Hello Capt Lim,
I don't get fearful when flying over land but when flying over the larger oceans, it is more stressful for me, although my fears are somewhat irrational. However, I was wondering what are the common routes over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans? How far from a landing strip are most commercial jets at any given time? For example, if my plane left Charlotte, North Carolina for London, would it go straight over the ocean or would it head up the East Coast and over Iceland, Greenland, and then toward the British Isles? What would be the route for a trip from San Francisco to Tokyo?
Thank you for your great website.
Takoma Park, MD, USA.
Please read an almost identical question in my previous FAQ. Most airlines would endeavor to use the shortest routes between 2 points. These are Great Circle routes and appear curved on the map in the TV screens on board most modern airliners today.
Across the Atlantic, because of the high volume of air traffic between the USA and Europe, there is a system of Airways with special defined separation to permit more aircraft to fly at different directions at specific times of the day. These Airways are not fixed but change every 12 hours to cater for weather and the jet stream flow. So I am unable to describe precisely your routing.
Thus your flight from Charlotte to London would most likely see the airplane heading North East to the south of Greenland and Iceland, then South East to the British Isles, appearing like a curvy route. Similarly, from San Francisco to Tokyo, the plane would fly North West towards the Pacific Ocean, then South West to Tokyo.
Have a pleasant curvy flight on your next journey :-) !