AirAsia Flight 8501: What Makes Thunderstorms Such a Threat to Airliners

AirAsia Flight 8501: What Makes Thunderstorms Such a Threat to Airliners

Lightning is seen through the window of

It’s been two days since AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared over the Java Sea, and still there’s no sign of the missing plane or the 162 people aboard. It is, of course, all but impossible to know at this point just what went wrong, but we do know the flight’s planned route to Singapore would have taken it through clusters of thunderstorms, and we know the crew moved west of their course to avoid clouds.  

Modern airliners are quite capable of flying above the worst weather, and they can shake off lightning strikes and extreme turbulence and even fly for hours at a time with just one engine. Given their remarkable durability, one might wonder why a thunderstorm might post so great a threat, and why pilots try to avoid them. It’s because thunderstorms combine nearly all of the hassles and hazards pilots dread. [read more]

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s