Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fog landings

As we are based at Gatwick Airport, anyone will tell you that this morning 15th March was what we call a 'well foggy day.'

At home, I could not see the end of my small front garden path due to the fog or mist or whatever you want to call it.  One of our fear of flying Captains, Capt Dom calls fog 'clouds that lack the will to fly!' 

Anyway, whatever you call them, it was not safe for me to drive very fast this morning due to poor visibility.  So what do pilots do - do they have super human vision?  As I look up, aircraft are still landing into Gatwick - have a look at this great YouTube clip of a landing in fog.

Many years ago, if you were coming back from your holidays into foggy Britain, you would have been diverted to some airport miles away without fog. Then, you would have been bused down to Gatwick or Heathrow. What a pain that was!

Nowadays though, the airports are capable of automated fog landings. This is where the pilot can't see so he/she lands using the autopilot.

Can you imagine having a setting on your car which is 'auto-park'?  The last few miles of your journey home today, you have to sit and watch your car drive itself into your garage?!?!

(The pilots are not just sitting there drinking tea, they are monitoring the autopilot as it lands when the human eye can't see.)

By the way, pilots like to do all the landings themselves but know that auto landings in fog are the safest thing to do.  The other thing about pilots is that they reluctantly admit, the auto pilot does a fantastic landing - sometimes better than they do!!! Anyway, that's between us...

Take care

Paul & Richard

Virgin Flying Without Fear

Next fear of flying courses:

  • Luton - 22nd Apr 2012
  • Manchester - 29th Apr 2012
  • Edinburgh - 6th May 2012
  • Leeds Bradford - 20th May 2012
  • Birmingham - 10th June 2012
  • Southampton - 24th June 2012
  • Gatwick - 8th July 2012
  • Childrens Course Gatwick - 14 July 2012
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