Did you know, turbulence is simply a natural nuisance?
Flying privately is great: when you consider the alternative modes of transportation on a 1000-mile trip, it’s second to none. With all of private aviation’s convenience and efficiency – nobody enjoys a bumpy ride. Those bumps are better known as turbulence; a natural occurrence in the sky that all planes are designed to handle with no problem. This, of course, doesn’t change the fact that it’s uncomfortable and can fray the nerves of some or at the very least be irritating to all.
Private flying should be an enjoyable experience from takeoff to landing, and turbulence shouldn’t be allowed to ruin a flight. Many times a quick explanation of something not understood or otherwise feared can pull back the curtain of mystery and help us put our concerns in their proper perspective.
What is turbulence?
Simply put, turbulence is the plane responding to the air it flies through. In a perfect world, the air would be perfectly still all the time, and flying would always be smooth. In reality, air is always moving and if it’s changing in direction and/or speed the plane will react accordingly. The airplane will respond with a dipping wing or rising and lowering nose as it returns to its initial course. Think of your car for a minute; when driving over a speed bump, you experience something similar as the car reacts to the change in the roads “direction” from a smooth horizontal direction to a moment where the road goes up and then back down making the bump. In the same fashion, airplanes are just responding to the up and down flow of air.
How can you make the flight more enjoyable?
There are a lot of things you can do to make the flight more comfortable. Some turbulence is unavoidable, but there are certain precautions that can be taken to avoid it or mitigate the knocks. The best thing you can do is talk to your pilot. If you have nervous flyers on board, let the pilot know. Pilots can request altitudes at cruise levels that are known to be smoother if possible – air traffic controller and pilots are constantly talking and searching for the smoothest air. Pilots can also make it a point to stay out of particular clouds that show the promise of a bump or two and they can also give a wider birth to a thunderstorm in the area.
As a passenger, you can also prepare yourself for the bumpier portion of the flight. During the summer time, it is most common to experience turbulence on the departure and arrival phases of your trip. It would be prudent to keep certain things like food and drinks stored during these times. One trick you can incorporate during the summer is to look for the tops of the puffy cotton ball-like clouds; they tell you that from ground level to the top of these clouds is where you will likely have bumpy air. Above those clouds, you can typically expect smoother air where you can break-out the red wine.
Give Stature Aviation a call today and let us assist you with your next trip, making it as smooth as possible!