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Snowflakes:How Do Colder Countries Cope?  
User currently offlineLoungeLover From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 148 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4043 times:

Hi all,

I have had very difficult business trips around Europe lately because of the snow.
No later than yesterday was I stuck in CDG because my flight to FRA got cancelled. Shortly after that they just cancelled about 80% of all flights out of CDG. the snowfalls were quite strong, but it wasn't really sticking to the ground and some flights were not cancelled. For example: I couldn't get back home to LHR because those were cancelled, but BA was still flying to MAN or BHX.
Or another thing was that all flights to Germany were cancelled except for TXL.
Now the official explanation was that flights couldn't go out of Paris (all day), but why were some flights then maintained??!
Anyway, I was very annoyed and wanted to know if you could tell me:

1.What really happened at CDG yesterday?
2.How do countries like Canada or even USA cope with the snow. I mean those countries have 4 months of quite intense cold and the airports there don't just shut down!!??

Thanks!
LL

By the way, I got back to London using the Eurostar!

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1871 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4004 times:

The only thing I can tell you is money: in Canada or USA or European nordic countries, it is usual to have snow. So it makes business sense to heavily invest in equipment.
I am living near CDG since 1990. It is the first time I see so much snow, and for several days. (Most of the time there is 1 day of snow, and not that much) Does it make business sense to invest the same money as the Canadian airports for 1 or 2 days per year?
In the same idea, I remember being delayed in DXB because of the fog in 97. I was first surprised that such an airport in not Cat3 equipped. But does it really make sense (or cents) for a couple of days per year?
Teva



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineAgill From Sweden, joined Feb 2004, 1010 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3985 times:

There was a recent thread about this.
How Do Airports Handle Snow? (by Mozart Mar 2 2005 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3991 times:

This was already discussed in an other thread. In there the member who posted it also complained that CDG is not very good in handling only a bit of snow in comparison to ZRH, MUC or VIE.
http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eral_aviation/read.main/1984329/6/


User currently offlineTraveler_7 From Estonia, joined May 2000, 540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3968 times:

1.What really happened at CDG yesterday?

Yesterday on the Euronews some CDG official explained, that due to snow they have to increase time between the flights.

Most probably this is the reason for cancellations and delays. I do not know on which bases they decided which flights will be cancelled or delayed.


User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3961 times:

I always think how well the Nordic countries and Canada cope with heavy snow without disruption to operations. First flurry of snow here in the UK and people start panicking, like the world might end!

Airports often grind to a halt and the news cameras go to airports and flm the snow falling on the planes like this was some strange phenomenon.


User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3887 times:

well,in the UK, we close our railways with the 'wrong kind of snow'. Yeah, the news here is making it feel like The Day After Tomorrow.

User currently offlineSmAlbany From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

I agree with Teva's reply. The ability to handle the snow is proportional to the expectation that the airport will receive it. Here in Albany, NY, we get a fair amount of snow in the winter. The airport has the equipment and personnel to handle it without shutting down the airport for more than 20 minutes at a time while the plows are on the runway. Of course it also helps that it is not a major airport (about 1.5 million passengers in 2004)

Airports that do not expect regular snowfall do not invest heavily in the equipment to handle it so when you get that unusual snow event - there can be delays.


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

Quoting Sevenair (reply 6):
well,in the UK, we close our railways with the 'wrong kind of snow'


This is not true? You close railways because of snow? That's not possible. In our country railways are the most reliable transportation while snowing. They only had some problems with the switches because it was terribly cold (-18 C), although they are heated.


User currently offlineLoungeLover From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 148 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3735 times:

Thanks for the info guys. It confirms that the level of equipment makes a huge difference. I was being a little naive here. Probably because of my frustration yesterday.

By the way it snowed this morning in London and LHR had some problems but now the weather is good and I can see loads of a/c's coming from my office!


User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3662 times:

"First flurry of snow here in the UK and people start panicking, like the world might end!"

