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5 Weather Hazards That Affect All Aircraft

There are some hazards that no pilots want to find themselves in, regardless of what they fly...

1) Wind Shear

Wind shear is a sudden change in wind speed and/or direction. Wind shear is especially hazardous during takeoff and landing, when your airspeed is slow and your aircraft is close to the ground.

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2) Volcanic Ash

Volcanic ash is hazardous to turbine engines or reciprocating engines. It can melt and adhere to moving parts, causing a catastrophic engine failure.

AP/Alfredo Leiva

3) Microbursts

Microbursts form from downdrafts associated with a thunderstorm. These downdrafts descend from the storm and disperse laterally across the ground. The danger here is that the downdrafts can descend at a rate much faster than what your aircraft can out climb.

4) SLD

SLD (Supercooled Large Droplets) are some of the most hazardous forms of icing conditions you can encounter. Due to their large droplet size, SLD icing can overwhelm an aircraft's de-ice/anti-ice system, causing your stall speed and weight to rapidly increase, and performance to rapidly decrease.

5) Lightning

Lighting can cause hazards to your aircraft, but even more so, it can be very distracting and disorienting when you're flying at night.

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Corey Komarec

Corey is a commercial aviation student, CFII and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings at the University of North Dakota. Corey has been flying since he was 16, and he's pursuing a career in the airlines. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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