Topics: Wind, Microburst, Wind shear Pages: 2 (452 words) Published: October 2, 2008

There are many safety factors that pilots have to take into consideration while completing a safe flight. Everything has to be taken into mind when planning a flight. From weight and balance to preflight inspections. One safety factor that is impossible to have control over is weather. There are many aspects of weather that can affect an aircraft, in this report I will specifically talk about the microburst. Microbursts are powerful downdrafts associated with thunderstorms. We have been able to identify microbursts through many studies regarding wind shear and meteorology research. Wind shear is basically a rapid change in wind velocity and direction that happen because of many factors in weather conditions. Such conditions include frontal activity, temperature inversions, and thunderstorms amongst other factors. Wherever there is convective activity such as thunderstorms there is the possibility of a microburst. Microbursts are associated with downdrafts. These are typically only a few hundred to a few thousand feet across. When the downdraft reaches the ground, it spreads out horizontally and may form a vortex around the downdraft. Unfortunately microbursts can occur without the presence of precipitation being present making the detection of this almost impossible. This is one of the major reasons why there have been so many incidents involving aircrafts and microbursts. There are now many different kinds of service stations that help identify microbursts though. The aircraft accident rate due to microbursts in association with classic severe local storms is practically nonexistent for commercial aviation, since the system is apparently well designed to protect passenger jets against these. Although most accidents are found to be pilot error due to hazardous attitudes such as ‘macho’ there aren’t many training emphasis on fighting a microburst because most of the time the microburst wins. From the most famous cases...
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