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anthonyelmore
Navigation Errors

Hey all, I am researching for a book i am writing and i want to make things as realistic as i possibly can. Therfore i was wondering in a flight plan from miami to jamaica, is it possible that some kind of storm or navigation error can knock a plane off course 24 degrees so that it ends up over haiti. 

Dave
Try This

If you were flying direct from Miami to Jamaica you would need an overflight clearance to fly over Cuba. You would be have to be in radio contact with Havana control and they would not tolerate you deviating from your flight plan.

Overflight clearances can be difficult to get for many reasons, so that alone is a reason to fly around Cuba. All you need is an in-flight emergency, such as bad weather, equipment failure, or urgent medical situation, and you've got a forced landing in Haiti.

If it is a plot point that they unknowingly land in Haiti thinking it is Jamaica, then you've lost credibility. It is inconceivable that a plane would cross open water with no functioning navigation instruments (Radio, GPS, VOR, NDB, etc). If an unplanned aircraft approached a country without radio contact they would be intercepted by fighters in the air or police on the ground.

 

 

anthonyelmore
well the plot point isn't an

well the plot point isn't an unkown thing, i want to find the best way to explain deviating from a course to jamaica and landing in haiti that follows the most viable reasons; whether it is bad weather causing the grounding or other causes. Also would it be easier to explain this kind of flight deviation from a different starting airport?

 

anthonyelmore
would it be more viable if

would it be more viable if the flight plan was from miami, to port au prince, and then to kingston; but bad weather keeps the plane from re-taking off in haiti, this would still fulfill the plot without requiring flyover clearence for cuba. Also the plane has made no deviations from its flight plan and is not an unknown plane in any country. 

Dave
Divert for Weather.

I would say that the most believable scenario would be planning to fly around Cuba because of overflight permit issues, and then divert to Port au Prince for weather. 

Weather is the number one reason a small plane will divert.

This article might give you several good excuses to have your characters fly around Cuba.

http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2013/May/23/Cuba-makes-changes-to-overflight-permit-fees

 

 

 

anthonyelmore
Thanks dave, that honestly

Thanks dave, that honestly helps me create a better plot point. However i don't necesarily need to explain why we went around cuba because the only people that will question why we went around cuba are people with aviation background and most people that have your kind of background will already know that fly over authorization would be required.