The perpetrators of flat-Earth often take emergency landings as ‘proof’ of a flat Earth. They would point out that the diversion airports used for such emergency landings are somehow consistent with the flat-Earth map.
It is not a coincidence that all the cases of emergency landing they pointed out occurred far in the north. At the locations closer to the north pole, the distortion of the azimuthal-equidistant map (claimed by flat-Earthers as the ‘flat-Earth map’) diminishes. It would seemingly appear as if the ‘flat-Earth map’ can explain the choice of the diversion airports. In many other locations, though, the flat-Earth map would fail to explain it.
There are two problems:
- The did the comparison not against the spherical Earth, but by plotting straight lines in a Mercator map which have distortions, just like every other map. A straight line on a map is not necessarily the nearest straight route between two locations in the real world.
- They only pointed out emergency landings that occurred far in the northern parts of the Earth. At a glance, it would appear that the ‘flat-Earth map’ can explain the locations of diversion airports.
Had they chosen emergency landings that occurred more to the south, then the ‘flat-Earth map’ would no longer be able to explain the location of the diversion airports consistently. On the other hand, the spherical Earth model can consistently explain both cases.
Some Examples of Emergency Landings
These are some occurrences of emergency landings that cannot be explained by the flat-Earth model.
- Malaysia Airlines, Kuala Lumpur – Sydney, diverted to Alice Springs
- Etihad, Abu Dhabi – Sydney, diverted to Adelaide
- Qantas, Dallas – Brisbane, diverted to Noumea
- Qatar Airways, Doha – Bali, diverted to Chennai
- Qantas, Johannesburg – Sydney, diverted to Perth
- US Air Force, Diego Garcia – Kadena, diverted to Banda Aceh
- Air Canada, Sydney – Vancouver, diverted to Honolulu
- Qantas, Singapore – Sydney, diverted to Adelaide
- Hong Kong Airlines, Auckland – Hong Kong, diverted to Darwin
- Qantas, Dubai – Sydney, diverted to Perth
- Jetstar, Bangkok – Melbourne, diverted to Bali
- Emirates, São Paulo – Dubai, diverted to Lagos
- Thai Airways, Bangkok – Brisbane, diverted to Bali
- Iberia, Montevideo – Madrid, diverted to Fortaleza