NDiesel
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The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:22 pm

Looking at FR24, QF64 appeared as a lonely, little dot in in the southern Indian Ocean on its journey from JHB to SYD. Tracking the flightpath, focusing on the halfway point, there doesn't seem to be any diversion points anywhere close by; they'd either have to turn back towards Madagascar or north towards Perth in case of an emergency, a rather lengthy diversion. Is this correct?

Has anyone flown this route or any similar ones, and if so, did you feel a bit cut off from the rest of the world? How about other flights crossing oceans that are far away from any airport? LATAM 801 from SCL to AKL certainly comes to mind.

Image

LATAM 801 flight path:

Image
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aklrno
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:40 pm

Could they go to Diego Garcia if they had to? I don't know if it is of any use as a diversion field on that route (JNB-SYD).
 
MalevTU134
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:43 pm

aklrno wrote:
Could they go to Diego Garcia if they had to? I don't know if it is of any use as a diversion field on that route (JNB-SYD).

Geez...no disrespect...but have you even looked at a map before throwing this comment at us unsuspecting a.nutters?
 
KLDC10
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:47 pm

Interesting topic.
The French Island of Reunion is a little closer than Madagascar should the aircraft have to turn back.

There are plenty of diversion options available in the Northern/Central Indian Ocean, including Diego Garcia, Maldives and the Seychelles, but barely any in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Last edited by KLDC10 on Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MalevTU134
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:48 pm

NDiesel wrote:
Looking at FR24, QF64 appeared as a lonely, little dot in in the southern Indian Ocean on its journey from JHB to SYD. Tracking the flightpath, focusing on the halfway point, there doesn't seem to be any diversion points anywhere close by; they'd either have to turn back towards Madagascar or north towards Perth in case of an emergency, a rather lengthy diversion. Is this correct?

Has anyone flown this route or any similar ones, and if so, did you feel a bit cut off from the rest of the world? How about other flights crossing oceans that are far away from any airport? LATAM 801 from SCL to AKL certainly comes to mind.

Image

LATAM 801 flight path:

Image

Yes, it's either MRU/RUN or PER once you are in "solitary mode" above the southern Indian Ocean, depending on your position. There is nothing inbetween but lots of water and a few inhospitable French islands (not because they are French, mind you) without airports.

Oh, and there have been threads in the past on this with interesting discussions.
 
Arion640
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:59 pm

Yeah I must say - when I first saw this thread title the AKL-SCL came to mind.

Do SAA operate a JNB to South America? I imagiene that may go over a lonley part of the ocean.
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mariner
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:10 pm

Arion640 wrote:
Yeah I must say - when I first saw this thread title the AKL-SCL came to mind..


Why not NZ's AKL-EZE?

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NTLDaz
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:33 pm

mariner wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
Yeah I must say - when I first saw this thread title the AKL-SCL came to mind..


Why not NZ's AKL-EZE?

mariner


Or QF SCL - SYD or LA SCL - MEL.
 
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kjeld0d
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:47 pm

Not the place you want to have anything go wrong... be it mechanical, pilot or passenger. One would hope that these routes are reserved for the most experienced of crew. Makes me think of the airmanship involved in the pacific rescue of a Cessna 188 by an NZ DC10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_188_Pacific_rescue
Last edited by kjeld0d on Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
StTim
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:52 pm

That is why some of these flights are still 4 holers!
 
F100Flyer
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:39 am

SA280 JNB-PER would be up there as well. Although a couple times as of late it has been operated by the A332 instead of the usual A343/A346.
 
Tedd
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:40 am

Wasn`t it Latam on SKL to AKL that had to shut down an engine on their B787? That would have
made a lonely flight somewhat lonelier.
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:01 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
Yes, it's either MRU/RUN or PER once you are in "solitary mode" above the southern Indian Ocean, depending on your position. There is nothing inbetween but lots of water and a few inhospitable French islands (not because they are French, mind you) without airports.

Oh, and there have been threads in the past on this with interesting discussions.


But PER itself has no diversion airport for 2500km so how do you fly this route if the weather in Perth may be iffy

A recent thread talks about a proposed EZE-PER-SIN route that will be even lonelier than the above two
BV
 
USAirALB
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:15 am

Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.
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MalevTU134
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:18 am

BoeingVista wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
Yes, it's either MRU/RUN or PER once you are in "solitary mode" above the southern Indian Ocean, depending on your position. There is nothing inbetween but lots of water and a few inhospitable French islands (not because they are French, mind you) without airports.

Oh, and there have been threads in the past on this with interesting discussions.


But PER itself has no diversion airport for 2500km so how do you fly this route if the weather in Perth may be iffy

A recent thread talks about a proposed EZE-PER-SIN route that will be even lonelier than the above two

If you read that thread, you will see that that EZE-PER is a fantasy of a journalist.

As for JNB-SYD, if PER is below minimums, you go to MEL, ADL or elsewhere.
 
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FA9295
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:20 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
aklrno wrote:
Could they go to Diego Garcia if they had to? I don't know if it is of any use as a diversion field on that route (JNB-SYD).

Geez...no disrespect...but have you even looked at a map before throwing this comment at us unsuspecting a.nutters?

What's wrong with that...?
No, "FA" in my username does not stand for "flight attendant"...
 
MalevTU134
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:22 am

USAirALB wrote:
Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.

C'mon....they are never more than a good 2 hours from an airport....
 
MalevTU134
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:29 am

FA9295 wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
aklrno wrote:
Could they go to Diego Garcia if they had to? I don't know if it is of any use as a diversion field on that route (JNB-SYD).

Geez...no disrespect...but have you even looked at a map before throwing this comment at us unsuspecting a.nutters?

What's wrong with that...?

From what point at the routing would you ever choose to divert to Diego Garcia? Apart from the fact that facilities at PER, RUN and MRU are vastly better for a passenger jet, from a purely geographical point of view, it's absurd.
 
DaufuskieGuy
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:33 am

StTim wrote:
That is why some of these flights are still 4 holers!


would syd jnb have to route differently as a twin?
 
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:35 am

DaufuskieGuy wrote:
StTim wrote:
That is why some of these flights are still 4 holers!


would syd jnb have to route differently as a twin?

SYD-JNB has to take a substantially more northerly (and longer) route even on ETOPS 180.
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cskok8
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:48 am

I flew AKL-EZE last year. As we crossed the Chilean coast, the pilot made the announcement and mentioned that since take-off (8 hours prior) we have been flying over water.
 
CREST777
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:59 am

I flew QF64 in 2015. Was a brilliant flight. I did feel a little eerie looking at the IFE Map.

Was a surprisingly smooth flight, too. Normally all my flights out of JNB have been a bit bumpy.

I felt more isolated on SAAs JFK-JNB, just because it was a longer flight and on an A343, which had the longest takeoff and climb out I have ever experienced.
 
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:03 am

BoeingVista wrote:

But PER itself has no diversion airport for 2500km so how do you fly this route if the weather in Perth may be iffy


Learmonth has been used many times for diversions - 1100km North of Perth
 
7673mech
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:50 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.

C'mon....they are never more than a good 2 hours from an airport....


4 hours .... Average flight being 6. That said not lonely at all as everyone and their mama fly to HNL these days.
 
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:18 am

USAirALB wrote:
Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.


How is that related? There are probably 100+ flights a day to multiple cities.
 
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:43 am

I’d say SYD-JNB; would have to top my list of lonely.

Along with SYD-SCL and MEL-SCL, AKL-EZE.

QF 744 crew must have some very long lonely nights.

Of interesting note VA - when it was VAustralia flew MEL-JNB with a 77W but I believe at that stage CASA hadn’t relaxed their ETOPs requirements so it took a significant detour. Not sure if anyone can shed light on the specific route. Ended up longer flying time than SYD-JNB.
 
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:20 am

USAirALB wrote:
Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.


Joking yeah?

But to answer the question that was posed initially.
Yes, having flown on AKL-EZE return and checking the flight progress map midflight, I did get a slightly uneasy feeling that we were a long way south and a long way from anywhere.
 
rbavfan
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:31 am

aklrno wrote:
Could they go to Diego Garcia if they had to? I don't know if it is of any use as a diversion field on that route (JNB-SYD).


Yes Diego Garcia is a listed emergency landing site for all commercial aircraft.
 
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:14 am

I flew that route in 1985 SYD PER MRU JNB n a 742. I certainly was Aware about the fact that not too many flights cross the oceans in that region
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zkncj
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:23 am

Tedd wrote:
Wasn`t it Latam on SKL to AKL that had to shut down an engine on their B787? That would have
made a lonely flight somewhat lonelier.


It was NZ with an 789 on AKL-EZE, since then the flight has been changed back to an 77E with ETOPS 330.

NZ has removed the 789s from ETOPS 330 flying currently, they had two 789s with engine failures in two days (both early build 789s) with the effected RR Engines, the two aircraft haven't flown since November.
 
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FA9295
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:25 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
Geez...no disrespect...but have you even looked at a map before throwing this comment at us unsuspecting a.nutters?

What's wrong with that...?

From what point at the routing would you ever choose to divert to Diego Garcia? Apart from the fact that facilities at PER, RUN and MRU are vastly better for a passenger jet, from a purely geographical point of view, it's absurd.

Of course Diego Garcia is a terrible place to divert. I just thought that the OP was joking around, that's all...
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:32 am

USAirALB wrote:
Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.


Up until a few minutes ago I thought I had heard that the US west cost to Hawaii was the emptiest stretch of open ocean. In trying to confirm that opinion, I just found out about the oceanic pole of inaccessibility (aka Point Nemo), the furthest place from land.

From the linked BBC article: "Point Nemo is located over 1,000 miles (1,600km) equidistantly from the coasts of three far-flung islands. Ducie Island (one of the Pitcairn islands) is to the north, Motu Nui (of the Easter Island chain) is to the north-east and Maher Island (off the coast of Antarctica) is to the south."

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161004-the-place-furthest-from-land-is-known-as-point-nemo
 
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TheRedBaron
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:58 am

MH370 will never be found its a VAST sea down there...BTW its been 5 years now...Id certainly would be worried to fly the JNB-SYD on a twin engine aircraft...

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MaksFly
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:00 am

Thanks to the thread found the movie made about the lost Cessna. REALLY well done... watch on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4_f3T8AzJo
 
325i
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:13 am

Greetings folks, how about a 12 hour flight to the Antartica and back.
Did the Dick Smith original flight and if one did not an agreeable partner it sure was lonely!
Cheers 325i
 
barney captain
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:58 am

FrmrKSEngr wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
Even though the actual flight distance is nowhere near ultra-long haul, US West Coast to Hawaii flights are relatively lonely.


Up until a few minutes ago I thought I had heard that the US west cost to Hawaii was the emptiest stretch of open ocean.


That was always my understanding as well, but this routing looks awfully remote.
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c933103
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:06 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
BoeingVista wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
Yes, it's either MRU/RUN or PER once you are in "solitary mode" above the southern Indian Ocean, depending on your position. There is nothing inbetween but lots of water and a few inhospitable French islands (not because they are French, mind you) without airports.

Oh, and there have been threads in the past on this with interesting discussions.


But PER itself has no diversion airport for 2500km so how do you fly this route if the weather in Perth may be iffy

A recent thread talks about a proposed EZE-PER-SIN route that will be even lonelier than the above two

If you read that thread, you will see that that EZE-PER is a fantasy of a journalist.

As for JNB-SYD, if PER is below minimums, you go to MEL, ADL or elsewhere.

I did not remember seeing it from the thread? And they already have the route authority?
 
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ro1960
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:08 am

kjeld0d wrote:
Makes me think of the airmanship involved in the pacific rescue of a Cessna 188 by an NZ DC10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_188_Pacific_rescue


Thanks for sharing. Seems like a good story for a movie!
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ro1960
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:13 am

MaksFly wrote:
Thanks to the thread found the movie made about the lost Cessna. REALLY well done... watch on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4_f3T8AzJo


You answered my previous question. I will take a look. Thanks.
You may like my airport photos:
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c933103
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:26 am

325i wrote:
Greetings folks, how about a 12 hour flight to the Antartica and back.
Did the Dick Smith original flight and if one did not an agreeable partner it sure was lonely!
Cheers 325i

I wonder do they have some sort of emergency plan that would have allowed these flights to land on Antarctica runways during emergency
 
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Faro
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:42 am

Also discussed in the following thread almost 9 years ago 'Most desolate long-Range Routes?'. SYD-JNB seemed the winner back then:

https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=761447

Quoting Andz (Reply 17):
SYD-JNB is 14 hours plus and no land except within half an hour of departure and arrival.

It would seem to me that SYD-JNB is the winner, 5,963 nm on the great circle mapper, no oceanic diversions, the highest zonal average headwinds on earth on the westbound leg (south of 40° lat) and frequent intense cyclonic storms due to the unimpeded movement of the Antarctic West Wind Drift current, the most powerful current on earth. Route may also pass near Heard Island which has an volcano which erupted in the 1960's, hence the potential for an ashy, all-engines-out episode (Heard is unpopulated so you don't get advance notice).

Shipping lanes on that sector are also so sparse as to be practically non-existent; I wonder how passengers would react if they knew that a survivable ditching along this route is probably of academic interest. This is one scary one; a trip to the moon would be a more congenial experience, not least because people know where the moon is!

