Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
Aaron747
Topic Author
Posts: 15586
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Mon May 24, 2021 5:13 pm

This is always a fun speculative discussion in the pilot lounge at any FBO - which parts of the country (and continent) have the toughest weather conditions to handle overall? In other words, where do you need to be a tougher-than-usual SOB to work as an ATP? The last time this came up, my money was on Alaska. Lots of icing, mountain wave turbulence, airports with infamous downdrafts and crosswinds like PAKT, the list goes on. Any other choices?
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
777luver
Posts: 585
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:44 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue May 25, 2021 6:43 am

Canada during the winter, northern Canada/US
 
User avatar
CrewBunk
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:12 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue May 25, 2021 10:55 pm

Any pilot that has to fly to/from St. John’s Newfoundland. CYYT
If you respond with a two page answer, obviously pre-prepared, I’m not going to bother reading it. Odds are, no one else is either!
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Wed May 26, 2021 2:21 am

Are you asking about working pilots with an ATP or Airline pilots ?

There is a difference!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 7685
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Wed May 26, 2021 5:32 am

Every region has their challenges. Texas and the south get real nasty thunderstorms. Denver too and even microbursts that last most of the day. SFO with bad fog, SMF also. Alaska and Canada for obvious reasons.

On the flip side PHX and LAS would have the best weather.

As for airlines, it's hard to say since there are is so much domestic destination overlap for almost all of the US majors so it would come down to their individual hubs, bases, and regions where they just happen to be bigger than the rest.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
Canuck600
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:24 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Thu May 27, 2021 5:39 pm

Any company that operates in the Canadian Arctic regions
 
User avatar
Aaron747
Topic Author
Posts: 15586
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Thu May 27, 2021 11:37 pm

Max Q wrote:
Are you asking about working pilots with an ATP or Airline pilots ?

There is a difference!


ATPs. Dude I was talking to opined that if you can fly single pilot cargo in Alaska, you’re hardier at any future employer than almost anyone except ex USN pilots. But yeah, arctic Canada should have been included since it’s similar conditions.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Fri May 28, 2021 2:34 am

I’ve not flown that type of operation in Alaska but I flew single pilot night freight for two years in the lower 48 in all weather conditions, it was the most challenging and potentially hazardous flying I’ve ever done


So those pilots have my ultimate respect, many airline pilots including ex military have no idea what’s required in single pilot all weather flying


With a few exceptions my airline flying doesn’t come close (as it should be) the superb, rugged equipment with multiple redundant systems, very good training that basically never stops and significant ground based support make for a very safe, almost boring operation


Which is exactly the way I like it
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
N1120A
Posts: 26789
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:25 am

I think the disappearance of light airplane check flying has made the most difficult work the freight stuff up in Alaska and Canada. Back when those folks were plying the skies in Barons and 210s with rudimentary, if even working, autopilots and nothing but dual VORs in all kinds of weather, that was some hard core flying.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8055
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:05 pm

N1120A wrote:
I think the disappearance of light airplane check flying has made the most difficult work the freight stuff up in Alaska and Canada. Back when those folks were plying the skies in Barons and 210s with rudimentary, if even working, autopilots and nothing but dual VORs in all kinds of weather, that was some hard core flying.


Indeed, it was. I lost 3 friends doing check flying in the NE. One probably had 4,000 hours of actual instrument time in a Baron.
 
bigb
Posts: 1415
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:16 am

Each region has its challenges from Florida pop thunderstorms to dodge, northeast with thunderstorms or snowstorms, Midwest during spring, Rockies, west coast with fog, Alaska with wind and snow. It’s not bad in the summertime.
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:50 am

I flew checks for two years, single pilot mostly at night, initially in a Bonanza then an ancient Baron


This was in all weather with no excuses for not going (they could always find another pilot) most of this flying was in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana and in the summer time you were dealing with thunderstorms every night


None of our aircraft had weather radar or de icing boots, you attempted to avoid bad weather by just looking outside, often this didn’t work as you were in cloud and it was usually dark, I found myself inside a thunderstorm cell on several occasions and had the living cr*p beaten out of me with minimal aircraft control remaining


It was the most dangerous flying I’ve ever done, I’d rather deal with icing and low ceilings (my boss didn’t believe in weather minimums or a decision height) than those enormously powerful storms


It could be very satisfying and enjoyable on a good weather night but I was glad to move to a regional airline where survival is considered a priority and then to a major carrier


Priceless experience, just glad I didn’t pay the ultimate price
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
User avatar
Aaron747
Topic Author
Posts: 15586
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:21 pm

Max Q wrote:
I flew checks for two years, single pilot mostly at night, initially in a Bonanza then an ancient Baron


This was in all weather with no excuses for not going (they could always find another pilot) most of this flying was in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana and in the summer time you were dealing with thunderstorms every night


None of our aircraft had weather radar or de icing boots, you attempted to avoid bad weather by just looking outside, often this didn’t work as you were in cloud and it was usually dark, I found myself inside a thunderstorm cell on several occasions and had the living cr*p beaten out of me with minimal aircraft control remaining


