Whether it’s your first or 100th flight, storms are still frightening. As a pilot, the last thing you’d like to think about is flying through a storm. But it does happen. And with technology and the skill of professionals before us, we can safely handle all weather elements and keep our passengers comfortable. Let’s take a look at how you can fly safe and avoid the storms.
The Calm Before
Before the storm is ever in sight, the pilot is equipped and engaged with information translated from the radar. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Aviation Administration, there are several types of thunderstorms:
- Squall Line – This narrow band of active thunderstorms develop in a cold front in moist air. These can often become too wide and too long to maneuver around.
- Single Cell – These are known as the common thunderstorms that are produced on hot and humid days. They can develop hail and microbursts of wind if it gets severe.
- Thunderstorm Cluster – These are multicell clusters that develop in many cell clusters that cover a large area. This kind of storm can divide into individual cells that move in another direction from the whole system.
- Supercell – This type of thunderstorm is responsible for all tornadoes and hail storms larger than golf ball.
Now that you understand the types of storms that could be present, it’s important to take them into account no matter the severity level on the radar. Whether you’ve been trained in aviation for leisure or work, you will no doubt encounter a storm or two at some point. While sometimes you may not be able to avoid a thunderstorm completely, you can avoid malfunctions while taking proper precautions. When you’re facing flying into a storm, choose the best altitude (low is best) and don’t fly where you notice it’s dark. Don’t ever fly in the face of an oncoming storm. Just one updrift of wind can cause loss of control. If you’re flying at night, don’t fly where you notice the lightning. You want to keep your communication with ATC (air traffic controller) at all times. When you’re getting ready to land, fly as low as possible, and extend the landing gear as stable as possible. Always keep your eyes on the cockpit lights and not on the thunderstorm ahead. For all storms, large or small, it’s required to fly at least 20 miles away from it and never fly under a storm. Should your path be in direct line with an oncoming storm, fly around the upwind side without it getting any closer to you.
Perhaps you’re ready to jumpstart your career in aviation. The experts at Premier Jet trainer will help you achieve your goal and prepare you to weather the storms. Contact our experts for more information today!