Here’s a very timely Ask Cranky that was spurred by the Air France accident earlier this week. I’m sure many of you heard that the airplane was flying in an area where there was no radar coverage, and that might be surprising. You may have had these same questions . . .

How often do commercial airline flights fly into areas without any radar coverage?

Where are these areas that lack radar coverage?


It may surprise you to know that most of the world is not covered by radar. Part of that is a technical challenge. Our air traffic system runs on ground-based radar, and most of the world is covered in water. It’s kind of hard to plant something that’s ground-based into the ocean.

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  • Cranky Flier

    My name is Brett, and I’m an airline dork. I’ve had the bug since I was young. As a kid, I never missed a chance to go to LAX a…

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