just noticed this weird flight path and the altitude gain graph. What could be the possible reason?


  • Educated guess: The flight crew experienced a problem with the plane and decided to return to London. Then they found the problem or it disappeared, so they continue the flight, but now they use a route over airports (see the jumps in orientation) so if it happens again they can go down as soon as possible. – Thorsten S. Sep 13 '18 at 12:31
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    It is just an error. flightradar24.com/BAW714T/1dd99aed does not have such change. Do no trust automatic sources. Often there are error in the incoming data, or just an error in transmission/database – Giacomo Catenazzi Sep 13 '18 at 12:31
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi Is it? Strangely flight BA8765 (shown as CFE54K) with the same airline, source and destination almost perfectly follows the former predicted flight path, BAW714T flies definitely wrong in both maps. – Thorsten S. Sep 13 '18 at 12:41
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about travel, per se, and might be better asked on Aviation – Giorgio Sep 13 '18 at 13:10
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    @ThorstenS.: I don' think the grey line is a "predicted flight path" -- just a great-circle line between the scheduled origin and destination. – hmakholm left over Monica Sep 13 '18 at 13:51

If you zoom in on the Flightstats map, you will see that the apparent initial excursion into Kent is made up of straight lines and impossibly sharp turns. Combined with the fact that Flightradar24 doesn't show any such thing, I conclude that it is a data error; the plane didn't actually fly to Kent and back to London.

The Flightradar replay shows that the flight left its Terminal 5A gate at 11:18 UTC, taxied to the runway and took off at 11:36 UTC, and then followed the path via Paris that Flightstats also shows. But Flightstat claims the "actual" departure time as 11:10 UTC. It seems to have invented 20 minutes of teleporting around Kent and Surrey out of thin air.

Possibly Flightstats started by guessing where the plane would be, based on its scheduled departure time of 11:10 UTC, and then, when actual position data started coming in, scrambled to connects its initial guess to reality somehow.

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  • Flightaware doesn't show any odd jogs either, other than the long turn to the southeast after takeoff. – Michael Seifert Sep 13 '18 at 16:40

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