alphaomega
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:26 pm

Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:42 am

I was bored and looking through this turbulence forecast website

http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/clear_air_turbulence.php

and it shows a B777 just off New Jersey reporting extreme turbulence at 33000 - is there any way (website?) to find out which aircraft this may have been? Mostly just curious as I rarely see a 5 or 6 on these reports...

Would this also be considered legitimate extreme or can the pilot reports often be exaggerated?

Ever since I was on a flight coming back from Iceland a few years back and we hit clear air turbulence (probably only mod but scared the hell out of me with the flight attendants sitting in the aisles holding onto the seats and the flight crew reassuring us that the aircraft can take it) I get very nervous in turbulence and have since been interested in what causes turbulence and this just caught my interest tonight - thanks!
 
wingnutmn
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:27 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:39 am

There is a Sigmet in that area for severe turbulance. I would say that it is very possible. Usually when in turbulance that bad, the plane would divert for some mx inspections. Especially if they were going to Europe.

Wingnut
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
 
alphaomega
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:26 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:36 pm

Is it common for aircraft to be routed around any severe turbulence SIGMETs or just go right through it? I was looking at earlier pilot reports and at around 1900L off New York and New Jersey there were numerous reports of moderate-severe turbulence anywhere from 220 to 380 through the SIGMET area, and on Flightaware it showed most of the flights crossing the pond on normal routings right through the SIGMET area.

Once again, just curious.
 
Arcrftlvr
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:30 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:46 pm



Quoting Alphaomega (Thread starter):
extreme turbulence at 33000

Is extreme worse than severe?

Quoting Alphaomega (Thread starter):
can the pilot reports often be exaggerated?

No. The Pireps are not often exaggerated. If they are, then they are of no value.
 
alphaomega
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:26 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:37 pm



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 3):

Is extreme worse than severe?

I thought turbulence was only light, moderate or severe but on the forecast it had numerical levels from 1-6 and 6 was severe, which is what was reported...
 
adam42185
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:18 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:14 pm

What are the guidelines as to which level of turbulence should be reported in a pirep?
 
Viscount724
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:30 pm



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 3):
Quoting Alphaomega (Thread starter):
extreme turbulence at 33000

Is extreme worse than severe?

FAA turbulence categories:

Light Chop. Slight, rapid, and somewhat rhythmic bumpiness without appreciable changes in altitude or attitude.

Light Turbulence. Slight, erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude. Occupants may feel a slight strain against seatbelts. Unsecured objects may be displaced slightly. Food service may be conducted and little to no difficulty is encountered in walking.

Moderate Chop. Rapid bumps or jolts without appreciable changes in aircraft altitude or attitude.

Moderate Turbulence. Changes in altitude and/or attitude occur but the aircraft remains in positive control at all times. It usually causes variations in indicated airspeed.Occupants feel definite strain against seatbelts. Unsecured objects are dislodged. Food service and walking are difficult.

Severe. Large, abrupt changes in altitude and/or attitude. Usually causes large variations in indicated airspeed. Aircraft may be momentarily out of control. Occupants are forced violently against seatbelts. Unsecured objects are tossed about. Food service and walking are impossible.

Extreme. Aircraft is violently tossed about and is practically impossible to control. May cause structural damage.
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:46 pm

If you mouse over the turbulence icon in this tool sometimes the flight number is listed

http://adds.aviationweather.noaa.gov/pireps/java/
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2820
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:53 pm

Light Chop/turbulence makes taking a drink of a full cup of coffee difficult.

Moderate results in spills if the cup is full, and difficulty if it's less than full

Severe spills it.

Extreme spills it on whoever is sitting next to you.


All joking aside, severe is bad. Usually bad enough to result in autopilots shutting off because they can't handle it. I've encountered what I'd consider severe once climbing out of DTW about this time of the year and I'd rather avoid it. This time of year it can be tough because of the weather patterns changing. Last week was rough. We didn't fly through anything "bad" but the seatbelt sign stayed on during most legs. I'm sure this week will be no different.

My company's procedures prohibit flight into areas of known severe or extreme turbulence. In order for it to be known, somebody has to go through it first.
DMI
 
alphaomega
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:26 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:23 pm



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
My company's procedures prohibit flight into areas of known severe or extreme turbulence. In order for it to be known, somebody has to go through it first.

This is true...also why I asked because of the 772 that reported extreme at 330 and flights still continued through the same area, but I only saw the 1 report.
 
LAXdude1023
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:11 pm



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
My company's procedures prohibit flight into areas of known severe or extreme turbulence. In order for it to be known, somebody has to go through it first.

According to my pilot from the flight, we went through severe coming back from CDG to DFW about 4 years ago. He said we never would have gone through it had we know. He also said the first thing he did was radio the planes around him to let them know. We were just unlucky.

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
Moderate results in spills if the cup is full, and difficulty if it's less than full

Ive been told that Moderate is the level which pilots ask the FA's to sit down. Is that accurate?
It is what it is...
 
WROORD
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:36 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:17 am

At what level does the captain tell passengers to brace themselves for possible impact. I flew years ago to Anchorage and during the landing we were told just that. B737 was being jerked every possible direction.
 
wingnutmn
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:27 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:50 am

Usually we will let the flight attendant know if we are hearing reports of turbulance ahead. They usually will tell us if we hear of worse down the road, let them know so they can clean up and be seated. If it is really bad, really quick, we will make an announcement to tell them to sit down. Usually though, by the time we call them to tell them to sit down, they already have figured it out and are sitting down.

I would make an announcement on decent to let the passengers know about bumpy weather on approach. You want to inform them, but not scare them, so you tell them it may be bumpy, even if you know it is going to be bumpy.

Wingnut
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
 
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airbuseric
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:48 am



Quoting Adam42185 (Reply 5):
What are the guidelines as to which level of turbulence should be reported in a pirep?

My company reports TB0 until TB6, all levels. Around my station, I uplink these messages again to our other aircraft in the same area by ACARS. Other flightcrew can make advance judgements if they change flightlevel (or routing, in case very serious turbulence is experienced in an area).

Pilot reports are important for other aircraft of the same airline (in my case). The aircraft heading for the same destinations are mostly on the same longhaul route, and on quite similar flightlevels. The turbulence reports can let the crew make decisions for timing of mealservice, drinkservice etc. It all must make the flight, from a passenger point of view, a comfortable one.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
yvrtoyyz
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:10 am

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:37 pm

Usually the Dxer will check the SigWx charts and read SIGMETS/PIREPS and put the info on the FP for the crew to read and understand. Generally, I include Jetstream, CAT and CB's on my SigWx report on the flight plan and try to route them around CAT and CB's and put them 2000' higher (or lower) than the Jetstream.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to avoid CAT since it is often associated with the Jetstream which usually cuts across the route, so its just a matter of going through it and enjoying the ride. With all that being said, most flights generally encounter just MOD CAT with the odd MOD-OCNL SEVERE CAT flights being few and far between.
 
pilotpip
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Turbulence Pilot Reports

Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:58 pm



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 10):
Ive been told that Moderate is the level which pilots ask the FA's to sit down. Is that accurate?

It usually depends on the level of experience of the flight attendants. I warn new ones every time it looks like it's getting bumpy. Leaving DEN a couple days ago I told them to stay seated until I told them to get up because of the high winds. With experienced ones, I just call back and say "hey, sounds like it might get bumpy" and let them decide when to sit down. This is, of course, unless it gets really bad. Then it's usually a PA announcement to sit down.
DMI

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