It was the most dangerous flying I’ve ever done, I’d rather deal with icing and low ceilings (my boss didn’t believe in weather minimums or a decision height) than those enormously powerful storms


It could be very satisfying and enjoyable on a good weather night but I was glad to move to a regional airline where survival is considered a priority and then to a major carrier


Priceless experience, just glad I didn’t pay the ultimate price


That boss sounds like the ultimate bean-counting jackass.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:01 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
I flew checks for two years, single pilot mostly at night, initially in a Bonanza then an ancient Baron


This was in all weather with no excuses for not going (they could always find another pilot) most of this flying was in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana and in the summer time you were dealing with thunderstorms every night


None of our aircraft had weather radar or de icing boots, you attempted to avoid bad weather by just looking outside, often this didn’t work as you were in cloud and it was usually dark, I found myself inside a thunderstorm cell on several occasions and had the living cr*p beaten out of me with minimal aircraft control remaining


It was the most dangerous flying I’ve ever done, I’d rather deal with icing and low ceilings (my boss didn’t believe in weather minimums or a decision height) than those enormously powerful storms


It could be very satisfying and enjoyable on a good weather night but I was glad to move to a regional airline where survival is considered a priority and then to a major carrier


Priceless experience, just glad I didn’t pay the ultimate price


That boss sounds like the ultimate bean-counting jackass.



He was, not a rarity in that segment of aviation


However the second company I flew for in the Baron never pressured me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with


As a result I would do almost anything for them, the huge break they gave me, hiring me with only 70 hours total multi engine time then gave me the experience to find employment with a regional airline on the SF 340 and a year later I was hired by Continental as a 727 FE / SO



I’ll never forget that, plenty of scumbags In the aviation industry but they weren’t, and it changed my life


When you treat your employees well you get far more from them than with abuse
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8055
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:16 pm

The one I flew for was owned by pilots, they flew the line, too, on occasions. The bigger problem was competitive spirit, misplaced, among us. We’d have air-to-battles p, if we passed each other go to/from the NY airports. I got in, why didn’t you.
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:08 am

It’s usually a good thing when the boss is a pilot, if they’re competent, fly regularly and don’t ask the line pilots to do things they won’t do themselves



We used to talk to each other on the radio, it was helpful If someone had recently penetrated an area and found a ‘soft spot’ but there usually wasn’t anyone else around at that hour


Spent many years flying in and out of NY airports in later years but never had to deal with thunderstorms as powerful or intense as what I experienced in Texas and the Midwest, wasn’t even close
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8055
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:19 am

Fly in and out of BUF during the winter and icing will get your attention. Boots or no boots.

Agreed on central US TRW, especially in the spring, nothing like it elsewhere. They grow big ones on the ITCZ, in Africa, even in the Indian monsoon, but for shear, tear-the- plane-apart strength, nothing like a Kansas springtime squall line. But, they’re hard to miss.
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:04 am

I can imagine you’d have your share of ice up there, last time I landed in BUF was in a 727 though


Had some bad ice nights in the Baron between OKC and DAL, that aircraft could carry an enormous accumulation and keep going even without boots



Beechcraft are truly the Boeing’s of light aviation


Best wishes
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:35 am

I had an instructor who was prior RCAF -130s who when asked said without hesitation "Lab." So, I'd say in Canada, Labrador has a good bet.

Alaska and Canadian flying is challenging on its best day. In the lower 48, New Mexico has the mix of convective activity, terrain and winter weather, but the Rockies in general are challenging with the requirement for homework and air discipline.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:37 am

N1120A wrote:
I think the disappearance of light airplane check flying has made the most difficult work the freight stuff up in Alaska and Canada. Back when those folks were plying the skies in Barons and 210s with rudimentary, if even working, autopilots and nothing but dual VORs in all kinds of weather, that was some hard core flying.


Check hauling or other light plane freight was one of the last "the quick and the dead" segments of civil aviation, perhaps with fire attack and ag.
 
727glasair
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:51 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:40 am

My friend used to fly Navajo's and Chieftans for Ameriflight.......night flying, based in SEA. Extremely challenging IFR operations.
 
User avatar
Aaron747
Topic Author
Posts: 15586
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:51 am

727glasair wrote:
My friend used to fly Navajo's and Chieftans for Ameriflight.......night flying, based in SEA. Extremely challenging IFR operations.


Night ops in light twins all over the PNW? Noooooo thanks.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:00 am

Aaron747 wrote:
727glasair wrote:
My friend used to fly Navajo's and Chieftans for Ameriflight.......night flying, based in SEA. Extremely challenging IFR operations.


Night ops in light twins all over the PNW? Noooooo thanks.


Up until a few years ago, Great Lakes was flying 1900s with no autopilots, on scheduled operations to some really out of the way places. I know they spent lots of time on NDB approaches in the training program, as it was likely to consistently fly them.
 
m1m2
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:39 am

Re: Which Airline Pilots In North America Have The Most Challenging Weather?

Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:48 pm

CrewBunk wrote:
Any pilot that has to fly to/from St. John’s Newfoundland. CYYT


I'm not a pilot but I worked with a pilot that said if you can fly to St. John's, you can fly anywhere. Gusting winds, fog, snow, all very common.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos