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How Can This Plane Depart In A Blizzard?  
User currently offlineAlberchico From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 21114 times:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file?i...5&sok=&photo_nr=&prev_id=&next_id=

Why would this plane depart in a blizzard while others are grounded ???

Judging from the photo the storm looks pretty intense....

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCadet57 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 21114 times:

Quoting Alberchico (Thread starter):

No idea, but whos to say that others arent grounded? Nice click thou, musta been cold...



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rudy Chiarello



User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 21013 times:

Quoting Alberchico (Thread starter):
Why would this plane depart in a blizzard while others are grounded ???



Quoting Alberchico (Thread starter):
Judging from the photo the storm looks pretty intense....

First off, how do you conclude that all the other flights were grounded?

Secondly, the terms "blizzard" and "intense" are subjective terms with respect to landing minimums, or in this case, takeoff minimums. Each airline has a set of Operations Specifications (Ops Specs) that details what it can/cannot do, as well as having tailored Jepp plates detailing the appropriate minimums

For takeoff, and depending upon what was approved in their Ops Specs, they could be taking off with the visibility as low as RVR 1600 feet, or RVR 600 feet. The aircraft also has to be properly de-iced, and any performance penalties associated with runway clutter have to be considered. It's a quite reasonable presumption that they successfully met all the requirements, and thus took off.


User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 20997 times:

Well, if the airport is open there is no limit to departing so long as you declare an "alternate departure airport" which will be above the landing minimums. The next problem would be if the departure control even has room for you to depart into their airspace.

Awesome pic though. There is nothing like an airport during a blizzard.  bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineAirTran737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 20972 times:
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It's called the miracle of Type IV fluid. Type IV is like squirting the wings and tail of an airplane with K-Y Jelly. It can snow, and snow and it won't affect the aircrafts performance. Why do you ask? At a certain speed Type IV sheers off the wing, and takes all of the snow, rain, and ice with it, and all critical surfaces will be clean. Type IV usually has a two hour hold overtime, so usually if used the plane is off the ground before the holdover time expires.

User currently offlineMD88Captain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 20874 times:

He's not going without the required visibility and de-icing requirements. There is judgement involved sometimes, but AA doesn't run a shoddy operation. Trust the professional to make the safe decision. Either that or do not get on the aircraft.

User currently offlineRichierich From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 20681 times:

While it is clearly snowing a lot, I don't know that it is a "blizzard". The picture doesn't tell the whole story - maybe visibility wasn't as bad as it looked.

Commercial airplanes take off in snow all the time, although it obviously complicates matters somewhat.


User currently offlineWhiteBirdFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 20645 times:

Well, the picture was taken at BOS, yes? As far as I can tell this is just a nice spring day at Logan.  Big grin Nothing unusual about the weather in the shot as far as I can tell.

But whatever the Ops Specs, fluids and conditions of departure, it really is a great shot!

Cordially,
WhiteBirdFlyer


User currently offlineAirBuffalo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 20487 times:

Also, telephoto lenses greatly exaggerate the amount of precipitation, especially when photographing something far away.

BS


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 20407 times:

The caption on the pictures says "February, 2003". It doesn't give a date. But there was a major blizzard in Boston known as "Presidents Day Storm of 2003" according to Wikipedia, dumping 27.8 inches of snow on Boston.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_of_2003

This is rather meaningless without knowing the photo date, but at least it did snow that month.  Smile


User currently offlineStealth777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19389 times:

Dont forget the conditions of the WN jet landing in MDW that overran the runway. I believe it was snowing a lot harder than the picture above. So if they could have done it (well the planes before them were able to do it) than the departure from BOS seems feasable.

User currently offlineOnetogo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19143 times:

Why would they depart? Because the professional crew which has more than extensive training and experience has deemed the conditions acceptable for the flight to depart.

User currently offlineMasseyBrown From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18950 times:

Quoting AirBuffalo (Reply 8):
Also, telephoto lenses greatly exaggerate the amount of precipitation, especially when photographing something far away.

I agree that the photograph probably makes it look snowier than it was. It's like watching a baseball game when a slight rain is falling - television makes it look like hard rain, but they keep playing.

Being an Midwestern native, however, I've seen my share of snowy take-offs and landings.


User currently offlineTristarSteve From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18895 times:

It can't be an intense blizzard because you can see the aircraft in the picture. If aircraft stopped operating in that weather, we could all have a long winter holiday, as there would be no flights.

User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18843 times:

Because in a few thousand feet there are blue skies.

