Hurricanes and other Severe Weather

Piker

New Member
By next week, it's likely that Tropical Storm Fay will have affected five different ARTCC zones as it slowly moves back west. From an organizational standpoint, how does the FAA deal with this?

Who decides to close down air lanes? Who makes the call whether a plane can fly through a storm or must be routed around? Does En Route do most of the heavy lifting? Is it the same procedure for the daily bad weather ATL gets in the summer?

Just a couple of things I've wondered as I've watched the tracks on Flight Aware.
 

LawnGnome

Well-Known Member
There is a very in depth answer to that...many things take place. As a storm is approaching a certain area, the head guys at the FAA along with the facilities effected start having conference calls every few hours....your facility begins preparing to implement a severe weather plan where you would go down to minimum staffing levels and they ensure they have everyone's contact information updated.

There is a facility in Virginia...like a command center that initiates a flow plan for the areas affected by the weather....they try to reduce the flow rate into those areas as much as possible....from there the actual facilities get to handle what the command center thinks they can deal with....and it is usually a chore as there are still flights that have to be made and go out everywhere....the centers...approach controls...and towers all work together as best as possible to get everyone out and in and where they need to go.
 

Piker

New Member
it is usually a chore as there are still flights that have to be made and go out everywhere....the centers...approach controls...and towers all work together as best as possible to get everyone out and in and where they need to go.


Look in the southeast of this map from Flightaware? How come Southwest 2022 and a couple other flights get to fly straight through TS Fay when most of the other planes get routed to the west?

I remembered your thread, it degenerated into New Orleans bashing and other off-topic stuff. I'm more interested in the actual organizational mechanics of responding to weather.
 

HonuPineapple

New Member
I remembered your thread, it degenerated into New Orleans bashing and other off-topic stuff. I'm more interested in the actual organizational mechanics of responding to weather.
Yeah I know, just thought I'd throw it in here for the sake of information consolidation.
 

BoomerSooner77

New Member
Look in the southeast of this map from Flightaware? How come Southwest 2022 and a couple other flights get to fly straight through TS Fay when most of the other planes get routed to the west?
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Didn't you know... S.W. doesn't have to follow the rules... they pay a good fee not to have to... LOL

See below... if they need to refuel, they just look for a Chevron and land. They don't need no stinkin' permission.

 

LawnGnome

Well-Known Member
The reason you may see certain a/c flying through the weather because as crazy as it may seem...the centers and tracons need "test ships." When they think an a/c may be able to penetrate the weather, they may ask the control tower if there is any a/c willing to return to their normal route...the tower will ask the pilot if he would like to try it out and if the pilot says yes...then they get a nice bumpy ride...if the pilot reports things are ok through there, they may open that route back up for a/c to go.
 

Piker

New Member
as crazy as it may seem...the centers and tracons need "test ships."
Really? I wonder how the passengers would react if they announce that on the intercom.

How come when there's bad weather near a major airport like ATL, some planes circle until it passes and others just truck right through it?
 

hudson26

New Member
The reason you may see certain a/c flying through the weather because as crazy as it may seem...the centers and tracons need "test ships." When they think an a/c may be able to penetrate the weather, they may ask the control tower if there is any a/c willing to return to their normal route...the tower will ask the pilot if he would like to try it out and if the pilot says yes...then they get a nice bumpy ride...if the pilot reports things are ok through there, they may open that route back up for a/c to go.
If the pilot is at the end of his trip and has a tight connection to commute home, you'd be surprised what they are willing to do to get where they are going quickly...
 

LawnGnome

Well-Known Member
In the words of Keanu, "Whoa."
I would fly southwest over any airline any day of the week....no one that has ever purchased a ticket on southwest airlines flights has lost their life due to the flight crew or the aircraft....

unfortunately, that a poor little boy died in the accident you are showing a picture of as the a/c ran over a car when it skidded of the runway at MDW....pilot shouldn't have continued in on the approach.
 

Prino

Well-Known Member
also, it appears he was at FL 390 (if i am reading that correctly) he could be several thousand feet above what the tops are reported at. so he could be flying right over it, as well as testing the ride
 

ATLTRACON(ret)

Well-Known Member
Is it the same procedure for the daily bad weather ATL gets in the summer? Just a couple of things I've wondered as I've watched the tracks on Flight Aware.
What normally happens in ATL, and this is no joke, is that the manglement will always wait until it is too late, by about 5 minutes, and planes are pealing off of all three finals to do something. It is always, always, always reactive instead of proactive. Has happened for years. Then the Center has to panic hold everyone else and always 5 minuted too soon we will start to let aircraft back into our airspace. 5 minutes to late stopping and always 5 minutes to early starting up again. Maybe i don't have the big picture.
 

ATLTRACON(ret)

Well-Known Member
Really? I wonder how the passengers would react if they announce that on the intercom.

How come when there's bad weather near a major airport like ATL, some planes circle until it passes and others just truck right through it?
Pilots of different airlines take more or less calculated risks. Delta will treat their aircraft like they are made out of paper and can't get them wet. This goes for a lot of the Legacy carriers, maybe that's why they're called Legacy, idk. Other airlines will fly through or closer to wx to get to the airport and keep the airline flying.
 
Really? I wonder how the passengers would react if they announce that on the intercom.

How come when there's bad weather near a major airport like ATL, some planes circle until it passes and others just truck right through it?
The FAA refers to those flights as "pathfinders" ... the flights are not told about it and we are barred from using any reference to the words "pathfinder" on frequency. What happens is when the FAA wants to reopen a route because it "appears" the weather has moved on they will offer one or two flights the route and has the controllers solicit pireps.
 

Yank&BankmyRJ145

New Member
You will see this a lot with the airplanes that have the best radars, too! Pathfinders, I came from CAE to DFW last month and was never on my flight plan till the ILS. I was on my own vectors for wx from Takeoff. This is rare, but kept me on my toes for 2 hours vs. reading the paper.
 
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