LY777
Topic Author
Posts: 2271
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi, all,
I remember a thread a few years ago dealing with airlines which avoid turbulence.
A few years ago, I flew AA JFK-LAX, and the flight was very bumpy. A friend of mine flew the same route on the same day with DL: his flight was much longer because the captain decided to avoid a major zone of turbulence.
Flown:A3B2,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388,717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W,D8,D10,L
 
upsmd11
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:04 pm

I remember an article once stating how well NW was at predicting turbulence en route and would route flights around it if at all possible. Maybe DL took this system when they merged with NW as one of the systems they put into place.

John
 
seven3seven
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:55 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:14 pm

SWA also uses that system called turbulence avoidance plots.
My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
 
JU068
Posts: 2094
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:23 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:23 pm

Interesting question. Actually I would be really interest in knowing what Lufthansa does because back home when I speak to people they seem to mention that Lufthansa does not avoid them? Does anyone know more?

Thanks!
 
simairlinenet
Posts: 709
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:24 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:06 pm

Quoting upsmd11 (Reply 1):
I remember an article once stating how well NW was at predicting turbulence en route and would route flights around it if at all possible. Maybe DL took this system when they merged with NW as one of the systems they put into place.

An old article, but relevant: http://brainerddispatch.com/stories/012900/bus_0129000011.shtml At Northwest, we actually sold the forecasts to other airlines.

Quote:
Tom Fahey, Northwest's meteorology manager since 1990.

I heard him present on the topic once. 22 years later, he is still manager of meterology!
 
modesto2
Posts: 2669
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:33 pm

It's tough to characterize some airline as being more inclined to avoid turbulence than others. If turbulence exists, most pilots would take measures to avoid it, regardless of carrier. Pilots often offer "ride reports" at various flight levels with ATC and pilots coordinating altitude changes. Additionally, deviating laterally around turbulence is difficult and pilots must evaluate whether lateral or vertical deviations are justified when considering added flight time and fuel. Would you deviate around minor chop if it adds five minutes of flight time? Would you deviate around chop if it required additional fuel for cruising at FL290 instead of FL390?

The bottom line? Pilots from any carrier will do their best to avoid turbulence. And even if one carrier has superior meteorological support, outsourcing such services to one of these airlines all but eliminates this advantage.
 
BA777
Posts: 2048
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:40 pm

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:33 pm

Any pilot with a decent level of airmanship wouldn't fly into known areas of turbulence if avoidable (eg areas near thunderstorms). However, sometimes turbulence is predicted and doesn't happen but the opposite also happens as well, as flightplans can often be based on weather information from many hours prior to the flight actually operating.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 2794
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:56 am

I can't imagine one airline is distinctly and consistently better at avoiding turbulence than any other. I wouldn't doubt that certain individual pilots try to avoid it more than others, though. In most cases, turbulence is strictly a comfort thing - unless you're flying into an area of severe weather, which all pilots are trained to avoid, turbulence isn't any danger to an airplane. I've flown on airplanes where the pilots clearly made an effort to avoid turbulence for passenger comfort alone - making course corrections, altitude adjustments and apologizing for the rough ride on the PA, even in the absence of any severe weather that might be a threat to the aircraft. I've flown on other airplanes where it was just a nightmare ride all the way through the flight, which made no deviation at all even through areas showing as thunderstorms on weather maps, and the pilots said nothing over the PA.

But there's never been any pattern to which airline was better in this regard. Either case can happen on any airline, in my experience. I've flown on all major airlines (including Northwest both before and after the merger, which was mentioned in earlier replies), and it's really a crapshoot; it just depends on the pilot flying and/or the captain.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:09 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:16 am

In my experience of working with pilots to avoid turbulence and advising them of PIREPs, the few pilots that dont care are those that are so used to turbulence it doesnt feel bad to them and they see no issue with it or those that simply fly to do a job and do the bare minimum to keep a job. Most pilots and dispatchers try extremely hard to find smoother air. Delta meteorology issues TPs for Delta and its regionals to use. The National Weather Service issues AIRMETs and SIGMETs for turbulence and high wind. You also have PIREPs and winds aloft charts. Typically, the north side of the jetstream will have the strongest turbulence.

As anyone who has listened into ATC and pilot chatter on a turbulent day knows how quick pilots will start complaining and asking about rough rides ahead and better altitudes.

The main dispatch tactic for turbulence avoidance is to file lower or file normal with extra gas for altitude deviations. For many routes to and from hub aiports, ATC typically demands a specific routing unless otherwise published due to airspace flow issues. Delta is one of the few airlines that Ive seen that actually try to file other than preferred routing to avoid turbulence when possible. Even Delta normally files preferred route, normal altitude with extra gas for deviation in altitude.
 
N243NW
Posts: 1597
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:29 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:51 am

AA has developed a system that downlinks turbulence data to the ground periodically using G sensors (the ones that supply data for the FDR as well) and ACARS. Dispatchers can use the data in plot form to see areas of smooth air and areas to avoid. I don't know how many aircraft have it enabled yet, but it's a neat idea.
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
seven3seven
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:55 am

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:16 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 7):
I can't imagine one airline is distinctly and consistently better at avoiding turbulence than any other.

Certain airlines that have purchased the turbulence plot system from Northwest certainly are consistently better at avoiding turbulence. And Southwest is one of them.

Before every flight I get a chart in my weather packet which outlines ares of moderate turbulence, mountain waves, and thunderstorms. Dispatchers plan our route around these areas and add fuel for it. We are told not to deviate from the route unless coordinated with dispatch.

[Edited 2012-11-08 20:19:01]
My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
 
spiritair97
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:28 pm

Airlines Which Avoid Turbulence

Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:30 am

I know US Airways does it pretty often. I was flying CLT-LGA in August and we descended from FL340 to FL285 to avoid rough air the whole way.

Also, I flew MYR-CLT-PHL-ISP on Tuesday (Nov 9) and on MYR-CLT (CR9), we cruised at FL100 instead of the planned FL180 to avoid turbulence and on the CLT-PHL flight (a320), the captain said we were cruising at FL340 because anything lower than that was choppy. He even made an announcment requesting the suspension of the drink service because there was going to be severe turbulence,which there was.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests