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Delta Flight Deviates to See the Eclipse

I believe the deviation over Wyoming and Nebraska for Delta's flight 2466 from Portland to Atlanta was so that both sides of the plane could view the eclipse. There were lots of news articles about this particular flight following the eclipse path. Nice of ATC to allow the deviation! ( 기타...

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Three cheers for Delta and the ATC
dee9bee 9
Doesn't look like a big detour, good for them. Once, I was headed north, descending into Orlando, a great place to watch a Shuttle launch but a bad place to be wandering around, due to traffic volume. I was told that all 188 passengers were pressed against the right hand windows. I gave them lots of advance notice, maybe too much!
It was 1980 and our Squadron had stopped at Whidbey Island, Wa. enroute to a Southwestern training site. We discovered that Seattle Center had authorized a "Mt. Saint Helens departure out of Whidbey. That was most cool! Twelve jets flying a deviation past Mt.Saint Helens a couple years before it blew. We all still had some fun moments back them.
I was a second year graduate geology student and was flying home to Seattle from the University of Illinois on May 18th, 1980. Somewhere over Livingston, Montana, the Captain or FO came on to say our flight plan was going to divert over Pocatello and Portland "to avoid the ashcloud of Mt. St. Helens which is at 65,000 feet in front of us." It was later in the day so we eventually passed southwest of MSH around 7:30pm. I ticked off a Geologist's Bucket List item that day: see a volcano actively in euption.
Thank you, Pete. That was a big memory jogger! So it was more like 1979 when we did that. Memory starts to do its own thing after 4X years!
ATC generally cooperates with these requests. Many years ago (when CH 9 was supported by AA in DC-10), ATC allowed us passengers to get a meandering view of the Grand Canyon and I saw Monument Valley from the air long before I saw it from the ground many decades later. The LAS ATC quip was "... let us know when you have finished your tour."
Once I was a psgr on a United flight MHT-ORD first thing on a crystal clear January morning. Just as I was figuring we were close to the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area, the captain came on and said he got permission to deviate so that all could see the falls from a vantage point not usually seen by the tourists. Full circle.
dee9bee 4
Brings back memories. Way back when, I was an F/E for a 'major airline' and the Captain knew I had previously flown hundreds of Grand Canyon tours. On descent into LAS, he came down early, gave me the PA and had me narrate a tour. It was the F/O's leg and I told him what headings to take. I'm glad no one made a fuss as I was still on probation, as I recall.
elafrenz 5
mariofer 6
A bad incident with Airline personnel and we hear and read about it for weeks. Something nice like this happens and you only read about it on an aviation blog. It is clear the big news outlets are all about drama and negative news and us as a society are too willing to ingest that. Thank you for sharing.
You pointed it out very clearly. Thank you for that. :-)
SWA #1969 did the same, twice.
Both deviations could not have been for the eclipse. One of them most likely was, but no idea why the other.
Moon's shadow moves fast.
Maybe the Captain was just a plain old fashioned "Good Guy".

Well done sir!
I watched the eclipse in Columbia, SC. I saw several planes just seconds before the totality started. Later, I did not pay attention, but they were certainly able to see the totality from up there.
Watching the Eclipse from Madras, OR we observed a contrail swerving to our totality, who wouldn't try.
NX211 2
Pilots Discretion
Good for those pilots!
Not only was it a nice detour, they even saved time!
My buddy flying also requested a 360 and was approved:
Nice work by the pilots-those passengers got a real treat!
Refreshing to see people interested in looking out the window, for a change.
I observed the eclipse from Weiser, Idaho, and somebody who flew over clearly altered their course for a better view.
Looking at other posts it was probably KLM 601.
There's no way both sides got to see it. They were on a 757, not Concorde.
That was lucky of this flight to happen at the exact time of the eclipse.
2 of the planes I was working asked for deviations too. If it works with traffic....why not. Hope they got a good view
bettiem 0
Interesting. I had anticipated that flight crews would have asked passengers to close window blinds so as to avoid eye damage caused by viewing the eclipse.
It's not like there's something inherently more dangerous about viewing the Sun during an eclipse, other then the fact that your eyes may be more dark-adapted - which is something that closing the window shades would have made worse. If the passengers were using approved eclipse-viewing glasses, there would be no problem at all (and those were certainly widely available prior to the eclipse). Anyone know how long this flight stayed in or near the area of totality? Would have been fascinating to see the Moon's shadow track on the ground from above!
Actually I read that since it is so dark in the moments before and after the total eclipse, your pupils are more dilated than during broad daylight, so looking at a partial eclipse without eclipse glasses / welder's shield, etc. your eyes do not protect themselves as much and you end up getting more exposure to the damage-causing UV rays.
Yes, that's what I was referring to re the dark adaptation comment. And it certainly doesn't get any brighter inside the cabin simply from closing the shades.
You're right - I mis-read your post.


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