AirCalSNA
Topic Author
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:35 pm

Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:32 am

Looking at flight tracking maps today it looks like flights from California to Japan or China are not flying the great circle route but are instead keeping far south of the North Pacific. Was curious if bad weather or turbulence up north is causing this large-scale diversion? Thanks.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3682
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:07 am

Could be winds- I’ve gone just north of Wake before turning north ex-Honolulu.

GF
 
gloom
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:58 am

Exactly. Go to windy.com (or similar), check the winds at FL340. It's one hell of the eastbound winds up from the line Japan-British Columbia. Winds are north of 60kts on F340 and F390, so probably pretty constant all over flyable levels.

Cheers,
Adam
 
BravoOne
Posts: 3588
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:13 am

As others have noted it was probably a wind driven decision, The GC route does not always equal the Min Time track. I have gone from KLAX to VHHH and passed around 200 miles north of HNL. Fairly rare, but it does happen. Coast in around Iwo Jima
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2343
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:39 am

We use to fly PDX-NRT and never went further north than the 5 airways across the N. Pacific. Same for ANC-NRT. Only time I did a polar flight was FRA-ANC
 
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trpmb6
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:05 pm

I noted to a coworker yesterday. When I pull up flightradar I also pull up windy.com and overlay the two. You'll be amazed at how well the two overlap in key locations.

Windy has a slider on the right hand side to adjust altitude.

If you aren't using windy.com you're doing yourself a disservice! (not affiliated with them in any form - just love their website that much - I even use it when doing road trips to see what kind of gas mileage I get :rotfl:)

(For instance right now there is a little tiny hump that is pushing aircraft a little north into the Aleutian islands in southern Alaska. Almost like a funnel.)
 
AirCalSNA
Topic Author
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:43 pm

Thanks very much for the informative and interesting responses. I learned something new about airline ops!
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10562
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:07 pm

Anecdotally, although not a true Trans-Pacific flight, I have seen SQ's EWR-SIN flying over the Southern UK multiple times, back when it was flown by the A340-500. This is thousands of miles off the Great Circle Polar route, but where possible they would fly along the jet stream, as this was both the fastest and most economical route.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
Max Q
Posts: 7706
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Transpacific flights avoiding North Pacific

Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:23 am

After hundreds of years we are
still sailing
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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