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Question about airline navigation routes

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jgamble, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. jgamble

    jgamble

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    This is probably a stupid question, but I was wondering about this on my flights this last week. Do the airlines fly generally fixed routes from city to city? For example, if SWA was flying from MCI to SEA, do they generally fly the same path (making allowances for weather etc)? Also, are those routes published anywhere? I've looked on airnav.com and airlines.net. I'm asking because we came into Seattle at night from the south and I'm trying to figure out one of the cities over which we flew. Thanks!
     
  2. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Probably. They file for the route that requires the least fuel. That normally means flying the same route, day-in, day-out. I used to fly Nashville to Ft. Walton so frequently I literally knew every radio freq, navaid freq and heading by heart.

    If you’re only interested in the cities near Seattle, the easiest way is get a road map and draw a line starting from SeaTac outward at 160º (same as the runways). To get more precise that that, you’ll need the SEA STAR (standard terminal arrival chart). That will give you precise course but you might be disappointed because it is an IFR chart and IFR charts don’t show ground retail. You can transpose the route information from the STAR onto a VFR sectional (or, again, a road map) to find out exactly what you were overflying.

    If there’s any way to get the charts free, I don’t know it.

    EDIT:
    All this could be for naught, though. Especially when you get close the the field, the approach controller can and will vector you all over the place to get the correct 'trail' (distance separating the arriving airplanes).
     

  3. BillCola

    BillCola Supreme Cmdr ®

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  4. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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  5. jgamble

    jgamble

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    Interesting. Usually I'm pretty good at figuring out what areas we are over, but it was night and we were headed mostly north from LAS to SEA instead of my usual MCI to SEA. The area was quite a bit out from Seattle as we had just started backing off power to come into that area. It seemed like some sort of port city with a river, but perhaps it was just a very wide river. Looking at the maps, that would make it Portland/Vancouver, Wa. although it appeared to have more bridges over the river than the map indicates.

    I was sort of surprised that the airlines don't have this information available or that the more popular sites don't have that information available.
     
  6. W. Bell

    W. Bell

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    Best route, that ATC will will let you fly. Store it in the

    long range nav eguipment to be called up when needed.

    Now,, to answer your question; Normaly yes.

    WX permiting
     
  7. jgamble

    jgamble

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    I discovered from my friend (and some research on their site) that SWA will allow passengers to use GPS devices in-flight, so I suppose that takes care of the question for next time I fly. :) Now I just have to get the external antenna.
     
  8. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    And I find the GPS use surprising as I would think it would be a good tool for terrorists.:) MOst other airlines don't let you use it.