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45 votes
Accepted

Why can't you ditch your aircraft in the sea?

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 ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
41 votes

How do airplanes maintain separation over large bodies of water?

To expand on DeltaLima's answer: They use routes called the NATs (North Atlantic Tracks), which can differ each day depending on weather and wind speeds. Each track is a set of coordinates. A pilot ...
tizmataz77's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

How do airplanes maintain separation over large bodies of water?

They don't leave ATC services when they enter oceanic airspace, but the service provided is no longer based on radar. Instead separation is maintained by following procedures. For example, that means ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
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23 votes
Accepted

Why don't aircraft fly direct via oceanic airspace from UK to Iceland?

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 ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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20 votes

Why can't you ditch your aircraft in the sea?

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 ...
user's user avatar
  • 6,984
17 votes

Why can't you ditch your aircraft in the sea?

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 ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,404
13 votes

How do pilots avoid thunderstorms at night over the pacific en route to Australia where there is no radar? And what if a large front develops?

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 ...
John K's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Why do eastbound transpacific flights fly at lower latitudes than their westbound counterparts?

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 ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 56.5k
8 votes

Does ATC react to pilot position reports?

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 ...
Aluminum Showers's user avatar
8 votes

Why can't you ditch your aircraft in the sea?

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 ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 6,213
6 votes
Accepted

Is it true that there are VOR/DME and/or TACAN stations in the oceans?

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 ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
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4 votes

What changes are needed for a piston-prop aircraft to withstand saltwater environment?

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 ...
Juan Jimenez's user avatar
4 votes

What changes are needed for a piston-prop aircraft to withstand saltwater environment?

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 ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
3 votes

What changes are needed for a piston-prop aircraft to withstand saltwater environment?

The best change you can make for an aircraft is a location change so its no longer near salt water... On any note the most effective way to prevent corrosion of aluminum is to galvanize it. There ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
2 votes

What does a dispatcher do if an aircraft can't stay on a NAT route due to a communications failure?

Every flight within the NAT region is issued with an oceanic clearance that includes routing, altitude and speed. In case of communications failure the aircraft shall adhere to the last acknowledged ...
busdriver's user avatar
  • 3,340
2 votes

Could an airliner pilot successfully exit alone from a controlled ocean ditching?

would a pilot be able to safely exit an airliner like this alone in the water by him/herself Assuming there had been no breakup and the pilot just want to exit the cockpit without ever entering the ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33.7k
2 votes

How can I tag along on an Atlantic crossing?

Contact companies that do ferry/delivery services. You'd probably have to pay for your own immersion suit, IF someone was willing to let you come along. Yes insurance will also probably be an issue.
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
2 votes

Does ATC react to pilot position reports?

Note this answer is from a GA point of view When you give a position report as a GA pilot in uncontrolled airspace, your transmission is acknowledged by ATC, often repeating back to you your actual ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33.7k
2 votes

How did Charles Lindbergh use dead reckoning over the Atlantic ocean?

Lindbergh had only an induction compass, clock, and drift sigh for navigation. He plotted out a great circle route that was broken into 100 mile, straight segments. Using the drift sight he could ...
user3344003's user avatar
  • 1,224

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