QFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2081 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13866 times:
By bad storms I meant lets say category 3+ Cyclones/Hurricanes/Typhoons and category 4+ thunder storms. I have searched the net and a.net for any information about this but was unsucessful.
Is there high altitude winds above one or unpredictable winds? Is turbulence bad enough to force the plane to detour the storm? I don't know how this came into my head but it did.
I put this in here as I think this forum has the highest number of active users who actually know what they're talking about but if you deem it unnecessary to have it in this forum by all means please move it.
FlyMatt2Bermud From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 563 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 13804 times:
We have flown close to hurricanes at FL430 and higher provided our navigable route did not fly into any thunderstorms or embedded cells. I've seen upper level winds in excess of 180mph and remarkably the flight was smooth. Typically in cyclones and hurricanes the heaviest weather is in bands circling the center of low pressure. Average tops of the general precip varies but typically that is FL300 with the cells going much higher. Negotiating those bands that can climb above FL510 is very much like canyon flying. You best know what you are flying into and keep in mind they are changing with the development of the storm. If you get too close you can encounter extreme turbulence, heavy precipitation and hail.
Some straight turbojets engines (and some high time fanjets) can flameout pretty easily in thin unstable air. In the event an engine flames out, you will have to descend to your relight envelope which can put you in weather that you will probably wish you had not ventured into. For safety, it is best to avoid unless you know you have an open escape route.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
Rsbj From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 13793 times:
My guide to weather I can fly over it or not is to figure out if we can fly over it by 1000' for every 10 knots of wind, but never less than 3000'. I would not try flying over the anvil of a thunderstorm using this criteria.
By using our HUD, it makes it very easy to see just how far you'll clear the tops. It also gives us a great view of it's growth or dissipation.
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13745 times:
Another answer is maybe, since the U-2 and the SR-71 are airplanes.
I have seen thunderstorms topping seventy thousand feet. There is a rule of thumb to clear thunderstorms by a thousand feet for each knot of windspeed. Personally I like more clearance than that.
I have flown over the top of some little cells that were maybe only twelve to fifteen thousand feet, putting me twenty thousand feet above them. Pretty much a non-event. But crowding closer to them is dangerous. As was stated above, they have violent updrafts, in fact that is what is building them. They can also spit a column of intense rain or hail outside the visible storm.
There was a pretty thorough discussion of this just about two months ago here. I don't remember the thread title but there was some good stuff there.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13584 times:
The answer is (as is usual with many aviation questions)...it depends.
In my experience, many typhoons in the western Pacific do not build to significant heights, except for the odd isolated buildups.
So yes, generally these can be overflown with reasonable safety.
However, in the event of an engine failure, or perhaps a diversion for (say) a medical emergency or pressurization failure, one might find yourself having to descend into the nasty weather, so utmost caution is advised.
Usually, extra fuel is uplifted to avoid flying over these storms for prolonged periods.