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6 Flight Factors To Consider As Summer Weather Heats Up

This story was made in partnership with ATP Flight School. Check out the full series here. Ready to become a pilot? Get started with ATP here.

1) Thermals

As the ground heats up, rising columns of air cause turbulence, making it hard to hold altitude, and causing your passengers to feel sick. The solution? Try to fly early in the day, and fly at higher altitudes if possible.


2) Decreased Performance

Because warm air causes density altitude to increase, overall performance of your plane decreases.


3) Physical Exhaustion

Heat takes a significant toll on your body. Make sure you stay hydrated before and during your flight.


4) Thunderstorms

Moisture, an unstable atmosphere, and a lifting force: it's the recipe that's almost always present during the summer. And because of it, thunderstorms can appear in places they weren't forecast.


5) Engine Leaning

Because density altitude is higher on hot days, leaning procedures need to be used during ground operations, and in some cases for takeoff as well.


6) Birds

Birds in the spring and summer are an increased threat, especially for arriving and departing aircraft.

Brian Burger

Thinking about becoming a pilot? Get started with ATP Flight School, and find out how to start your aviation career here.

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Airbus 320 First Officer for a U.S. Major Carrier. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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