As we know, driving in fog can be a terrifying experience, but what about landing a plane in foggy weather?! Back when airplanes first made an appearance, they could only fly during the day, and only if the weather was good. Pilots had to rely on their own eyes to bring the aircraft down safely. What about now?
When planes are ready to land, they first check the forecast. Pilots dial a specific frequency in order to listen to the current weather conditions. If there are patches of clouds when aircraft are about to land, it’s safe. But, if there are thick clouds that are too close to the earth, then there’s a slight problem. So how do airplanes land with no visibility, while hundreds of flights get canceled for the same reason? It’s time to clear the air about this mystery.
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How to measure the height of the cloud ☁️ 0:46
The Instrument Landing System 3:09
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The foggy touchdown process 4:56
Why the last seconds are the most important 8:08
#planes #aviation #brightside
– One of the keywords they’re listening for when it’s cloudy is ceilings. A ceiling is the bottom of the lowest layer of clouds above the ground.
– Clouds are reported by weather stations in feet above ground level , or AGL. When pilots take off, they always make sure to know the height of the clouds around them.
– When a commercial jet is performing a touchdown with less than minimum visibility, the airport needs to have specialized equipment to guide the plane.
– In foggy conditions, air traffic controllers are in constant communication with the pilots.
– Aircraft today use cool radio navigation called the Instrument Landing System.
– It includes a glide slope, which shows the vertical navigation as the plane heads to the airport.
– Therefore, the plane can avoid obstructions and get to the runway at the correct touchdown point.
– When planes need to land in minimum visibility, the ground poses the biggest problem.
– It’s too expensive for small airports to install the radio navigation systems, so they just put up with the disruptions.
– Larger airports, and most commercial Aircraft, however, have all the means to land in fog.
– The number of planes that take-off and land every hour reduces for safety.
– Before a plane starts to approach the runway in fog, the pilots need to ensure that all their primary systems are working correctly.
– Once the plane is all set-up and ready, the autopilot gets engaged, and the landing begins.
– During the foggy landing, pilots need to continually give the jet orders through a separate computer – the flight management system.
– The last seconds are the most important ones. The autopilot will have to reduce the rate of descent, and the system will have to notify the pilots that it’s keeping the aircraft straight on the runway.
– In modern jets, IRL systems rarely fail. But sometimes passengers can tell the difference between a manual landing and an automatic landing.
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