Thunderstorm flying B.S.

bidderswede

New Member
The ones that haven't done it are gonna gripe..but what the hell....

Who, ever goes the "magic 20 miles" around a thunderstorm?

The reason I'm bringing this up is because it is a question that recruiters like to ask. And it's B.S.

Imagine how many flights would get diverted, put in holds, never got to destinations, if we( Pilot In Command), would stick with that, but it is still a question that we have to answer on an an interview.

As fellow pilots, you have to agree that you can't realisticly stick to that one. There are to many other factors in play. Agree?

BTW, I didn't fail an interview, just a little frustrated.:banghead:
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
Man we had these discussion many times...it seems the general consensus is that what one says on the interview and does in the airplane are two different things. I disagree with that theory however I did fly through a thunderstorm once in the back of a Dash-8. Very little warning... scared the poop out of me. Mother nature is not one to...mess with.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
How do you know you flew through it if you were in the back?
What?

Maybe it was the pilot's that told me after the flight that the storm we flew through on the way into CLE was pretty killer. Maybe it was the flight aware that we pulled up where we clipped the red and flew through a lot of yellow. I wish I knew what I did with that pic. Maybe it was the lightning all around the airplane...or the turbulence that made my shoulders hurt in a 4 point harness.

OR

Maybe I am just making all this up to improve my E-Cred.

You decide.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
Easy cheech.
What the #### is e-cred?
And flightaware makes it look alot worse then it is plus it's a random snapshot of the radar during a flight.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
Easy cheech.
What the #### is e-cred?
And flightaware makes it look alot worse then it is plus it's a random snapshot of the radar during a flight.
Internet Credibility...it is a joke. Sorry for being a little jumpy I am having some problems sleeping over the past couple of weeks so I am a little crabby. Why would you think I would be lying though?
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
I'm not saying you're lying it's just normally pretty hard to tell from the back. No worries.
 

B767Driver

New Member
Who, ever goes the "magic 20 miles" around a thunderstorm?

:

In a jet, 20 miles is nothing. It might only take you 2 minutes to make this type of deviation.

Downwind of the storm...I typically see airline pilots give the storm a lot of respect and a wide berth. Upwind of the storm...deviations might get cut a little tighter.

I'm always concerned about when the hail will start spewing out of those monsters.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Don't have to stay 20 miles away if the PIC feels it is safe to get closer. I am not surprised jhugz has flown through cells at all -- I fly the DHC-8-200 and we often get rather close to buildups. Not much else you can do around here when you're limited to 250. Plus the radar kind of sucks.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
What?

Maybe it was the pilot's that told me after the flight that the storm we flew through on the way into CLE was pretty killer. Maybe it was the flight aware that we pulled up where we clipped the red and flew through a lot of yellow. I wish I knew what I did with that pic. Maybe it was the lightning all around the airplane...or the turbulence that made my shoulders hurt in a 4 point harness.
Yea, I have to agree with mikecweb on this. Flightaware isn't the best for determining whether or not you flew through an actual T'storm. It ALWAYS looks worse on Flightaware! I've looked at some of my previous flights and thought to myself, "It wasn't near that bad". And, all "storms" as your pilot called them aren't necessarily T'storms. His use of the word "storm" is pretty general and subjective. If I say "storm" to a non, or low time pilot, they probably think "T'storm" right away.

Flying around a large area of T'storms can be quite turbulent. Don't know what time of day you were flying but at night while in the clouds it's hard to determine distance from the flashes of lightening. Flying in moderate rain can also create a static discharge combined with a bumpy ride and folks think their in the middle of a T'storm too.

I suspect your flight was deviating around some cells while in moderate rain. Combining the bumps, rain and distant flashes of light it probably seemed like you flew through a T'storm. Had you actually flew through a T'storm there's a good chance you wouldn't be here to talk about it.:eek:

As said before, flying downwind of a T'storm is going to be a bumpier ride for sure and the potential of running into hail is greater. Personally, I try to deviate to the upwind side.

How close do I get? Well silly, this is a public forum so of course I follow all prescribed and published FAA guidelines .;) :rolleyes:
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
I am not surprised jhugz has flown through cells at all -- I fly the DHC-8-200 and we often get rather close to buildups. Not much else you can do around here when you're limited to 250. Plus the radar kind of sucks.
A buildup does not a boomer make.

I'm sure it happens, but I'd guess it's pretty rare that any 121 aircraft penetrates an actual honest to god full blown thunderstorm. Now, it IS pretty common to bump through something that wasn't really showing on the radar but causes a nasty ride. I'd call these build ups and I've punched through more than a few over the last three summers of south-east operations. But the big boys? Not a chance. I want to be 20+ miles upwind of any of those.

A related story...

I was flying a trip over this summer and we had a private pilot (who was instrument rated) get on board and ask the FA if you could come up front. We had some time so we chatted for a while and showed him some of the more interesting switches (the lamp test switch, the aural warning test switch and the stall test button are always favorites). Anyhow, he went back to his seat, we closed the door and headed off to where ever we were going. Enroute we deviated around a small line of weather and were in and out of the clouds. The radar didn't even paint anything and except for a 10 second period of MAYBE what I'd call moderate chop, we hardly hit any bumps. Anyhow, after we landed and were unloading, I was standing in the doorway saying goodbye to the passengers when this guy got off the plane. He was talking on his cell phone and the snip of the conversation I overheard was "oh my god. I thought we were going to die. It was severe turbulence. We must have gone right through that thunderstorm."

Passenger preception can be pretty skewed in the back. Sure, 10 seconds of moderate chop in a cessna may be extream to a private pilot, but it hardly caused me to put down my company approved reading material.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
So what happened was the CA who at the time was under 100 hours or maybe just over at that part of the trip tried to "shoot the gap." The storm closed up. And yeah from what I hear the radar is terrible on the Trash 8.

As for the flight aware the FO told me that was a accurate depiction of what they were seeing on the scope. I saved it somewhere...probably on my old comp and didn't back it up.


I really can't believe people are still arguing with me about this, but then again I am just a stupid, dumb, and ignorant FA...what do I know.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
Well your FO was wrong, sorry.
I do not think it is possible to make a blanket statement saying that the FO is, without a doubt, wrong that flightaware is an accurate depiction of what was going on.

If the flight is short than the weather on flightaware will be more accurate than a longer flight which could have the weather in a different location and intensity than what it was when the plane flew through it.

I happened to look at it after a 45 minute long flight last summer and it was exactly what was on the weather radar map online and it was nearly identical to what we saw in the plane.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
I happened to look at it after a 45 minute long flight last summer and it was exactly what was on the weather radar map online and it was nearly identical to what we saw in the plane.
Thank you
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
The intensity scale on the flightaware radar is off from every product the government puts out. We're splitting hairs. I'm sure you guys went straight through hell and lived to tell about it.

I have a few thunderstorm stories from "friends" that we can tell over beers some day.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
I didn't fly through a storm and live to tell about it. I just mean that as we deviated throughout the flight, what we saw on the radar was what flightaware showed not too long after.

Basically it comes down to this. The weather is moving as it always is and if you check flightaware six hours later it is going to be in a different area and a different intensity.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
I didn't fly through a storm and live to tell about it. I just mean that as we deviated throughout the flight, what we saw on the radar was what flightaware showed not too long after.

Basically it comes down to this. The weather is moving as it always is and if you check flightaware six hours later it is going to be in a different area and a different intensity.
I wasn't saying you did, I was talking about the flight attendant guy who said they did.
My understanding is flightaware takes a picture of the radar at a random time during the flight. So if you check back 6 hours later it'll be the same if you checked it a half hour after the flight. Is it cool to see your flight track on a radar image, sure. Is it accurate? In my experience, it is far from accurate 99% of the time.
 
Top