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How safe is a flight during a storm?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Now, in autumn and winter, the weather becomes more uncomfortable and storms and thunderstorms occur more frequently. This often results in delays or even flight cancellations - but what happens if an aircraft is caught in a strong storm during the flight? Is that safe?

Pilots are trained for bad weather conditions

Pilots complete a long and difficult training before the ate allowed to fly a plane. During their education, they are prepared for extreme situations (yes, including storms). This includes flight manoeuvres during difficult weather conditions and knowledge of meteorology. Basically, a pilot does not take off if he is not sure that he can ensure the passengers’ safety. For this reason, the weather is checked before and during each flight and it is calculated whether it is safe to fly.

The resulting flight delays can disrupt diverse flight schedules and the additional waiting time is usually not pleasant for the passengers either, but safety first! By the way, depending on the type of aircraft, it can happen that one flight has to be cancelled while other aeroplanes are still capable of flying.

One of the biggest problems during a storm is the landing. The Internet is full of videos showing how aircraft are captured and blown back and forth by crosswinds during landing. Pilots are also prepared for this; at British Airways, for example, pilots complete a training course every 6 months. If the landing does not work after several attempts or it’s not possible due to unpredictable winds, the flight is diverted to another airport. In the worst case scenario, it is possible for the wings to collide with the runway due to the storm, but this happens very rarely.

How dangerous is it to fly through a storm?

Storms during flight: turbulences are rarely dangerous

A storm can make the flight very uncomfortable, but only in very few cases does it become truly dangerous. The most common effects are turbulence, which does not necessarily occur during a storm. However, abrupt changes in wind direction or strength can cause these air bumps. Since aircraft are designed to withstand extreme conditions, they are not at risk. Passengers should, however, adhere strictly to the seat belt obligation, as injuries have already occurred during turbulence.

Strong winds can be practical, so flying near a storm isn't always bad

When in the right conditions, strong winds are even practical. If the wind blows from the right direction, the plane will only go faster and use less fuel on its way. Of course, the opposite can happen and headwinds delay the arrival. However, the wind conditions are calculated before departure and the additional time is usually taken into account by the airlines in the flight plan.

Bad weather as a reason to reject your claim for compensation

Airlines often misuse the argument of “severe weather conditions” when they reject claims. Fair enough, extreme weather conditions are considered an extraordinary circumstance but they still need to prove that they occurred. We can help you with that! Even if your claim has been rejected already, we can review the circumstances and asses if you have been wrongfully denied compensation for your flight’s delay or cancellation. You can check your flight for free and decide if you wish to submit your claim with Flight-Delayed. Best of all, our 25% win fee will cover all the possible costs associated with enforcing your rights!

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