Do airlines fly directly over the North Pole?

  • I always like flying to/from north America, since the route usually goes over Greenland. I do like the idea that I am only 10 km away from this inaccessible land. I would love to be able to say that I have been that close to the north pole. Unfortunately, so far my journeys remained to the more southern parts. Do airlines fly directly over the north pole and if so what route should I take to have the best chance?

    During the 1950ties SAS flew over the North Pole With the Copenhagen-Los Angeles line. The line did not really go over the North Pole but via Greenland and northern Canada , close to magnetic north pole. Carlsberg nevertheless served a “North Pole” bear during that flight which they would send to collectors who wrote to them.

  • piepowder

    piepowder Correct answer

    7 years ago

    I've flown directly over the north pole on a route from ATL to PEK (beijing). Here's a pic of the seatback flight map from a United 747, where I spent the entire flight with my face pressed to the window. Amazing scenery from Hudson Bay north through Baffin Island and on. It was July of 2008.

    When we crossed the pole (as indicated in the flight map) the icon of the airplane began to flip back and forth, not knowing exactly which way it was pointing. I thought that was really cool and shot video of it trying to establish it's direction over the course of about 3 mins. Once we get a little bit of distance from magnetic north, the icon settled down and pointed toward Beijing.

    enter image description here

    The flickering is probably not due to the magnetic north pole, as that one is nowhere close the north pole.

    No, the flickering is in fact proof that the plane is near the true north pole and not the magnetic pole which is near Canada-Greenland. Planes are using gyrocompasses which in fact are unable to follow true north about poles.

    Could you share the video?

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM