Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
dcaord
Topic Author
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:47 pm

Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:58 am

I've noticed, so often, we seem to perfectly dodge clouds and fly through small breaks/openings. I suspect this is entirely coincidental, but thought it was worth an ask. Do pilots actually dodge clouds and find openings during climb and descent? Or, would that have to be done only by making unauthorized turns without ATC approval?
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:29 am

They do it, and even ask ATC .
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:46 am

Yeah pilots ask to deviate around weather and build ups all the time. Sometimes we approve it, sometimes we say "buckle up" (really we say "unable" but "buckle up captain and have the stews take a seat" is what I'm thinking). As a pilot I always had the rule that if I could see it moving/building or it looked nasty, I tried to avoid it. If I couldn't avoid it, I'd check the radar and see what the return was like. I'd make a decision from there. 99% of the time ATC lets ya move around build ups but in busy airspace, it sometimes isn't possible.
Trikes are for kids!
 
User avatar
freakydeaky
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:04 am

RE: Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:51 am

It's quite fun to do as well. Makes for good videos I'm told... 
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could."
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:54 am

Quoting dcaord (Thread starter):
Do pilots actually dodge clouds and find openings during climb and descent?

It really depends on where you are and what types of clouds you are talking about. Judging by your username, you fly around Chicago and Washington frequently. In the afternoons, the large thundercells can be building and pilots are always trying to deviate around them. In the midwest, east coast and south where there are large cloud formations associated with thunderstorms, then yes pilots will be attempting to deviate around them. They are associated with quite a few potential problems that you want to avoid such as turbulence, icing, hail, windshear, etc.

However, the same is not true everywhere. Along the west coast of the United States there are far fewer cumulonimbus clouds. The clouds are cumulus, stratus, etc that do not pose much risk. Flying into SEA, PDX or SFO where there are virtually never any thunderstorms, clouds do not pose a risk and you do not hear pilots requesting to deviate around them. West of the rockies it is rare to see cumulonimbus clouds above 20,000 ft, whereas east of the rockies, you will see cumulonimbus formations that extend above 40,000 feet and can require significant course deviations. In the summer time it is not abnormal to see flights from JFK to SFO flying all the way north over Minnesota and North Dakota to avoid storms.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
dcaord
Topic Author
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:47 pm

RE: Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:54 pm

Thanks everyone. I should clarify though. I am not talking about storms necessarily. I was thinking more along the lines of a standard (not rain or storm producing) layer of broken, but thick clouds. I find that often it feels like we fly through these perfect holes or breaks. Not a major deviation, but feels like some small, but strategic turns are necessary to do so.
 
lpdal
Posts: 1978
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:49 pm

RE: Flying Through And Dodging Clouds

Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:41 pm

Quoting dcaord (Reply 5):
was thinking more along the lines of a standard (not rain or storm producing) layer of broken, but thick clouds.

Here you can see an example of an UA pilot steering between clouds on the way out of ORD enroute IAD:

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5590/13919293019_f35364c96e_c.jpg

You can see the deviation on the FlightAware map:

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5460/13923178310_7247a12b0f_c.jpg

-LPDAL  
TWU Local 568 represented. All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GSOtoIND, Lemmy and 13 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