Noob Question - Northbound flights- northern Wisconsin


While deer hunting in northern Wisconsin (Lakewood) every year, we see a couple of flights at high altitude northbound about 11AM most mornings.

We assumed they were flights to Moscow, but apparently that isn’t the case.

So, two noob questions:

  1. Do commercial jets fly across the north pole to Asia from the US?

  2. Any suggestions as to where these northbound flights might be headed?

  1. Yes
  2. Usually India, Southeast Asia, China … A9669C8B63 … pan_route/ … 649AAGlnGn


They fly over OSH a couple times during the week and I can see them clearly on good days, even at high altitude they are easily recognizable from 50 miles out



Thanks much for the informative responses. Great article links that provided all the background I could ask for. Will make for great conversation at deer camp!


Here’s a few flights that fly as high as 85 degrees north. I couldn’t find any that flew at exact 90 degrees north (i.e. the North Pole itself):



That’s great- didn’t know you could link flights into a reply like that!

Based on the info you provided, I went to Orbitz and keyed departure times for a couple of likely destinations from O’Hare and came up with at least two that account for the original question about northbound flights over northern WI around noon- Korean Air flight 38 to Seoul and United 985 (I think) to Hong Kong.

Although they start off straight north, or close to it, both angle off at something less than 85 degrees further north over Canada to get to their destinations.

You don’t get the full map trace with flightaware, which is understandable, but I’m at a loss here as I don’t have a globe handy to see the rest of the track to the destination. I’ll check it out one of these days.

In any event, thanks again for your insights and help!

I am not a licensed pilot, but did learn to fly some 25 years ago from an FAA licensed instructor while I was posted in Haiti. Cessna 152 and Piper Tomahawk. It was great fun, especially doing several touch and go’s at once on the long runway at Port Au Prince International, and buzzing the goats off the unattended runways in the remote parts of the country before landing. I finished all except the final check ride in the US.


Try this


I wonder if there’s a route mashup for Google Earth? Flightaware, can you work with them to do this?