Possible Dangers of Certain Weather Phenomena in Aviation Industry and Research Ideas to Help Prevent These Accidents

Topics: Wind, Thunderstorm, Wind shear Pages: 10 (3454 words) Published: May 3, 2011
Executive summary
In this day and age we have so many forms of transport to take us far or near, but the safest and fun way to travel is by flying. Even though it is the safest way of transport accidents still happen due to many reasons. The factor this report will be dwelling on is the way weather phenomena affect these accidents. The purpose of this report is to highlight the possible dangers of certain weather phenomena and research ideas to help prevent these accidents from occurring again. The weather phenomena that will be in the spotlight are microbursts and thunderstorms; together they are the most lethal climate occurrences. Improved pilot knowledge and upgraded technology in the cockpit will help prevent these forms of accidents to reoccur. Improved knowledge about weather phenomena and their dangers must be taught to pilots so that they know the limitations of their aircraft and can make the correct decisions when facing such unpredictable weather conditions. Technology will provide much needed feedback about the weather conditions therefore making it much easier for decision making. It also provides precious seconds in those times of need. Results and findings in this report are taken from a number of sources such as websites, books and lecture notes. 1.0 Introduction

The aviation industry is one of the safest methods of transport and it continues to pride itself on the high level of safety that has been achieved in commercial operations. Although the media frequently exaggerates the dangers of flying, in fact, statistics show that, if one takes into account the distance travelled, air travel is still one of the safest modes of transport to this very day. However that does not mean accidents won’t continue to occur especially considering the human error factor which is deemed the most causable factor to accident occurrences, maintenance, air traffic control and weather phenomena. This report will be analysing the weather component. It will deal with two weather phenomena, which are microbursts and thunderstorms which have caused crash sites in aircraft below 5700kg. It will propose techniques to overcome these weather phenomena and improve safety in our skies. The main purpose of this report is to highlight the possible dangers of these two weather phenomena and show to safely undertake with these dangers. The report is written to all concerning the aviation industry but mainly focuses pilots, safety personnel and investigators. Research for this report will be compiled from books, internet, lecture notes and show illustrations to help relevant matter.

2.0 Weather Pattern A
The first weather phenomena we will be investigating are called microbursts. Microbursts are swift events which on occasions can be seriously hazardous to pilots flying aircraft (Hedding.J.Para3.). For example the crash of a light aircraft Cessna T206H, that occurred on Friday June 29, 2007 in Steamboat Springs, California. Even though there were no mortalities, it was still a close to death experience for those involved and measures should be made so that these types of accidents don’t occur again. When rain falls below cloud base or is mixed with dry air, it begins to evaporate and this evaporation process cools the air. The cool air descends and accelerates as it approaches the ground. When the cool air approaches the ground, it spreads out in all directions and this divergence of the wind is the signature of the microburst. In humid climates, microbursts can also generate from heavy precipitation. (Brandon J. 2009). Microbursts are sub-classified as dry or wet microbursts, depending on how much rain accompanies the microburst when it reaches the ground. For this report we will only be focusing on a ‘wet microburst’. A microburst is a small, very intense downdraft that descends to the ground resulting in a strong wind divergence. The size of the event is typically less than 4 kilometres across. Microbursts are capable of producing...
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