Features

March 1999 Issue

Winds of Change

Mountains can have a profound influence on turbulence, even hundreds of miles away

Many pilots base the go-no-go decision on ceiling and visibility. Yet the accident record shows there are other considerations of equal or greater importance. For example, how many times have you delayed or canceled a flight because of forecast or reported severe turbulence enroute or at your destination?

The hazard of thunderstorms is obvious and can be visualized. However, high and low level clear air turbulence is often treated casually. When clear air turbulence is encountered above 15,000 feet, it is referred to as “turbulence encountered outside of convective clouds.” At lower altitudes it is simply mechanical or low level turbulence.

Low level turbulence often takes the form of...

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