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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!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2010 11:57 am (UTC)
It's so sweet that even after 10+ years of marriage and countless millions of airmiles, you still track his flights. :-)

On a tangent - is that really a 9:40 flight normally? LHR to SFO is only about 10, and that's the other side of the US... I'd have thought that should make at least 2 hours difference. Shows what I know about 3D geometry and prevailing winds.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )