces a lot of high quality flight deck videos. They have one with Air Canada where they actually take you on a Polar Route from YYZ to HKG, and explain a lot of the things that go into planning such a route, including a lengthy presentation by the dispatcher. I think the video will help answer a lot of questions, and it is $30 US, a very good deal IMO.

www.worldairroutes.com

They have a lot of great videos there. Any true aviation enthusiast should have this site bookmarked.
 
AR385
Posts: 6742
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Polar Route Decision

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:07 pm

It´s usually due to winds.

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