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43

The writer was dramatizing things a bit maybe, it's possible to ditch a jet fighter and survive, however your chances are much better ejecting. Ditching is an option for any aircraft, with some airplanes ditching is the only option if there's a loss of power over water, for example commercial jets have no mode of egress other than the doors. I fly light ...


31

This particular flight was a Boeing 747 flying from YSSY (Sidney) to SCEL (Santiago). Because a 747 has more than two engines, they don't have specific time limits on how far from land that they can fly like two engine airplanes do. That being said, they do have to carry enough fuel to make it to a suitable airport in the event that the airplane ...


26

Well, most airlines do cross the ocean with GPS in today's world. That being said, most (if not all) transcontinental airliners, and many flying domestic routes as well, have what's called an inertial navigation system (a form of dead-reckoning where gyros and accelerometers are used to compute changes in position). The INS feeds into the flight management ...


23

I don't think they are specifically avoiding Shanwick Oceanic airspace. The reason seems to be related to the airways in the Scottish airspace. In general, you have to file a route using airways when operating in this airspace and there simply isn't one available that provides a more direct route. I recreated what looks like the route you show on skyvector....


20

We were crossing the seas centuries before GPS, INS or really any other form of modern technology. All you need is a clock, a compass and a sextant. And some largely-forgotten skills, like how to do math without a smartphone.


20

First, I'm taking this to be about fighter jet aircraft and similar. Airliners, general aviation jet aircraft, and others, are different, and there have been plenty of examples of jet aircraft ditching in water and everyone surviving. US Airways flight 1549 is a relatively recent (January 2009) example where an Airbus A320 jet aircraft landed on water. It's ...


17

As a hang-glider pilot, I can say that's exactly how a good hang-glider landing goes. We don't land with speed and run it off (at least if we've done it properly anyway). Instead we fly our approach to landing height, burn off speed as necessary to near-stall, then rapidly rotate the wing. The wing effectively turns into an instant air-brake, and we land ...


15

In the days before GPS, we routinely crossed the oceans using inertial navigation systems. The system I was familiar with used 3 separate inertial systems (Carousel was the brand name). You could choose to navigate by any single one, but the most common way of using them was to have the autopilot "average" the positions. You could also choose to exclude any ...


15

Lots of reasons are possible, ranging from winds to other issues. In this case I'm willing to bet that the first flight was based on the most efficient routing to take advantage of tailwinds en route and that the second was avoiding Syrian and Turkish air space because of the political issues there earlier this year. See also: Flight Delays Incurred ...


13

You get by on your airborne weather radar which is good out to about 80 miles. You may also get help from other pilots ahead of you on your route providing PIREPS to ATC on HF, or talking to you directly if you are close enough to use VHF between each other. But as far as picking your way around cells, besides being able to see them if you are in the clear,...


10

A flight plan is just that, a plan. A flight can deviate from its cleared route for many reasons, the most common of which are: Weather Traffic Shortcuts Weather reroutes are often initiated by the crew. Center, N12345 request 15 right for weather N12345 15 right approved for 100 nm, report direct XYZ. Or they can be initiated by ATC N12345, ...


9

According to ICAO NAT doc 007 (North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual, edition 2014/2015) (PDF), approximately half of the North Atlantic (NAT) flight use the Oceanic Track System (OTS). 2.1.3: It should be appreciated, however, that use of OTS tracks is not mandatory. Currently about half of NAT flights utilise the OTS. Aircraft may fly on ...


9

I am sure every airline has such a model, which will include actual wind and temperature information, but it will contain proprietary data which is not publicly available, unless you have a proven interest and signed an NDA with the airframe and the engine companies. Boeing is actively marketing such software to it's customers. For first-order estimates, ...


8

If you've never seen it, there was a particularly scary video taken of Ethiopian Air 961 crashing in the ocean. The plane had been hijacked and the pilot and copilot were having to fight the drunken hijackers off. Still, it's a harrowing illustration of what can go wrong with landing in the ocean Leul attempted to land parallel with the waves instead of ...


8

Yes, ground clutter does exist over the ocean. It depends on the smoothness of the water surface, radio frequency, antenna characteristics and atmospheric properties whether the radar will actually receive reflections from the sea surface. A perfectly smooth sea surface will not generate clutter, but the combination of small waves and a strong inversion ...


