Questions tagged [wind]

The flow of air with respect to the ground. This will affect the performance and handling of aircraft and can be a limiting factor.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
43
votes
11answers
14k views

Is it possible to fly backward if you have really strong headwind?

Is it possible to fly a plane backwards if you have a really really strong headwind? I mean when you are aloft, you have positive airspeed and airflow over the wings but you have negative ground speed....
37
votes
8answers
31k views

How safe is the Boeing 737-800 in high winds?

I'm not good with flying. However, on Wednesday morning I'm flying from Gatwick to Bergen, Norway, traveling alone with two young children. I'm trying desperately to not show my kids how afraid I am ...
36
votes
4answers
78k views

When are winds given with respect to true vs. magnetic north?

Wind information can be reported by various sources (ATIS, METAR, TAF, spoken on the radio, etc). I was taught that officially some of these sources are relative to magnetic north and others to true ...
31
votes
4answers
19k views

How does wind affect the airspeed that I should fly for maximum range in an airplane?

I have heard that wind affects the actual airspeed that I should fly for maximum range in an aircraft. I understand that wind will not affect the airspeed that I should fly if I am looking for ...
30
votes
8answers
11k views

Why might an airliner fly a large U-turn before landing?

I was on a flight1 from San Antonio, TX to Toronto and, when arriving in Toronto, the plane went quite a way past the airport, made a big U-turn, and then landed. We were coming from the west. I ...
30
votes
4answers
57k views

How is wind direction reported (blowing from or blowing to)?

When the tower controller, the ATIS or a METAR says Wind 270, 15 knots does it mean the wind is blowing in the westward or in the eastward direction? Is there a single convention used to express the ...
28
votes
8answers
5k views

Does a sudden drop of the velocity of the headwind affect the airspeed by lowering it?

I had a discussion about air speeds with one of my instructors recently. He is claiming that there is a sudden drop in the wind velocity as you get closer to the ground (which is absolutely true, due ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

Can airliners land with auto pilot in gusty wind conditions?

Why does the pilot make so many movements? I don't see that plane is moving all that much, but his yoke movements are strong and fast. For someone who is not a pilot, it almost looks like panicked ...
22
votes
10answers
10k views

Do pilots ever intentionally takeoff or land downwind?

Is there a reason a pilot would takeoff downwind or land downwind? Is it legal to do this?
19
votes
4answers
8k views

Do helicopters try to take off and land into the wind?

When helicopters take off and land is it preferable to point the nose into the wind? Since a helicopter is providing its own lift does it matter which direction wind is coming from?
18
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I know where wind is coming from by looking at water?

For ground reference maneuvers, I know there are many ways that I can know wind direction: smoke, circling, weather reports from nearby airport and so on. However, how can I determine the wind ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

How is wind measured at this small U.S. airport?

While launching gliders at Front Royal, VA (KFRR) over the weekend, a fellow pilot and I got curious about the airport's weather equipment. We know that KFRR has local equipment to measure wind speed ...
17
votes
6answers
36k views

What's a quick way to determine which runway to use?

Let's say I call up Wx and have the wind direction and I know the runway headings from my charts and the pattern is empty. I can do the math, but it's tedious and slow and even worse when there are ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How does a large airport switch flow?

Airplanes prefer to land into the wind, and airports adjust for changing wind direction by changing the active runway. I've been flying a small plane in the pattern when the tower asked me to do a ...
16
votes
8answers
25k views

Why is tailwind during final approach and landing so dangerous?

I understand that tailwind is typically a good thing during your flight as it increases your ground speed and gets you to your destination faster. Despite that I get a feeling that pilots typically ...
15
votes
3answers
9k views

Are the window wipers on jet aircraft ever deployed in flight?

Many commercial airliners have car-like window-wipers. I would presume this is for taxiing only, as the wind would surely keep the windows free from water when airborne, or do they turn them on in ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Wind speed over which a Canadair fire fighting plane cannot safely fly?

