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Turbulance Seen From The Ground  
User currently offlineBritannia191a From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 262 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 10841 times:

Hi
I just wondered if anyone else has since this. After many years of looking at planes I was watching an American Airlines flying at FL340 and listening to 135.575 Manchester Area at the same time. I noticed an unusual wave like a heartbeat but a very fast one in the trail behind the Boeing 767. it was very noticeable because it appeared right close behind and not one of those where it was just the wind dispersing it. After that occurance I heard the AA pilot report moderate turbulance and requested immediate descent to a lower altitude.

The trail hicup was the AA plane experiencing the moderate turbulance as it flatlined again after that. Anyone had any experience of seeing this from the ground.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1776 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 10827 times:

I wish I could see something like this. Sounds kinda cool


There's flying and then there's flying
User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17056 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10482 times:

No I have never seen anything like that, but seems really interesting!!!


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3611 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10235 times:

If you train your eyes on a specific point on a plane as it flies by, and it's flying low enough (ie. takeoff or landing), you can often see turbulence by the movement of the engines and wings in flight. You need to pick a specific reference point to look at on the plane and keep your eyes, there, though; otherwise, your own eyes will bounce around too much to see what the plane is doing. That's just how I naturally look at things, though, so I often see this. I live right near JFK so I'll see turbulence on landing and takeoff every few days.


I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 10032 times:



Quoting Britannia191a (Thread starter):
I just wondered if anyone else has since this. After many years of looking at planes I was watching an American Airlines flying at FL340 and listening to 135.575 Manchester Area at the same time. I noticed an unusual wave like a heartbeat but a very fast one in the trail behind the Boeing 767. it was very noticeable because it appeared right close behind and not one of those where it was just the wind dispersing it. After that occurance I heard the AA pilot report moderate turbulance and requested immediate descent to a lower altitude.

It's quite possible. The wings are flexible, especially toward the thinner, narrow tips. Any condensation over the wing and behind in the lower pressure areas may display different characteristics while the airfoil slightly changes shape due to the turbulence.

As far as low altitude, it's sometimes hard to spot, even with close up video camera. I mean, look at it this way. When you are driving down the interstate in your car, you notice when your car hits a bump because you are very near, in this case, inside of the moving object. However, just look at the car a few meters in front of you and you don't know when they hit small bumps or not.

Flexing of the wings during turbulence is BEST seen by passengers sitting directly over the wing where they can look straight out on the wing. The perception of the eye on the wing is that it is shorter, however, you can see the bend upward much better from this vantage point than you can from the front or back. The 744 is the best example I can think of to see wingflex, followed closely by the 777 and A330/340.

UAL


User currently offlineAlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9531 times:

I've seen it near PHX, but it is much easier to see on short final, when planes are low to the ground and moving slow. With ground objects to compare it to, it is easy to see when wings rock a bit. Works best on windy days and when there is a north or south crosswind.

User currently offlineABQopsHP From United States of America, joined May 2006, 848 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 9031 times:

Over ABQ we see lots of contrails. And yes on occasion I have seen the "hick up" or "heartbeat" you mentioned. I have had the scanner on to one of the ABQ centre frequencies, and heard crew members reporting turbulence, and requesting change of altitudes or ride reports.
JD



A line is evidence that other people exist.
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6346 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8830 times:

Probably the most visible manifestation of turbulence is the standing lenticular cloud:

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

Beautiful, but deadly to aircraft (and the occupants thereof...).



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1351 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8641 times:

You are likely describing one of the effects of wake turbulence on the plane's contrail.

Vortices also cause contrails to spin/rotate in tight, circular patterns. It's hard to see from a distance, but I notice this all the time from the cockpit, following other aircraft along the north Atlantic tracks.

PS

[Edited 2008-01-15 18:24:57]


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineKPIE172 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7555 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 7):
Probably the most visible manifestation of turbulence is the standing lenticular cloud:

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

Beautiful, but deadly to aircraft (and the occupants thereof...).

