Turbulence is frequent on these roads

Turbulence is frequent on these roads

Knowledge for flight nerds

Turbulence is the most frequent on these roads

Turbulence in an airplane is unpleasant – but every traveler has probably experienced it. But on some roads, they are particularly frequent and violent, as one pilot revealed.

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Ten thousand meters above the ground, the plane suddenly began to wobble and collapse. If you are lucky, it will only take a few seconds. When things are really bad, it can jump for several minutes. Turbulence is generally harmless to the aircraft, but it is uncomfortable for the passengers.

They can appear on any flight, anywhere in the world. But: In some areas there is a good chance that a plane will be caught. That’s what someone who should know says: Stuart Clarke. He is a pilot and a member of the British Airline Pilots Association, where he serves as Senior Aviation Safety Advisor. Virtually every time it flew from London Heathrow to South Africa it has experienced turbulence.

Stormy clouds create turbulence

“Big storm clouds cause turbulence – and you can find them around the equator,” Clarke told the British Sun in 2019. When an airplane crosses the equator, there is a weather belt called a zone of intertropical convergence. “It moves north and south with the seasons,” explains the pilot.

Clarke reveals the main airports where passengers can prepare for turbulence due to the weather belt: Singapore, Miami, Cancun, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Stormy weather is more frequent there.

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There is often turbulence on flights over the Atlantic

Another road on which the air can get bumpy leads across the Atlantic. Passengers arriving from Germany, Great Britain or France, for example, are affected by turbulence on the way to the United States (and back), especially in winter. The reason is the jet stream over the North Atlantic, according to the expert. These are very strong winds at great heights – which, so to speak, can carry the plane with it or work against it. Examples of itineraries:

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Frankfurt – New York Munich – New York Frankfurt – Seattle Frankfurt – Toronto

But it can also wobble more often on flights over northern England and northern Europe. It can be just as bumpy on flights over the Alps, Pyrenees, Rockies and Andes. The reason for this is so-called leeward waves – they occur when wind currents hit mountains and thus disrupt the flow of air around them. In the British overseas mountainous territory of Gibraltar, the airport is even partially closed in strong winds.

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Overview map: Turbulence often occurs here

The overview map shows where, according to Clarke, the turbulence often occurs. You can’t prevent it either, but at least prepare for it internally …

There is the most turbulence in these places – said a pilot.

Pilots try to avoid turbulence

By the way: the pilots would do their best to avoid the turbulence, Clarke explains. In a strong wind, for example, they would fly higher above the mountains.

For people who are afraid of flying, Clarke has the following advice: “Try to understand that this is only bumpy air – it’s like a Range Rover passing over potholes. . “

Where do passengers feel the turbulence the least?

Turbulence is not felt the same way everywhere in the passenger compartment. It is in the middle of the plane that it is the quietest. This is where the turbines and the wings are located, so this is where the machine has the most stability. In the rear, on the other hand, turbulence has the most effect.

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