Why would some one make research on aircraft delays/diversions caused by bad weather such as heavy rainfall?
- Michel VerheugheLv 75 years agoFavorite Answer
As an owner and pilot of a light aircraft, I can answer this: the delay or diversion depends of the type of aircraft.
For example, my aircraft is only allowed to fly in so-called VFR conditions. It means that I need, at least, 4 km visibility and to be at least 1,000 ft under the clouds. Heavy rainfall is a no-no for me.
Then there are the IFR aircraft that are allowed to fly in the clouds, on instruments. Both aircraft and pilots must then be IFR certified. Heavy rain is still a problem as it may reduce sight when landing or taking off. When e.g. landing on so-called ILS instruments, there is an altitude, called decision altitude, where, if you don't see the runway, you must abort the landing and ... find another airfield.
Then there is the danger of icing. As you get higher, the air is colder and when it starts freezing, it is called, the zero-isotherm. Aircraft without de-icing devices in the wings can't fly higher than that.
Last, there are the commercial aircraft that fly IFR and with de-icing. They can land in any kind of weather condition; the auto-pilot of say, a B-737 will disengage only when the speed is as low as 40 knots. By that time, you are not flying, you are taxiing on the runway! ;-)
Heavy rain isn't a problem for commercial flights. What is, though, is hail and freezing rain. The former is evident; hail can damage the fuselage. Freezing rain can divert aircraft as they cannot land if the runway has become a skating ice. Mind you, it doesn't happen that often.
Here is something few know: When flying in strong turbulence, the pilot will reduce the speed to the so-called manoeuvre speed a.k.a. Va. It works like this: An aircraft is designed and tested to withstand a certain load, e.g. 4 or 5 G. It means, when its weight is 4 to 5 time greater. If it happens when flying at Va, the angle of attack of the wings will be so great that they will stall and the aircraft will "fall" for a while. Not pleasant but better than a wing rupture! ;-)
- TQLv 75 years ago
The real reason why someone would make research on aircraft delays/diversions caused by bad weather such as heavy rainfall is b/c aircraft delays/diversions caused by bad weather such as heavy rainfall cost airlines money.
Research may reveal ways to mitigate these losses through better weather forecasting and route planning.