Modern aircraft enjoy impressive technology and tools to help pilots and crews protect the safety of everyone on board. From fuel readers to the latest auto-pilot options, navigating and managing risk on board has never been easier. And the latest inflight aviation weather advisories make a pilot’s job even simpler.
Even the most experienced pilot has no control over Mother Nature. But with excellent on-board equipment, they can have crucial, relevant data available to help guide their plans.
Most Significant Weather Risks
One of the biggest dangers to aircraft can be a sudden change in weather conditions. Each problem comes with its risks and issues. Here are several of the most common weather hazards for airplanes.
Structural icing refers to the accumulation of ice on the wings and external elements and can pose a severe hazard. If you fly through visible moisture when the plane’s skin is at or below freezing, you risk ice accumulation.
If ice gathers on the wings, the plane may struggle to climb and retain altitude due to a lift disruption. Structural icing also can disrupt the propeller balance, reduce the visibility through the windshield, and jam your airplane’s landing gear.
Wind shear refers to a sudden change in wind speed or velocity over a short distance. It can be either vertical or horizontal. Vertical wind shear describes a shift in the wind’s direction or speed and a change in altitude. Horizontal wind shear represents a change in the wind speed, alongside a difference in the lateral position for a given altitude.
Pilots have to worry most about wind shear during takeoff and landing, though it may present itself at any altitude. A rapid loss of airspeed due to wind shear on the final approach can be deadly.
Knowing about the potential problem ahead of time could be a lifesaver for the passengers and crew. Alerting systems are necessary for keeping everyone safe with ever-changing wind speeds.
Thunderstorms are a common enemy of aviation and produce some of the most dramatic and severe weather conditions. They also can impact the space around them and have been known to launch hail within a 20-mile radius. A thunderstorm can also set up the ideal conditions for wind shear, adding an extra layer of danger.
The air beneath a thunderstorm is the perfect location for strong downdrafts and microbursts to form. In addition, convective clouds are the ideal breeding ground for turbulence, which can range from uncomfortable to lethal. Inflight aviation weather advisories can help you to avoid the worst storms and their risks.
In-Flight Aviation Weather Advisories Help Keep You Safe
As the adage says, forewarned is forearmed. You cannot clear thunderstorms, warm-up icicles, or remove cloud formations. However, you can utilize the technology available to ensure that you have accurate, up-to-date information.
In-flight aviation weather advisories allow pilots to gain a full understanding of the weather conditions they may encounter. This information can include current patterns, storms, or gatherings that may be forming.
The pilot can make an informed and educated decision about their flight path as they work to keep everyone safe. To add even more security, these weather advisories can also help with pre-flight planning and optimization.
Arriving safely is, of course, the first goal for every flight crew and airline operator. But pre-flight and in-flight weather tools offer other benefits, too.
- Customer Satisfaction – Airlines that arrive on time and without problems keep their customers happy and coming back.
- Reputation – Airline troubles are quick to be all over the news. Those who avoid this gain a reputation that allows them to thrive.
- Bottom Line – Canceled flights, irritated customers, and wasted fuel cost you money. And aside from the personal devastation, a crash is catastrophic to an airline’s bottom line. Weather alerts help you bypass all of these problems whenever possible.
At DTN, we help you achieve the very best in aviation safety. Our top-quality AviationSentry Airline Edition is the cockpit partner you need. With accurate, up-to-date weather forecasts, and industry-leading 4D alerting, you will be ready for anything.
Our suite of solutions also offers expert route advice. This feature helps pilots avoid dangerous flight paths as they work to keep the passengers and crew safe. It also can help ensure that flights take off on time and reach their intended destination on schedule.
Reach out to a DTN expert to learn what these tools can do for your operations. You will empower your team to make safe decisions that protect your crew, equipment, and bottom line.