My instructor used to always refer to these as the 'hand of god' or 'finger of god' - and warned to stay VERY far away. Scary stuff.



Blue side up!
User currently offline747fan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1185 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7178 times:



Quoting UAL747 (Reply 4):
As far as low altitude, it's sometimes hard to spot, even with close up video camera



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 3):
I live right near JFK so I'll see turbulence on landing and takeoff every few days.

I spot fairly frequently out at SDF to watch all the UPS heavies depart in the afternoon, and one day last week it was VERY windy there (winds out of the SW at about 25-30 w/ gusts to around 40). There was obviously a cold about to move in that night, and nearly every plane I saw depart you could see being buffeted around by the wind. Not to mention that I could see the actual wingflex (especially noticeable on the 747's I saw as well as a WN 737). I've seen turbulence like this occur a multitude of times on windy/stormy days and was actually on a plane into SDF that landed in a 25-30 mph. crosswind (we were landing towards the south, the wind was out of the SW or WSW). That was definitely a fun approach  bigthumbsup ... not to mention the downwind leg was even choppier when we broke through the thick nimbostratus clouds.  eyepopping  I did see one or two pax utilize the barf bags.  wink 


User currently offlineDurangoMac From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6743 times:

I've never seen it from the ground for an aircraft at cruise but I did see and EMB-120 trying to land in SGU with a very strong cross wind and strong gusts. That plane was buffeted all over the place, I'm glad I wasn't on it and not surprised the pilots decided to go around and try form the other direction.

User currently offlineRampkontroler From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 859 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6579 times:

I don't think he's talking about flexing wings at all. While it would most likely be happening, that's not what I think he's claiming to see. What I think he is talking about are visible "bumps" and bends in an otherwise smooth contrail, and would that be indicative of an aircraft actually traveling through turbulence?

Something like this:

http://www.opshots.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-4001

As opposed to this:

http://www.opshots.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-4535


User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5781 times:

I am not sure if this is what you saw, but you can definitely "see" the turbulence in a contrail (excuse the self-plug):


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Guerrero - AirTeamImages



Regards.

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12353 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4114 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 7):
Probably the most visible manifestation of turbulence is the standing lenticular cloud:

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

Beautiful, but deadly to aircraft (and the occupants thereof...).

Well, "potentially" deadly....

I understand why one must approach lennies with trepidation, but to say they are deadly to aircraft is a falsehood. Me and my friends have been flying in and around lennies for years and have lived to tell the tale.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineFsnuffer From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3722 times:



Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):

All the flight weather training I recieved in the Air Force used the words deadly when talking about mountain wave turbulence. Just because you lived to tell the tale might prove your point or it might prove you are just lucky. Below is a story about another lucky crew but they had ejection seats.


http://www.usread.com/flight587/Prev_Tail_Sep.html


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12353 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3401 times:



Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 15):
Just because you lived to tell the tale might prove your point or it might prove you are just lucky.

Well, there's risk every time you leave the ground, but you already know that.

Mountain wave is just like electricity: It's potentially deadly, but handled with care, it can be put to great use. In my case, the use is to get a glider to soar tens of thousands of feet above the earth. If your goal is to get from A to B or to defend our country, there is no good reason to fly in mountain wave.

I also handle electricity every day: I just make sure it's in insulated wires before I pick it up!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBrucek From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2772 times:



Quoting Britannia191a (Thread starter):
Anyone had any experience of seeing this from the ground.

Quite frequently here in the Denver area when aircraft at altitude cross the rockies (continental divide), where there is often a bump of turbulence due to mountain waves, etc.

Bruce.


User currently offlineRampkontroler From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 859 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2060 times:



Quoting Javibi (Reply 13):
I am not sure if this is what you saw, but you can definitely "see" the turbulence in a contrail (excuse the self-plug):

That's a much better example than the ones I gave...and a great shot to boot!


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