8

The answer doesn't state that half of the flights between western Europe and North America use the North Atlantic Oceanic Track System (OTS). It states that half of the flights over the North Atlantic use the OTS. Part of the flights over the North Atlantic don't cross between western Europe and North America and they don't use the tracks. Examples are ...


8

The different routes are due to the enroute winds created by the jet stream. The following map shows the current winds over the Pacific: (map from skyvector.com) You can see strong winds from the West in the central Pacific region of up to 150 knots (see here for a legend on how to read wind barbs). A flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles benefits from ...


7

Yes. In the Navy, our primary source of altitude indication under 5,000ft is the radar altimeter. The AGL over the ocean conveniently also happens to be the MSL as well.


7

Most aircraft cross the atlantic by GPS, usually with INS as backup. INS as the primary form of navigation is still used as well. Historically, a combination of dead reckoning and long range radio navigation systems were used on transatlantic routes. These include Decca, LORAN C and Omega. Omega was shut down in 1997, Decca in 2000 and LORAN C ceased in ...


6

Turns out indeed it's an issue affecting polar operations. It differs from type to type, but for the 737-600/-700/-800/-900 as an example, the message UNABLE REQD NAV PERF-RNP will be displayed. For oceanic areas this will only happen if ANP shifts by over 10 NM, i.e., after losing the RNP-10 capability. At an IRS drift rate of 650 metres per hour, it ...


6

There are no ship-based VOR's or TACAN's specifically dedicated to transatlantic flights. Transatlantic flights navigate using the inertial navigation system and GPS. TACAN's are used on board naval ships for military aircraft to find their way to the ships, but this is typically not for flights across the ocean.


5

I controlled non-radar airspace for about 2.5 years. On your end, we’ll probably just say “roger.” We may add instructions to report a future point, or a control instruction. On our end, we would be using that information for any required separation. For example, we may update a flight strip with your groundspeed, recalculate how we anticipate bring ...


5

It's not fixed. I checked ICAO Annex 10 Vol II that lists the SARPs for communication. It will be down to the FIR the flight is being conducted in. For the NATS (UK) side of the Atlantic, I found this document (may not be current). The basic intervals are whichever comes first: Waypoint on the flight plan One hour had passed ETA has changed for the next ...


5

It's actually "ded" reckoning (short for deduced), and it doesn't involve landmarks, it is simply flying a heading for a certain amount of time, that's it. When you start adding in landmarks and things, that is called "pilotage." Typically, visual navigation over land is mostly pilotage, with a bit of ded reckoning occasionally. When you get over the ...


5

On the great circle route from Sydney to Santiago, from southern New Zealand (past Invercargill, maybe) to southern Chile, there is a stretch of about 4,000 nm with no landing sites. There are specific requirements for air carriers for "extended overwater operations." These take into account the aircraft range after engine failure, distance to diversion ...


4

On high-altitude North Atlantic flights, planes can fly zero, one, or two miles to the right of the centerline of your assigned track. The offset is randomly selected. This is called Strategic Lateral Offset Procedures. It's used in the oceanic flights or flights over remote land where there is typically no radar service, and ATC cannot "see" traffic ...


4

There is no way to fully protect an aircraft from the effects of salt water corrosion, even when any aluminium is treated with protection products like Alodyne. In fact, there is no way to prevent corrosion from happening anywhere unless you protect the item in question. Corrosion can affect an aircraft even in the dry climates. Even if it is not landing or ...


4

When the first couple of Supermarine Spitfire fighters were deployed on a British aircraft carrier in the late 1930s, the structure was eaten away by corrosion within 6 months. The sea water spray was enough to cover them in salt, which would quickly reduce the aluminium structure to white dust. Before, Navy airplanes were of wooden construction, using steel ...


3

Yes. That's one of the reasons why sea-skimming missiles exist: they hide their radar signature in the clutter by flying a few (dozen) feet above the waves. (They also take advantage of the horizon's blocking to reduce maximum detection range.)


3

There are different types of position reports. (Although based on your previous questions I think you mean North Atlantic position reports.) Report downwind Report when over waypoint XXXXX Report when reaching FL XXX. For those a "roger" from the ATC suffices when they get the report from the pilot in a non-radar environment. But when it's a long position ...


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