Is it dangerous for the plane?

Is it dangerous for the plane

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Thunderstorms and thunderstorms: how dangerous is it for an airplane?

The depression of storm “Sabine” completely paralyzed rail traffic, but some planes flew over. Why can an airplane take off in a storm? The travel reporter asked an expert.

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Deutsche Bahn is at a standstill, but operations at the airport continue. The scene which last occurred in many places during the low storm “Sabine” can often be observed in inclement weather conditions: as the traffic collapses to the ground, some planes take off in the wind and the weather as if nothing had happened. Weird, isn’t it?

We found that, too – and so asked an expert why an airplane can actually fly in a storm and what time the pilot prefers to stay on the ground.

Wings restless? Good sign!

“The wings are designed flexibly so that they do not break in severe turbulence”, explains a pilot of the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry (BDL) – and thus cites nothing less than the requirements techniques for safe flight in strong winds.

Because if the wings start to wobble during flight, the plane adapts to the wind conditions. A good sign therefore, but which often creates uncertainty for many passengers. However, this is completely unfounded. The pilot reassures: “Each plane respects strictly regulated construction rules. So: Anything that wavers must waver too.

By the way: in this overview we have summarized the flight routes on which turbulence occurs particularly often.

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And the standard states that an aircraft must be able to withstand crosswinds with a force of up to 80 kilometers per hour during take-off and landing. Most of the time, however, they refrain from testing the limits of the aircraft.

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When Storm “Sabine” hit, for example, most airlines canceled flights and played it safe. A start would have been possible in principle. Because the crosswind, which causes the most problems for the pilots, was not so strong this time.

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The captain decides whether to fly or not

Lucky for a few travelers who have reached their destination despite the thunderstorms and heavy rains. In this case, however, the responsibility is not assumed by the airline, but rather “the captain decides whether a flight takes place or not”, explains the BDL.

The pilot always has an eye on all developments on his flight itinerary, in particular the weather forecast for the departure and destination airports. In fact, you can rely on the forecasts, because the aeronautical weather service is much more precise than the forecasts that we have access to in everyday life.

Planes avoid thunderstorms and hail

Thunderstorms are another weather phenomenon that disturbs passengers. However, love at first sight is not exactly uncommon; According to Lufthansa Technik, every plane is struck by lightning several times in its lifetime. Normally the machine can continue to fly.

Nevertheless, according to the BDL: “Thunderstorms and hail are flying around. »The minimum distance is approximately 50 kilometers. However, this is not always possible. If it must pass through a thunderstorm, precautionary measures are taken: speed is reduced and passengers are prepared for turbulence and bright light resulting from a possible lightning strike.

And if the pilot underestimates the storm or is surprised by a storm, he’s prepared for it. “During regular training sessions, they are confronted with various extreme situations in order to act routinely in the company”, specifies the BDL. This also includes landing in extreme crosswinds.

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