Category: Weather

  • Video of Thunderstorm at 36000ft

    I have mentioned many times that flying directly through a thunderstorm is avoided due to the severe turbulence it can cause. However, we often fly close to storms and pilots will weave their way around the storm clouds. This makes for some amazing scenes. Here is a video of a thunderstorm recorded by a pilot […]

  • How Does Hot Weather Cause Turbulence?

    As the summer is pretty much upon us now, it is a good time to discuss a certain form of turbulence that will be common over the next few months. Often you will experience turbulence just after take-off and/or before landing despite it being a clear sunny day, with no clouds. So, why? What causes […]

  • Volcanic Ash Cloud in UK Airspace: Why Are Flights Being Cancelled?

    It appears many people are arriving at this page after searching for news on the current volcanic ash cloud. Therefore, I have set up a mini-site giving all the latest news on the Grimsvotn eruption and you can find it by going to Volcanic Ash Cloud 2011 or typing into your Internet browser. Why […]

  • Flying in Strong Winds

    As the UK is currently experiencing the worst storm of the year so far, with winds gusting at 75-90mph I felt it necessary to add a quick (and unplanned) article on the subject of flying in strong winds. As with any bad weather there are strict procedures, and regulations that must be adhered to to […]

  • Video: Autoland in Fog

    Earlier this year I wrote an article on the Fear of Flying in Fog, and more specifically, how an aircraft can land itself using the latest technology. Of course the pilots are still monitoring all systems, and the aircraft must be rated to complete such a landing. Also, all autopilot systems must be in working […]

  • Fear of Flying in Bad Weather: Rain

    There are two reasons why I have written this article. Firstly, a reader who completed the fear of flying survey suggested it and secondly, a passenger boarded my aircraft a few weeks ago in torrential rain, and asked me; Have you ever flown in rain like this before? Is it safe? Never before had I […]

  • Fear of Flying in Bad Weather: Snow and Ice

    Snow and ice can cause havoc for an airline, and we all have our part to play in ensuring the safety of our passengers in these weather conditions. With regards to snow, most airports are well prepared, and manage the situation efficiently whilst minimising delays. There are always a few airports that are not ready […]

  • Fear of Flying in Bad Weather: Wind

    Seems like a good time to write this as I’m sat in my house listening to gale force winds hammer the windows outside! Makes me want to go flying! Strong winds can cause some ‘exciting’ take-offs and landings. At lower levels, wind can cause the aircraft to sway back and forth, but the pilots are […]

  • Fear of Flying in Bad Weather: Fog

    Driving in thick fog can be extremely hazardous, and of course you must slow down to ensure you remain safe. But, how does fog affect flying. Surely it’s impossible to land an aircraft at 150mph in thick fog? Not at all. Firstly, every aircraft has it’s own visibility

  • Fear of Flying in Bad Weather: Lightning

    Welcome to the first of this series of articles discussing a fear of flying in bad weather. First up, thunderstorms – and more specifically, lightning. For my thoughts on the incident involving Flight AF447, go here. Before I discuss aircraft flying in lightening storms, I want you to watch this 30 second video from YouTube. […]