Applies to road traffic as well. The way most UK drivers operate scares me when I'm with them on the road, but come the wintery conditions...it would be funny to watch only if the people didn't get themselves killed too.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26414 posts, RR: 76
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

This is very similar to what was happening in early-mid December at IAH and MSY. While both cities have cool winters, icing conditions are not all that common. They ran out of Deicing fluid because they were not prepared. Now somewhere like ANC, JNU, MSP, ARN, ZRH, etc. will not have that problem because they are prepared. It is the same with snow. DEN, ZRH, ANC, MUC, etc. all get a great deal of snowfall and they know it is coming. Hence, they have plows there and on the ready all the time. CDG, FRA, LHR, and the like are not used to much snow at all and when this kind of snow hits, they are crippled.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 869 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks ago) and read 3492 times:

Quoting Teva (reply 1):
The only thing I can tell you is money: in Canada or USA or European nordic countries, it is usual to have snow. So it makes business sense to heavily invest in equipment.



Perhaps, but here in Montreal, as soon as the first snow falls of the season, it seems the snow-plough drivers (the guys who clear the snow) go on strike. typical!

I was reading Robert Milton's book though about AC, and he said that AC pilots face some of the toughest conditions of any pilots. He recounted a story of an American pilot he met who said that he got de-iced only about 3 times so far in his career. Not like that here in Canada, de-icing, flying in low visibility and blowing snow, not to mention tempartures of sometimes -35C. I have to agree with Milton, ACs pilots are amazing for coping and flying insuch unfriendly conditions - and doing it on a day to day basis.
Way to go AC!!!

/Milan320



I accept bribes ... :-)
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

Pilots in the -35 C? Some are just tough-er-est! But let's turn to statistics for a while:
http://www.aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?Country=C

and

http://www.aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?Country=OH

Granted, we're talking about a population of 31 millions against five, but somehow I am tempted to believe that the Canadians crash their planes quite a bit more, in roughly similar circumstances. Even AC. The only ever OH- incident that is directly winter-related is the 1973 DHC-6 of Kar-Air. The flight was force-landed because of exteme icing in cruise, nothing severe to the pax. Perhaps the Canadian bush-piloting spirit is still alive in the negative sense?

[Edited 2005-03-05 00:53:48]

[Edited 2005-03-05 00:56:06]

User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 990 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

Quoting ZRH (reply 8):


Quoting ZRH (reply 8):
This is not true? You close railways because of snow? That's not possible. In our country railways are the most reliable transportation while snowing. They only had some problems with the switches because it was terribly cold (-18 C), although they are heated.


The problem in the UK is that trains get their power from an Electric third rail, next to the two normal rails on which the train sits. When snow is covering this rail it can be hard for the trains to pick up power, and hence there are delays.

We do have de-icing trains on the railway lines here, but because we have a very extensive rail network and only a few de-icers it is impossible to cover the whole network.


User currently offlineAmhilde From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

I came in via CDG on Thursday and boy was that delay annoying. When were the flights cancelled? I was rather annoyed by the delays for weather seeing as my home airport right now is RNO and they tend to run it open regardless of how heavy the snow is- even this past winter with our record snow in Jan. I eventually made it out of CDG, but i think AFs computers also went down. SOMEHOW my luggage made it through to CPH as well from RNO and via two airlines and CDG tied up- i was honestly shocked to see it come through. Of course its sunny and fine here in Scandi, but the poor Dane i sat next to on that flight got stuck sitting in Toulouse for 5 hours on the aircraft before they were allowed in to Paris. Me? I just got stuck on the 763 after we landed for an hour because they couldnt find the right stairs apparently. What a mess!


Hang on tightly, Let go lightly
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3071 times:

"The problem in the UK is that trains get their power from an Electric third rail,"

Trains, planes and automobiles. The 3rd rail system is a South-of-the-Thames relict, not a UK-wide thing. Read about it at:
http://www.o-keating.com/hsr/electrification.htm

A difficulty is the moisture of the air freezing in the pneumatic brakes, but that will begin at only beyond minus 25 C or so.

regards
Eilennaei


User currently offlineTrident3 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

The other problem we have is the relatively high temperature, which means that you get stuck in a snow-thaw-freeze cycle for a few days ie it snows during the night, the temp rises during the day and it thaws and or rains then later that night freezes and starts snowing again. In this situation it is difficult to use gritters effectively because if you add salt to a wet road or runway it just washes off, if you add it to one already frozen it stops it from thawing. The good thing is because of our variable climate the problem only usually lasts for a few days.