User currently offlinePtharris From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 18266 times:

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 4):
Type IV is like squirting the wings and tail of an airplane with K-Y Jelly.

I've de-iced more than one aircraft in my time working for AS/QX back in "the day", and I've never heard anyone describe Type IV fluid that way. To the point and rather effective description. Thanks for the chuckle.  Big grin

Also, I think everyone is forgetting... this aircraft isn't landing. Yes, there is considerable amount of judgement call on making a decision to depart in any kind of adverse weather. However, remember that just about any aircraft can take off in just about any kind of weather other than a hurricane or tornado would be the exclusions. It's all about landing and having a safe "bail out" area in case something went wrong. If they'd landed in what the photo depicts as a blizzard, I'd say the pilot was freakin nuts. Since we really don't know the actual conditions for the day, runway condition, ATIS, etc. etc. I really don't think it's fair to say this was a dangerous or questionable take off.

That's my two cents. Sorry, no refunds. Big grin


User currently offlineThirtyEcho From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 16810 times:

Although this was definitely a snowstorm, we have no idea if it was a "blizzard," or what the RVR might have been at the moment, or if this was a "long lens" shot that would have made the snow picture seem worse than it was.

In any event, takeoffs are different from landings. Think of it this way: You are pulling out of your driveway at 5mph when the "driveway visual range" suddenly drops to nothing; you just come to a stop. Take the opposite case, analogous to a landing, where you are exiting a freeway at 70mph and the visbilty suddenly goes to zip. You're now in a world of hurt. You can't just execute a missed "exit" and climb above any unseen hazards, ahead, because your car can't fly.


User currently offlineHBA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 16463 times:

Quoting AirBuffalo (Reply 8):
Also, telephoto lenses greatly exaggerate the amount of precipitation, especially when photographing something far away.

Exactly.. there is probably in excess of 1km of snow between lens and A/C which would exagerate the view.

Looks like you're from Buffalo where it really snows!!


User currently offlineZvezda From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 15971 times:

It doesn't look like much snow to me. I don't know how many times I've departed from SVO with less visibility than that.

User currently offlineAA777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14646 times:
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The snow could look more compounded depending on how far the plane actually was from the photographer... ie, it may LOOK like its snowing like a blizzard- but it might not be. The snow on the ground indicates either there is relatively little snow, or it was the beginning of the storm. Either way, I dont think it was a problem.  Wink

-AA777


User currently offlineChristiaan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14217 times:

Quoting Alberchico (Thread starter):
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?i...5&sok=&photo_nr=&prev_id=&next_id=

Why would this plane depart in a blizzard while others are grounded ???

Judging from the photo the storm looks pretty intense....

SAS Departs the Scandinavian countries all winter, and summer (ha ha) in blizzard conditions, why not the rest of the airlines? Just kidding..


User currently offlineSshank From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13991 times:

What exactly is your concern? That he would have trouble locating the sky?

Quoting Alberchico (Thread starter):
Why would this plane depart in a blizzard while others are grounded ???

Judging from the photo the storm looks pretty intense....


User currently offlineMesaMXORD From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13785 times:

As previously stated there are soo many things company requirements, aircraft requirements, meteorological conditions that have to be met on top of the Captains decision.

User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 10421 times:

If it were a blizzard, you wouldn't be able to see the airplane...

User currently offlineAirborn757300 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 10247 times:

I've seen aircraft take off in worse conditions than that picture. Agreed it's in the airline's Ops Specs. Also, very sweet shot tho.  bigthumbsup 

25 UAL747 : Not to mention, the picture was taken during low-light conditions no doubt. Thus, the shutter speed was probably set very slow, causing the amount of
26 Virgin747 : I'm just surprised the picture made past A.net screeners.... I could see a long list of reasons for rejection had I taken it...
27 Iwok : And don't forget, a little snow in the engines, PLUS the lower ambient air temperature help to boost the takeoff thrust quite a bit. -iwok
28 Post contains images Superfly : Excellent photo! I wouldn't call this blizzard conditions. If it were, the snow would be moving in a more horizontal direction and that would be picke
29 L-188 : The other thing to consider besides the distance between the plane and the photographer is that if the snow is cold enough and the airplane isn't warm
30 StealthZ : OK, I am in IT and there is likely much I know about Enterprise Data Storage that many of you don't just as there is much about the aviation industry
31 OPNLguy : Most of the time, folks think about alternates strictly in terms of the destination airport, but they are sometimes also needed for the departure air
32 Zvezda : I understand how cold air improves jet engine performance, but could someone explain how snow entering a jet engine improves its performance?
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