We recently had some forest fires in Athens, Greece while the weather was very windy. The news said it had 8 beaufort of wind speed (34-40 knots, 38–46 mph) and in these conditions it's dangerous to ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why would a commercial flight be landing with a tailwind?

I just flew into BOS on flight 2539 and we landed either on 22R or 22L even though winds were 19 knots at 010 at the ground and 14 knots at 300 at 3000 feet. There was no change either; the captain ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is the flight duration of the same flight different in different months? [duplicate]

For example: CX880 (HKG TO LAX) takes 13h40m on the 2nd of August, but only takes 12h50m in September. CI008 (TPE TO LAX) is the same; it takes half an hour less in September than in August. What ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Are jet streams a net benefit in time and fuel savings?

Suppose a plane has a cruise speed of 400 knots TAS. In a 4000 nm route we would have a round trip of 20 hours. If there was a jet stream of 100 knots in either direction, we would have 4000/500=8 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Can wind shear conditions be identified visually?

Without relying on winds aloft or LLWS data, can pilots identify wind shear conditions visually, by watching clouds or otherwise?
13
votes
1answer
5k views

What is wind “CALM”?

What is the exact criteria for wind speed to be considered "CALM". Different countries might have different values and i do not mind getting answers from those. But an answer from an ICAO annex would ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

On a calm day, what determines the active runway?

When the winds are "calm" or variable, and as such there is no wind direction on which to base the decision on what the active runway should be, how is that determination made?
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Do aircraft carriers always face into the wind?

When landing at a normal ground airport, the runway facing the compass point nearest to the heading of the wind is always operated, so that aircraft landing and taking off alway have to use the least ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Was this bumpy Boeing 777-300 landing caused by windshear?

I was watching a Video of a Korean Air 777-300 landing at Narita International Airport (IATA: NRT). The Comments on the YouTube Video are again unprofessional. I want to ask here, what caused this ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

How does it feel like to be outside a flying airplane?

Riding a motorcycle on a freeway at over 200 kph you surely feel the rush of air around you. A typical commercial jet airliner travels at approximately 3-5 times that speed at cruise altitude. ...
10
votes
3answers
14k views

Is a wind speed of 150 km/h dangerous during a flight in an Airbus A321?

I am just curious about this... during one flight on Airbus A321 we experienced turbulence and the pilot told us that the wind speed is 150 km/h, so we won't get drinks and snacks due to safety ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Could a plane land vertically in a strong headwind?

I know there are VTOL craft meant to take off and land with a vertical trajectory. But, under the perfect wind conditions, could a normal airplane ever land (safely) with a vertical or nearly vertical ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

In calm winds, which runway should I select at an untowered airport?

In calm wind situations, approaching an uncontrolled airport with no other aircraft reporting on CTAF, which runway should I select that would cause the least safety hazard? Especially at an airport ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What wind change gradient is necessary to be classified as wind shear?

Wind shear is defined as a sudden change in the speed or direction of the wind with altitude. There's got to be some ratio of speed to altitude or directional change to altitude beyond which it's ...
9
votes
4answers
781 views

Can the “G” and “VRB” wind conditions be combined in METARs?

I have never seen the "VRB" (for wind direction variations < 60°; e.g. VRB12003KT) and "G" annotation (for gusts > 10KT wind speed difference; e.g. 12003GT30KT) being combined in a METAR. Until ...
9
votes
2answers
659 views

Has reversing the active runway direction ever led to lined-up aircraft taxiing to the other end of the runway?

I was in an aircraft yesterday waiting for its turn in the departure queue on the taxiway and noticed that the windsock was showing a direction approximately 30 degrees but directed along the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Why would aircraft take-off in the opposite direction as landing despite wind direction?

I have visited and flown out of Harare International Airport, Zimbabwe a number of times and the thing that always baffles me is: Why do aircraft use runway 23 to depart, but runway 05 to land? At ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the use of heading bug?