"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

The airways solution to ice sheets is to use solutions packed in the shape of grains. I learned that form the Finnish CAA environmental report.
-eilennaei


User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 869 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

Quoting Eilennaei (reply 13):
Pilots in the -35 C? Some are just tough-er-est! But let's turn to statistics for a while:


Notice I said that they have some of the worst conditions to fly in the world, not THE worst conditions. By that I didn't discount other countries with similiar or worse weather.
And I was talking about AC pilots based on what I read in Milton's book, not other airlines.
Also, look at the frequency of AC flights, quite hight for a relatively small (population-wise) country.
If you look through the links that you sent me, the last AC incident involving fatalities (unless I missed one) was in 1970. I'd say that's a pretty good record for a country that sometimes has more winter than summer (in some parts)
Cheers!
/Milan32



I accept bribes ... :-)
User currently offlinePeterpuck From Canada, joined Jun 2004, 323 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2996 times:

Don't forget Eilennaei that Finland is a small country in land mass terms. In Canada you have to fly more often due to the distances involved here. There are exponentially more flights here each day compared to Finland. I'm 100 percent sure we are as safe as anyone in the world.

User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2986 times:

I did not know incidents were excluded, sorry.
Norway would be a good place for comparison, too. They have the added burden of strong winds, windshear and mountains. I read a recent article on Wideroe, and it was written there, quite rightly I think, that there's no great secret to successful winter operations, you just need to have the correct information available at the right time, and your equipment in a trustworthy condition.


-Eilennaei


User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 869 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

Quoting Eilennaei (reply 21):
I did not know incidents were excluded, sorry.


Just as drunk piloting is excluded too, eh?  Wink

How many daily flights in Finland?
How many small airlines in Finland exactly?
I'm never compared Canadian pilots to their Scandinavian cohorts, you made that comparison (in a veiled way at least) in reply 13.
The topic is about flying in colder climates. Don't know about Finland, but I lived in Sweden for 2 years, and winters feel a lot worse here in Canada.
I've taken flight in both Scandinavia and Canada ... both were enjoyable given the weather.

/Milan320



I accept bribes ... :-)
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

"There are exponentially more flights here each day compared to Finland. I'm 100 percent sure we are as safe as anyone in the world."

Well, but I'm still just left wondering why nobody has been ever been killed due to icing-related incidents in Finnish pax service flights, and with just that one DHC-6 beyond economical repair. It's either a freak of statistics, or a sign that the organisation and pilot awareness is working as planned.

I'd say that as opposed to the typical North American spirit, a book carrying in it a message "aren't we just one fine aviation folks & pilots" would be out of place and even rediculed here -- the culture is somehow set against self-congratulation.

regards
Eilennaei


User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2949 times:

"Just as drunk piloting is excluded too, eh?"

You will be referring to the 1961 Aero DC-3 accident, right? I'll background: the pilots were of the wartime/post-war time "wet" generation, and, as you mentioned, 2.5/1.6 per thousand drunk, so they could not land the plane right (well, it WAS winter, and dark too). That and the next 1963 DC-3 accident where the pilots went below minimums on approach are seen as the dividing line in the country's aviation safety thinking. The public's feeling was strongly that this should not be allowed to continue..and you can read, or rather not read, the rest on the Web.


regards,
Eilennaei


User currently offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 25, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2946 times:

oh man if you guys want to see some amazing snow operations- head to Minneapolis St. Paul during a snow storm. flying ORD-MSP-FAR, we landed in like 0 visibility, 15 minutes late, departed 15 minutes late to FAR, which included de-icing. They have a de-icing pad there that can serve many airliners at once (not sure how many)...

TWA902



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
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