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Anatomy of a 3.5-hour flight delay

I just checked the progress of Justin's flight to the US -- he's heading to Pittsburgh for a job interview -- and discovered it's running over 3.5 hours late because of detouring around the cloud of ash in northern Europe.

Interestingly, Delta will show you their planes' routes, so I mashed up the route they're actually taking (orange, with the planned route in blue -- though I suspect the "straight" line is a mistake) with the great circle distance (purple) that would normally be roughly the best route (modulo prevailing winds).

... and that is how a 9:40 flight becomes a 13:15 hour flight. He should have landed half an hour ago, and instead he's still over the Hudson Bay. Eek. Godspeed, Justin!

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