Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Windy take off question on message board

We get asked a lot of great fear of flying questions on our message board and we are aware that not all of you will have seen them. So, this one came in this week. We thought it was a good question because it came from someone that attended a recent course at Leeds Bradford airport.

The significance of that particular course at Leeds?  It was so windy, we weren't sure whether we would be able to take our narrated flight at the end of the course due to a high winds warning across the UK.

That day, we asked the delegates if they would like to fly knowing how windy it might be.  The bottom line in commercial aviation is safety first.  We weren't worried because we knew it was either safe to take off and land or it wasn't.  Nearly 100% of the delegates agreed to take the flight no matter how windy.  Most of them said, 'If we were going for a normal flight on a normal day, we would not be told all this information.  We would just turn up and the flight would either go or it wouldn't.' 

Nicola asked on the message board about 'gusty' winds as she had a flight coming up from Leeds airport. She didn't like turbulence, was worried and needed a bit of reassurance before her impending flight.  This is our reply:

Hi Nicola,
Yes, it was a gusty time last time we flew wasn't it?!

Short truths.
1. The pilots that fly in and out of Leeds Bradford are used to it.
2. The wind is either safe to take off and land in or not. There are strict cross wind limits for aircraft types on each runway etc.  Wind down the runway is good and gives extra lift
3. Gusty on the ground does not mean gusty up there.  You can get just as much movement on a sunny day due to thermals so in a nutshell, you can't control the weather or predict it
4. If you are strapped in, you are safe. Turbulence does not harm the aircraft.  We can be harmed if we are not strapped in. The aircraft only has to move quickly 6-12 inches and our squishy bodies can get hurt when we fall over.
Hope that helps?

We really encourage everyone that attends our courses to ask anything that they want to after the courses.  If you read the stuff in the media, it is easy to let false information into your head. Always ask us.

Take care,

Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear
Future Courses

Premium courses: Manchester Apr 19th; Gatwick Apr 26th; Children Gatwick Apr 26th; Leeds Bradford May 17th; Birmingham Jun 7th; Southampton Jun 21st; Norwich Jul 5th;

Ground courses: Heathrow* May 3rd

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