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Flight simmer

High winds and Airline flights

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We are having some gale force winds here tonight. Essendon Airport has just recorded a 117km/h gust, St Kilda harbour 120km/h and a 143km/h gust was just observed at Fawkner Beacon, about 10km south of downtown Melbourne in Port Phillip Bay. 

 

Ofcourse, being an unusual weather event, I am looking at flights on Flight Radar. Melbourne Tullamarine Airport METAR currently is as follows:

 

SPECI YMML 301400Z 33034G52KT 1500 -SHRA NSC 19/11 Q0999 RMK 3SC050 7SC060 FM1410 34024G42KT 9999 -RA BKN100 INTER 1400/1700 4000 SHRA BKN030 FM1400 SEV TURB BLW 5000FT

 

Following inbound flights on Flightradar24, a cargo Boeing 737 was travelling at just 86 knots ground speed on final approach to Melbourne (159kmh), which is quite amazing IMO for a jet airliner. 

 

slow_zpsf0fec4d1.jpg

 

 

An Emirates 777 just did a go around, and there is a Tiger Airways A320 on downwind over 300kts / ~570km/h at 4600ft, just about to turn on base

 

tigerbase_zpsc3d4eff3.jpg

 

 

 

Anyone who's ever been in an aircraft strong/gale force and gusty winds on takeoff or landing, discuss what it was like....

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Those are fairly large gusts at 20 knots.

 

The surprising thing is both transport category aircraft I've flown did not have a maximum headwind component or a company rule against it. We only had max crosswinds which were 30 knots IIRC. The only thing that makes these winds bad are the gusts and mechanical turbulence from buildings and hangars. Otherwise it's just a weird feeling hanging there on final for so long.

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One of my professors at uni had a great story about flying  a Piper Cub during high winds. Apparently ATC gets upset if you pass the tower going backwards :lol:

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