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Old 08-25-2012, 09:51 PM
 
192 posts, read 220,233 times
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OK, so I am in the US from the UK.

flight as always, from LHR to Sea is smooth. no turbulance really. if so - extremely minor.

I had to travel today from Sea to Albequerque. Take off was good but when decent there was ALOT of turbulance and the air cabin crew also said that this is "normal" before even beginning to desent. But hell there was alot.
then from Albequerque I had to change planes to get to Houston Hobby.... same thing. take off and landing.

why the hell is there so much turbulance on such a beautiful hot dayy during landing and desending?

im worried about Wednesday when I need to head from Hobby to Las Vagas and from LV to Sea

this is on Southwest by the way
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:26 PM
 
Location: BMORE!
7,745 posts, read 6,134,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
OK, so I am in the US from the UK.

flight as always, from LHR to Sea is smooth. no turbulance really. if so - extremely minor.

I had to travel today from Sea to Albequerque. Take off was good but when decent there was ALOT of turbulance and the air cabin crew also said that this is "normal" before even beginning to desent. But hell there was alot.
then from Albequerque I had to change planes to get to Houston Hobby.... same thing. take off and landing.

why the hell is there so much turbulance on such a beautiful hot dayy during landing and desending?

im worried about Wednesday when I need to head from Hobby to Las Vagas and from LV to Sea

this is on Southwest by the way
Rising warm air would be my guess.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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And travel over a mountain range can definitely affect turbulence.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Great Plains
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It would appear to be clear air turbulance. Mountains are also a cause.

SKYbrary - Clear Air Turbulence
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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Mountains, desert, hot dry air = bumpy ride. Take-off and landing at Denver International can be the same when the winds come down from the Rockies, gathering speed and energy across the flat before they get to the airport. Not much fun but thankfully it doesn't last long.

The last bumpy flight I had was San Francisco to Denver going northeast over AZ and UT and all the mountain ranges in between.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Great Plains
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Last bumpy flight I was on was last fall. Was flying a strong headwind into vegas. Rough over Utah on into vegas. The flight home was much much much smoother.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Mountains and hot air mean turbulence it's as simple as that's really.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:07 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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It's because of the heat and the rising air drafts over the Rockies.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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All good answers. There are three types of turbulence that you'll commonly experience in aircraft:

1) Thermal, aka convective. This is the vertical lifting of warm air (and descending of cold air). If you're above the clouds, you're out of this. Cumulous clouds are formed by this, so if there are fluffy clouds around, you'll feel it in the plane, especially below the bases or inside the clouds. Thunderstorms come from very tall cumulous cloud formations with violent up and down drafts. That's also how hail is formed, by rain drops being lifted above the freezing level, then collecting more rain drops as they fall and being lifted into the freezing air again, and again, and again. Pilots generally avoid the big buildups.

At low altitudes you get thermal lifting as you fly over varying surfaces that reflect the sun's heat differently. That's usually the bump-bump-bump that you get while landing.

2) Mechanical. This is the turbulence created when the wind flows over various obstructions, such as mountains, hills, etc. The stronger the wind and larger the obstructions, the more turbulence.

3) Shear turbulence.
This is also wind generated and mostly felt in climbs and descents as the wind at different altitudes is flowing at different speeds and/or different directions. As you move from one level to another, you'll often experience this, particularly on windy days.

Any of these can create a rough ride, but thermal activity is probably the one you experience the most when landing on a sunny day. It gets roughest during summer afternoons when the sun is the hottest. Early morning or evening flights are the best way to avoid it.

To avoid mechanical turbulence don't fly over mountains when it's windy.

Keep your seat belt fastened and play "buckin bronco". That's what I used to tell my kids when we'd get into rough air. YEEEHAAAW! Let r buck!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:30 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,368,175 times
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OP mentioned an airline ...

Turbulence, like gravity, affects all airlines the same.

SW doesn't seek out flight planning routes that maximize passenger discomfort; if they can route around areas of turbulence, they will do so.
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