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Unusual flight paths

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dajop

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Has anyone been on a flight with an unusual flight path (planned) for the flight? I don't mean due to unexpected diversions, poor weather at destination, or ATC holds, but just a regular flight between A and B.

I just noticed last night on a flight tracking app a couple of planes well into the Bight tracking on a typical MEL-PER route at a time well past the last MEL-PER flight (see pics below).

Looking at them closer showed them to be SQ 218 (MEL-SIN) and MH 128 (MEL-KUL). Now I've done this sector in this direction over 50 times, and never has it travelled this far south. A few times in the other direction it has tracked over the northern part of the bight over ADL and on to MEL, but never this far south either. When I first saw it I only MH128, and with MH370 fresh in the mind, you can't help but get a bit of a bad feeling when you see an aircraft so far away from its "normal" path. Conditions at 35,000+ feet must be a atypical as I notice this mornings flights, including QF35 taking similar route.

MAS128.jpg
sq218.jpg
 

Shan Man

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Given the strong winds currently blowing West-East across aus, not surprised they are going so far south to avoid them. Saves a bit of fuel I'd imagine.
 

eric2011

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It was very strange on a recent flight back from South America. We all know South America is off to the east across the top of NZ, right. Uhh, wrong. On the flight back I looked down and we were a tad west of Hobart and crossed the coast just east of Melbourne and followed the coast towards the finish, we were coming back from the South. Didn't make sense to me until I looked at a flight path map
 
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On a flight from SYD to SIN earlier this year we went down there as well. On departure the pilot indicated some bad weather and headwinds. I assumed we would arrive late due to weather.

During the flight I noticed the unusual flight path. Flight was very smooth and we arrived slightly ahead of schedule!
 

SeatBackForward

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It was very strange on a recent flight back from South America. We all know South America is off to the east across the top of NZ, right. Uhh, wrong. On the flight back I looked down and we were a tad west of Hobart and crossed the coast just east of Melbourne and followed the coast towards the finish, we were coming back from the South. Didn't make sense to me until I looked at a flight path map

Check out Great Circle Mapper and plug in the codes between two airports to get the shortest distance between them. You get some interesting results, try SIN-JFK for example.
 

MEL_Traveller

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If you were a passenger on the MH128 looking at the sky map you'd be wanting some very clear communication from the flight-deck to say what they were doing and why.
 
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dajop

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You get some interesting results, try SIN-JFK for example.

SIN-JFK (or EWR where SQ used to fly) is interesting, the shortest route is polar, but outbound it usually took a route to the east of Japan, across Alaska and Canada. The return seemed to be either the polar route or not uncommonly, via Europe (eg New York-Stockholm-Singapore). AFAIK, it was the only route where both outbound and return often travelled in the same (easterly) direction!
 

SeatBackForward

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SIN-JFK (or EWR where SQ used to fly) is interesting, the shortest route is polar, but outbound it usually took a route to the east of Japan, across Alaska and Canada. The return seemed to be either the polar route or not uncommonly, via Europe (eg New York-Stockholm-Singapore). AFAIK, it was the only route where both outbound and return often travelled in the same (easterly) direction!

DRW-RIO would also make for a southern hemisphere equivalent. Wouldn't be very profitable I imagine.
 
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