When I started searching for Heading Bug (other bugs like altitude, speed bugs), I didn't get much clear idea about it. Usually this is displayed on Horizontal Situation Indicator display on the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the red barb for in the NOAA weather briefing?

Wind barbs are well-defined symbols, but I noticed in my WX briefing that there are now occasional red barbs in the chart. The red appears on both the 5kt and 10kt barbs, and sometimes for largest ...
9
votes
2answers
34k views

What is the maximum wind speed a Boeing 737-800 can deal with during takeoff and landing?

I'd like to know how safe the Boeing 737-800 is during takeoff and landing when it's windy. What are the maximum wind speeds for cases of tail, head and cross winds? EDIT I've found this resource ...
9
votes
2answers
689 views

What type of airspeed are wind speeds given in?

When you get wind speed from an ASOS/AWOS or from ATC, are those speeds in true airspeed? Are the instruments weighted for elevation? Say you're on approach to 05R at MEX and you're given wind speed ...
8
votes
11answers
14k views

Is it sensible to harness wind energy on an airplane?

Is it sensible to harness wind energy on an airplane? Actually the idea is to build an electric aircraft whose power comes from solar and from wind while the plane is landing. instead of using ...
8
votes
1answer
14k views

How is the wind direction and wind speed measured in flight?

Most large aircraft have a wind direction and wind speed indicator. How is this measured? The vector difference between TAS and ground speed? How accurate is this? In the below picture (taken from ...
8
votes
3answers
12k views

How do pilots detect and respond to windshear while landing and taking off?

How does wind shear affect aircraft while landing and taking off? How do pilots detect that they are encountering wind shear and what would they have to do to prevent it from turning into a bad ...
8
votes
4answers
322 views

Are winds that are not from the prevailing wind direction more often gusty, and why?

It seems to me that, looking at the ground weather forecasts (as opposed to, say, low level forecasts), it's far more common for the wind to be predicted to be significantly gusty when it is blowing ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Where can Boeing wind data be found?

There are various services that use world-wide Boeing Winds for forecast wind data which can be used to calculate an approximate flight time between two locations. They usually have best case, worst ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the coriolis force have an effect on the direction in which an aircraft travels?

Suppose an aircraft is flying from Kenya (which lies on the equator) to UK (which lies in the northern hemisphere). Does the Coriolis force veer the aircraft to the right? Do pilots have to correct ...
7
votes
2answers
513 views

How would a low-airspeed fixed-wing drone be designed to reduce effects from gusts and wind shear?

In a story I am working on, the characters need a fixed-wing drone that can rendezvous with a blimp, where by "rendezvous" I mean "come within a very short distance at low relative airspeed". The ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Why would METARs and ATIS both report exactly the same wind direction?

I understand that METARs report wind direction as true and ATIS reports it as magnetic. But at Camarillo (KCMA) both are reporting the same wind direction and speed even though the magnetic variation ...
6
votes
8answers
8k views

What happens if you take off with a direct tailwind?

What happens if you take off with a direct tailwind?
6
votes
2answers
851 views

Is it an acceptable practice to take off in a microburst?

This video has been posted on Youtube: Strong winds are blowing at the airfield, pilots are taking off aircraft to prevent them being damaged. However I noticed that gliders have been ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do pilots clear an aircraft to fly through a hurricane?

This video shows a pilot (Tim Gallagher/NOAA) flying what looks like a small jet into the eye of hurricane Matthew by Miami. It's clear that it is quite an interesting ride. The (small) caption states ...
6
votes
1answer
457 views

Why do eastbound transpacific flights fly at lower latitudes than their westbound counterparts?

I’ve seen some routes for flights from Asia (mainly Hong Kong and Shanghai) to the west coast of North America, which fly at lower latitudes than flights in the other direction (which they fly closer ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “still air” mean when planning alternative airports?

When planning for a takeoff alternate, according to 14 CFR 121.617 (1) Aircraft having 2 engines. Not more than one hour from the departure airport at normal cruising speed in still air with one ...