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Flights Cancelled Due to Weather? Here's Why

4 weeks ago
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About 25% of the time, the weather is to blame when a flight is delayed. Many types of weather at different altitudes and diverse locations can cause flight delays. Let's take a closer look at some of them.    

Wind

Wind impacts planes most during takeoff and landing. In particular, gusts of more than about 40 miles per hour can be problematic because they affect the plane's stability.

Headwinds make it harder to pick up speed before taking off, while strong crosswinds can try to blow the plane off the runway. Tailwinds can increase the distance the plane needs to get into the air.

Wind can also cause issues when landing. In particular, crosswinds can make it challenging to keep the aircraft in firm contact with the runway.     During flights, wind is seldom a problem. In some cases, wind shear can cause issues. But, what is wind shear? This refers to a sudden change in wind speed or direction over a short distance. Issues are often caused by micro downbursts hidden within thunderstorms.

For example, Delta Air Lines Flight 191 experienced a micro downburst just short of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on August 2, 1985. The plane crashed into the ground one mile short of the runway.

After striking a car and two water towers, the aircraft disintegrated, killing 137 people and injuring 25 people.  


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