aircraft routes

Why would a flight from Frankfurt Germany to Denver show up as coming over Bismarck ND from almost directly due north? Is this because of the long length of the flight and the rotation of the earth that when it gets that close to it’s destination airport (like Denver), that it ends up coming from the north due to so much rotation of the earth during the earlier part of the flight? thanks in advance.

Because it is the shortest distance. You have to think in terms of a sphere and not a paper map.

If someone has a link to the 'Great Circle Mapper ’ it would help here. Otherwise I’ll post it later. Mobile right now. and also in addition to what lancasterperch sez, jet stream will play a lot in flight path determination.


Thanks guys!!

I see 747’s from Europe to SFO and LAX fly over me in Washington State. Sometimes they cut across between Chicago and NYC flying across most of the USA. Crazy! Who knew?