Flights in winter: how dangerous a slippery landing strip
Winter is a wonderful time of the year: everything is covered with snow, you can slide on the skating rink right under the open sky. But it is at this time of the year that not only the streets, but also the runways are covered with ice. Edition USA Today I learned from an experienced pilot how safe it is to land an airplane in such weather and how the anti-skid system works.
John Cox, a retired airline captain at US Airways, runs his own safety advisory company. He states that while landing in icy conditions is challenging, it can be done safely.
“The anti-skid system of modern aircraft is very good. I have landed on ice-covered runways many times. To do this, he used the anti-skid system to safely stop the plane, ”Cox noted.
Pilots carefully listen to other airliners that land in order to understand the situation on the runway. In addition to wheel brakes on most aircraft, pilots can use reverse thrust to help the airliner brake. As soon as it slows down to taxiing speed, pilots should carefully and slowly maneuver toward the gate.
Airports go to great lengths to keep runways clean and level, which is essential for operations. Pilots are informed when the last snow removal occurred so that they can judge braking conditions. Airports that are located in countries or states where snow falls heavily receive special equipment to clean up huge amounts of it.
The limiting factor on an ice-covered runway is often side wind. During the initial landing turn, strong crosswinds can push the aircraft sideways. Pilots try to gauge the strength of the crosswind before landing.
The conditions on the lane can change quickly, which requires the pilot to react and experience - he must determine whether it is safe to continue driving.
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