Faro



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BoeingVista
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:44 am

outbackair wrote:
BoeingVista wrote:

But PER itself has no diversion airport for 2500km so how do you fly this route if the weather in Perth may be iffy


Learmonth has been used many times for diversions - 1100km North of Perth


Learmouth is not a diversion airport for international flights, it has been used for domestic purposes on occasion tthough.

And still 1100km which would be another 2 hours at single engine speed.
BV
 
GRJGeorge
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:04 am

smi0006 wrote:
I’d say SYD-JNB; would have to top my list of lonely.

Along with SYD-SCL and MEL-SCL, AKL-EZE.

QF 744 crew must have some very long lonely nights.

Of interesting note VA - when it was VAustralia flew MEL-JNB with a 77W but I believe at that stage CASA hadn’t relaxed their ETOPs requirements so it took a significant detour. Not sure if anyone can shed light on the specific route. Ended up longer flying time than SYD-JNB.


I did the VA flight JNB-MEL-JNB in 2010, great service! We routed straight over PER and passed just south of MRU and RUN...was roughly 16hours westbound I think.
 
GRJGeorge
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:13 am

SYD-JNB is obviously loneliest not just because of the far distance south only, but then also being the only one everyday...while PER-JNB also has more flights closer by for the first few hours up until passing south of MRU and closer to PER again, plus MK MRU-PER is also around...same with Oceania-South America, there's more than just one flight between them
 
parapente
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:25 am

Did this flight some while ago -slept through most of it as I recallBut great image (above) of just how lonely it is.Not sure I would want to do it in a twin or even if that is allowed.In General these southern ocean routes (inc Chile/Argentina) are best served with quads I think.
 
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afterburner
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:45 am

NDiesel wrote:
from JHB to SYD.

If there is a flight from JHB to SYD, it goes through one of the busiest air corridor in the world. :mrgreen:
 
KL577
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:02 am

I flew Air Nez Zealand from LAX to Apia, Samoa (APW) (and vice versa) a couple of years back. There are only two real alternates during the 10 hour flight (except for APW and LAX themselves of course): Cassidy Airport (CXI) at Kirimati Island and KOA or ITO at Big Island Hawaii. The flight came straight over CXI but we flew way south of Big Island. By this reasoning, other very lonely flights in the pacific are LAX-RAR and LAX-PPT.

Image

Image

Image
 
ltbewr
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:35 am

What about routes over the poles or over parts of Eastern Russia ? While not as 'lonely' as ones in the South Indian Ocean or South Pacific Ocean, you may have routes that mean 3+ hours of no practical diversion airports, even longer if severe weather.
 
Zimzam
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:38 pm

I was fortunate enough to be on a B757 flight from Punta Arenas to Easter Island in 2016. It felt eerily lonely, detached from everything and everywhere!
http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=puq-ipc&MS=w ... 0x360&PM=*

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XAM2175
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Re: The loneliest flight in the world?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:33 pm

FA9295 wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
aklrno wrote:
Could they go to Diego Garcia if they had to? I don't know if it is of any use as a diversion field on that route (JNB-SYD)

Geez...no disrespect...but have you even looked at a map before throwing this comment at us unsuspecting a.nutters?
What's wrong with that...?


Image

So yes, they could go to NKW/FJDG... but it would be a bit like diverting to an Air Force base in North Africa when flying NYC-MOW.

(The dark-shaded area, btw, is the area outside ETOPS 180 for a B777 from the marked airports)

It is worth noting as well that the US Department of Defence do permit the use of their airfields as ETOPS alternates (see Slide 18 here) but with the provisos that they may from time to time not be able to accept diversions and that their ability to provide support to stranded passengers may be limited - so most airlines would only want a diversion to DG or places like it if there was an immediate threat to life.

smi0006 wrote:
Of interesting note VA - when it was VAustralia flew MEL-JNB with a 77W but I believe at that stage CASA hadn’t relaxed their ETOPs requirements so it took a significant detour. Not sure if anyone can shed light on the specific route. Ended up longer flying time than SYD-JNB.


Yes, CASA would not certify the 77W past ETOPS 180 so VA used PER and MRU as en-route alternates:

Image

Ended up adding about two hours' flight time each way.

c933103 wrote:
I wonder do they have some sort of emergency plan that would have allowed these flights to land on Antarctica runways during emergency


Depending on the aircraft involved you might right into problems with runway length, but any port in a storm and all that. Getting the passengers and aircraft out though...

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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos