Flying in bad weather or turbulence?


Sometimes passengers are nervous or scared of flying because of factors such as bad weather like thunderstorms or uncomfortable levels of turbulence. Also as most of the time aviation accidents end up as severe disasters with almost little chance of surviving, the level of anxiety and nervousness of flight is even greater.

Flight in disturbing weather conditions as above makes people very uncomfortable in a fuselage so small at altitudes over 30,000 feet.

What is turbulence?

It is simply a disturbed flow of air which happens to occur unexpectedly and is also hard to detect. In the air the most accurate turbulence reports are in fact from other aviators and pilots. This allows ATC to keep a log of levels, routes and times of turbulence including its severity. Turbulence can be caused by a number of factors including:

- flying in the zone of thunderstorms. - flying through clouds. - flying over mountainous terrain, i.e. mountain waves. - flying at high altitude near strong jet streams. - flying in or close to a weather front. - flying between air masses of differing temperatures.

There is also a phenomena known as Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) which is undetectable and is usually only predicted or forecast based on certain shear rates and weather and frontal data. Sometimes the forecast is accurate but at times can be wrong. Pilots therefore rely very much on turbulence information for various levels in order to plan their desired flight level and fuel requirements for the enhancement of passenger safe