Landing on unpaved runways or runways covered by snow or dust causes a white/brown-out visibility restriction.

Does it disrupt the pilot's visibility during the roll out in a fixed-wing aircraft?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ In my experience landing single engine tractor, high wing airplanes on very dry, dusty sand and clay surfaces, as well as snowy surfaces, no. I think the danger lies in visibility impairment to rotorcraft pilots, as well as FOD damage to airframes or powerplants. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Jan 4, 2016 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ Whiteout can be a significant hazard to aircraft using reverse thrust to slow. $\endgroup$
    – nexus_2006
    Jan 5, 2016 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


From a partial accident list on Wikipedia, the issue seems to affect only helicopters.

A fixed wing rolling out should have no issue. As the dust/snow cloud will be behind the windshield. A plane landing in sequence should wait until the dust/snow settles.

Also an approach in poor visibility caused by a sandstorm would be no different than an approach in fog. An instrument approach will be carried out.


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