Passengers spooked by planes’ live flight maps telling them they’re flying over major accident sites – The Sun

AIRLINE passengers have been left spooked by live flight maps telling them when they're flying over the sites of major accidents from maritime history.

The maps are a common feature on airlines’ in-flight entertainment systems, and use tracking technology to show you exactly where in the world your flight is.

But eagle-eyed passengers on certain flights have spotted details including the names, dates, and sites of notable shipwrecks.

Among them is the RMS Titanic, which sank 370 miles off the coast of Canada while on its maiden voyage in 1912, killing some 1,500 of the 2,224 people on board.

Also shown is the sinking of the RMS Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland, which saw 128 Americans, and more than 1,000 others, killed, and presaged the entry of the United States into World War One.

Unsurprisingly, the not-so-fun facts involving transportation disasters have left many airline passengers feeling a little unnerved.

One wrote on twitter: "Dear @AmericanAir, are you including shipwreck locations on your in-flight maps on transatlantic flights to make your customers feel more at ease about the safety of international travel?"

"On the large airplane route map displayed to passengers during flight, very curious that it includes incidents of past centuries' shipwrecks," wrote another.

"I'm somewhere between troubled and interested."


Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace) is the company behind the in-flight entertainment systems used on major airlines, such as American Airlines, British Airways and China Eastern Airways, including the moving-map feature, Airshow.

Airshow program manager Clint Pine told Conde Nast Traveler in 2017 there was no dark explanation for the shipwreck details — they were simply to provide interesting bits of information to bored passengers on long trips.


Among the wrecks shown on the in-flight entertainment are some of the best-known in maritime history.

  • The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank 370 miles off the coast of Canada while on its maiden voyage between Southampton and New York in 1912. Of the 2,224 people on board, some 1,500 were killed.
  • In the years after World War Two, the Andrea Doria was Italy's largest, fastest, and supposedly safest ship, and an icon of national pride as the country sought to recover its international reputation. It sank in 1956 after colliding with another ship off the coast of Massachusetts.
  • The RMS Lusitania was a British passenger ship sunk by a German U-boat 11 miles off the southern coast of Ireland in 1915. Among the 1,201 killed were 128 American citizens, and the attack ultimately presaged the entry of the United States into World War One.
  • The Mary Rose was a warship of the English Tudor navy of Henry VIII, sunk by a French invasion fleet in the Solent off the Isle of Wight in 1545. She was raised in 1982, and is now displayed along with an extensive collection of artefacts at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth.
  • The HMS Colossus was a 74-gun, three-masted ship of the Royal Navy launched in 1787. She fought in numeours naval battles against the Spanish and the French, but sank after running aground on a ledge of rock off the Isles of Scilly in 1798.

“When travelling over the ocean, there are often large portions of the flight where only water is visible,” he said.

“Airshow includes shipwrecks and other undersea items so that passengers can be informed about items that they are flying over but cannot visually see.”

Other underwater features pointed out on Airshow maps included the underwater volcano cluster called the Bermuda Rise in the Atlantic Ocean and the Hudson Canyon, a 10,000-year-old underwater canyon off the coast of New York, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

Mr Pine added that maps had become more and more detailed, and the company had been looking to “add expanded geographic content so that passengers know exactly what they are seeing as they look through the window”.

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