If you’ve ever experienced flying in extreme weather then you know how frightening it can be. A little bit of turbulence every now and then is completely normal, but when you’re on a flight and the weather conditions include heavy rain, thunder, lightning, strong winds, snow, severe fog, or extreme heat, it can affect the aircraft and the quality of your trip.
It’s important to remember that pilots are trained to fly in extreme weather, so while it’s a scary experience as a passenger, pilots have the necessary training to keep the situation under control. There may be times where the weather conditions are so severe that the pilots deem it unsafe to fly, or they may make an emergency landing. Here’s how the pilots, and other team members at Monmouth Jet Center make that judgment call:
How do pilots and airlines prepare for bad weather conditions?
Airlines constantly monitor weather conditions to ensure the safety of everyone on board, and modern commercial aircraft are built to accommodate extreme weather. For example, in heavy fog when there’s no visibility, many aircraft have an autopilot feature so the plane can land even when there’s low visibility.
Strong winds can cause turbulence, but this is common in the air. Pilots will maneuver the aircraft as steadily as possible when strong winds occur. When it comes to flying in snow or ice however, pilots must be more aware of the condition of the runway. This is because ice can quickly build up and cause dangerous landing conditions.
What weather conditions are considered too extreme for any aircraft to fly?
There are times when airlines and pilots will deem it unsafe to fly. Heavy snow or blizzards can make landing and taking off too dangerous, while lightning storms can be very hazardous to any aircraft. Extreme heat can also interfere with an aircraft’s performance, so in hotter parts of the world, extreme temperatures can cause significant delays.
We would all like to take flights with zero interference from the weather conditions, but chances are you’ve experienced turbulence, heavy fog, rain, or snow while on an airplane at least once before. Rest assured that commercial aircraft are built to withstand extreme weather conditions, and pilots are trained to safely navigate through adverse weather.