weird flight route


For the past 5 years I have flown weekly from Buffalo to BWI, and last night the flight took a very strange route. It was Southwest flt 1071: … /KBUF/KBWI

In a nutshell in the first 15 minutes of the flight it flew west along Lake Erie and then did a long turn back to end up about 35 miles south of Buffalo. And, this first 15 minutes of flying was all done at only 4000 feet. To be frank, it was weirding me out. Then the plane made a strong turn toward the south, climbed to 27,000 feet and the rest of the flight was normal.

I could not and cannot figure out what was going on in that first 15 minutes.


Several possible reasons. Normally I would say they were going around thunderstorms, but since they stayed at 4000’ it is more likely they had a minor maintenance issue that showed up after takeoff and were on the radio with the maintenance people doing some troubleshooting. After a few minutes somebody made a command decision to continue to BWI.