# Do pilots of aircraft compensate for the rotation of the Earth?

When piloting a flight, do pilots compensate for the rotation of the Earth (i.e. - Phoenix to NY, or NY to Miami, etc.)?

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• ?
Lv 6

Well Jason, do you compensate for the rotation of the earth when you walk or drive?

I guess not and the same is applicable for airplanes too. The earths rotation doesn't influence an aircraft as long as it is in the earths atmosphere.

• Anonymous
4 years ago

No, the rotation of the earth has no effect at all on airplane flights. The atmosphere is rotating with the earth and with the airplane, so it makes not the slightest difference. The rotation of the earth is responsible for many of its wind and weather patterns, but it doesn't directly have any influence on airplane movements in flight. The movement of aircraft is too slow to be affected by the Coriolis affect or relativistic effects.

No. They don't need to.

Doppler effect has nothing to do with it. The charts cited illustrate the age old problem of projecting a sphere on a flat surface. A great circle route when drawn on a Mercator projection will show a curved route over a long distance. A conic projection will alleviate this problem pretty much. What you'll draw on the chart with your plotter will be what you'll fly.

Besides, the effect that you're asking about is called coriolus. It has an effect on air masses and projectiles. If you're flying from point A to point B, the only indication that you have that the earth is turning would be the passage of time. The only compensation that you would need, would be to make sure that any night flying equipment would be operable if you end up flying at night.

• Dan
Lv 7

No. The reason that the do not is that the air rotates with the Earth and so does the aircraft. There is no sense in making piloting any more complicated than it already is.

Good question!

Regards,

Dan

No, because the atmosphere we fly in is rotating with the earth - the earth doesn't rotate under the atmosphere. If it did, people at the equator would be experiencing winds of over 1,000 mph all day, every day! This just isn't true... so, no, there is no compensation required.

• John B
Lv 5

No but the INS takes awhile to sense the earth's rotation after we enter the ramp position and select align.

• Mark
Lv 6

They might if they're using a sextant or an octant. A Coriolis correction table is at the back of the US Air Almanac.

• Anonymous

Yes, Its called Coriolis Effect. Fast airplanes dont need that much but heres the link to A map of the route Charles A. Lindbergh drew out its in a great arc.