Flights plans look

Why do flight plans look so weird. Why isn’t it just a strait line? I’m flying over the Gulf of Mexico, so its not like there are any obstacles or anything.

I couldn’t find anything on the web about this. It feels like its wasting fuel. It would be way more fuel efficient to just to go strait right?

It’s using realistic Airways. This is what real life flights do.

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Flight plans are NEVER a straight line.


It also needs to be curved to follow the curvature of the Earth.


Three reasons;

  1. To follow ‘Airways’ which stop you flying into other aircraft
  2. To allow for the curvature of the earth (this is more direct than a straight line!)
  3. If using simbrief it also plans a route to make best use of the winds aloft, either minimise or maximise the head or tail wind components accordingly

Another reason (I believe, I still may be wrong) is that it would be safer for aircrafts to fly over land so if an emergency landing is needed, it takes less time to get to a suitable airport.

TransAtlantic/Pacific flights intensify

Yes. That’s true. If there are no airports in the ocean, the aircraft has to fly close to land because ETOPS.

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While it may be safer, this is why ETOPS exists. ETOPS is known as “Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards” which is a rule to allow aircraft to fly certain routes that may at certain points in time, cause the aircraft to fly farther than 60 minutes away from the nearest (but suitable) diversion airport in case of emergencies or other issues.

Edit: @Altaria55 That is not completely true. These aircraft can fly over large bodies of water because of ETOPS which allows that. This is also why Southwest and many other airlines could/cannot fly to Hawaii from the mainland or other places in the world.


So that explains this

ETOPS would not apply in this case, since the aircraft would already have been flying over the Pacific Ocean.

It’s most likely just some kind of procedures, and I am more familiar with San Francisco’s, San Jose’s, and Oakland’s airports, so I can’t correctly answer that. You could ask someone who lives near Los Angeles though, like @anon82246052

Well no I departed from KLAX and I am headed to Hawaii rn. It seems strange to make that pattern though.

Then that is just some kind of procedure, since once again, you’d be flying over the Pacific Ocean for over 5 hours meaning the rule would apply and the aircraft would not have to stay close to land for as much time as possible

There could be a ton of factors as to why

  • Weather
  • Traffic inbound to LAX
  • Arrival times into the destination
  • best winds

Among probably 100’s of factors


Hmm good to know. Thanks!

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Since I have been summoned by @GlobalFlyer1 I can explain this for you :).
That’s a very standard departure to Hawaii or beyond from LAX. The reason for this as far as I know is because that is a more direct route to Hawaii. Almost all flights to Hawaii will take this route. If you are arriving that looks to be the RYDRR arrival which sets you up on a right downwind for any of the runways, most commonly 24R.
Hope this helps

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Idk what im on lol. But you can see here.

(Re: Leaving KLAX): Because unlike in IF where people just fly direct to their destination across the ocean, in real world aviation there are designated entry and exit points for trips across the Atlantic and Pacific, including points in between. This is why when you look at a live image of Transatlantic flights on Flight Radar 24 or a similar app, you see them all in a couple single file arcs.

Only in IF do they just randomly fly across oceans at any point they choose.

To your original question, that space just south of the coast is Special Use airspace, with two airways south of that, which is what the flight plan in your post is using:


It still baffles me why most people in IF can’t be bothered or don’t know how to make a real flight plan and just fly in a straight line to their destination. You have the tools at your disposal to create a far more realistic and immersive flight.

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Well that what I do. It’s way more realistic if you use SimBreif and Fpl to If

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