Tuesday, 21 October 2014

We have some terrible wind in the UK

Last weekend, we ran a fear of flying course in Birmingham. This blog was prompted by a conversation with one of the delegates that day.  It is also quite apt as some areas experience the 'tail end' of Hurricane Gonzalo today...

After doing the 'conference room' part of the day, we made our way to the airport to take our specially chartered and narrated flight.  As we were waiting outside the terminal, one delegate said to Captain Pete Dunlop, 'It is very windy today, that MUST mean that we will have terrible turbulence.'  This sentence she presented as an absolute fact to Captain Pete. 

She also explained that when she is about to fly, she looks at the weather that day (every time)  If, it looks windy, she gets really concerned about turbulence and cannot relax.   Can you relate to this?

Captain Pete went onto explain the following, which we are sharing, as you might find it helpful...I have abbreviated into bullet points as we know a lot of people like to print these blogs off as reminders before they fly.

  • Wind at ground level is not any guarantee of turbulence when flying
  • Warm weather can often indicate more movement  due to 'thermals'
  • Pilots see wind and think, 'A great day to fly!'  Why?  Because runways are pointed into wind direction so that wind blows down them. More wind over the wings means more lift for free!
  • There are strict limits around wind, particularly 'cross-winds' for take off and landing.
  • There are strict rules about thunderstorms too. If one is over an airfield, the aircraft will not land or take off until it has passed. (*Special note below about thunderstorms/clouds etc.)
  • If Hurricane Gonzalo produces winds 'outside the limits' we won't take off into that as it is safety first always. 
So, next time you go to fly, maybe you could keep this in mind?  How we perceive the weather looking up at it as passengers, is not the way a trained commercial pilot would see things.

Take care
Paul & Richard
FWF Founders
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Future Course Dates
Adult premium group course –  all £267 inc VAT
Manchester 9th November 2014
Gatwick 16th November 2014
Southampton 7th December 2014
Leeds 11th January 2015
Luton to be confirmed soon

Executive/Celebrity Course – £3,500 + VAT (only two places)Gatwick area 9th December 2014

Group ground* only course (no flight)
Heathrow 14th December 2014 - £120 inc VAT
Cardiff 25th January 2015 - £120 inc VAT

Bristol 29th March 2015 - £180 inc VAT

Children’s course is £375 (for one child, one fear free adult, inc flight)
Gatwick 16th November.  (Same location as adult course but in different room and own dedicated staff)

* Commercial aircraft can fly into clouds no problem. They could also fly into thunderstorm clouds but we don't for comfort reasons.  There are minimum distances away from storm clouds and we all stick to those.    It might look near if you are looking out the window, but we are a good distance away.  The really dark looking angry storm clouds contain big up and down drafts which would be horrible for passengers to fly through - so we don't.  Near the ground (airports) we don't want to be moving up and down in nasty big clouds, so we don't land or take off into them ever. 

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