Can Planes Fly in Bad Weather?

Can Planes Fly in Bad Weather?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com   Many airline passengers worry about their safety during the rainy season. Bad weather can cause visibility issues and a shaky flight. Surprisingly, bad weather is rarely fatal for modern passenger aircraft models. Still, how do airlines know if it’s safe to fly in bad weather? During the winter or monsoon season, the number of canceled and delayed flights are significantly higher. This isn’t because the planes themselves could not handle the rain or snow. In fact, commercial jets are known for being unbelievably durable. The major reason for the delays and cancellations can be traced down to the airports.   Flying during snowfall A little snow is never an issue for airlines. The problem occurs when heavy snowfall starts covering the runways in a blanket of slush. When snow accumulates, the runways must first be plowed clear and this can take a bit of time. Snow also causes visibility issues for everyone. Thus, airports will have to slow down the operations to keep everyone safe.   How wind affects an airplane During takeoff and landing, wind can cause problems. Headwind—the type that blows towards the direction of a plane, is preferred during take-off because it reduces the take-off run. Meanwhile, tailwinds or wind that blows from the back of the plane is preferred when the plane is already in flight because it reduces the total flight duration. The problem is often caused by crosswinds. These winds blow across the plane and can cause problems during takeoff and landing. Different aircraft models have set wind limitations that will help pilots and airport personnel to decide whether...
Do Aircraft Have Key for Ignition?

Do Aircraft Have Key for Ignition?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com When boarding an aircraft, one’s imagination may wonder about the complex processes that go behind the massive vehicle. Specifically, many people wonder how pilots turn on their airplanes.   Smaller planes like the Cessna 172 still use keys for the ignition. These private jets are usually parked in private areas that do not have the same level of security that airports have. Surprisingly, most passenger aircraft do not have keys for ignition. Airplanes are that are being used by commercial airlines, like the ones manufactured by Boeing and Airbus, are started without the use of a key. One funny thing is that some people actually believe that aircraft require a huge key because of its size. Now you know that this isn’t the case.   How do plane engines start if there are no keys? It’s reasonable to think that all motorized vehicles, including airplanes, require a key for the ignition. But since we already told you that they actually don’t, how do pilots turn on the engine? Basically, the startup procedure for commercial aircraft involves a number of switches, buttons, and knobs/dials that need to be activated in the proper sequence. The process varies from aircraft to aircraft and pilots have been trained to study and master each of them with precision.   Why do planes have such a complicated startup process? You may be wondering why plane manufacturers make the process so intricate. Why can’t they just combine all those things into one single “Start” button to expedite your flight? The answer simply boils down to safety. If an airplane only has one button...
First Female Pilots With License

First Female Pilots With License

Photo Credit: pixabay.com Celebrating women’s contributions throughout the history of aviation is important. Despite being a male-dominated industry, women around the world have always been rising up to the challenge and destroying society’s ideals.   In this post, we want to remember the very first female pilots to ever receive their license. These women lived in a time where gender roles and discrimination are still very active but they fought long and hard to achieve their goals.   Raymonde de Laroche When talking about women in aviation, one can never overlook Raymonde de Laroche’s achievements. She is recognized for being the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s license. Her interest in sports and motorized vehicles may have seemed unconventional at the time, but they eventually helped her set a world record. De Laroche received her pilot’s license on March 8, 1910 in France.   Harriet Quimby Harriet Quimby is the world’s second woman and the first woman in the U.S. to earn her pilot’s license. Back then, the Aero Club officials were hesitant to issue the coveted certificate to a woman. However, her education and flight skills cannot be denied, and she has passed all the required qualifications. After thorough discussions and considerations, she finally received her pilot’s license on August 1, 1911.   Lydia Vissarionovna Zvereva This lady is known for being the first woman to earn her pilot’s license in Russia. On August 22, 1911, the Russian Aviation Association Flying School in Gatchina issued Zvereva her license after recognizing her achievements as an aviator. Raymonde de Laroche encouraged women worldwide to enter aviation, and...
How Do Pilots Turn On an Airplane?

How Do Pilots Turn On an Airplane?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com If you’re like many people, you may wonder: “Does an aircraft have a key?” Or more specifically, do aircraft have keys for ignition? For large planes, the answer is no. In the case of smaller private jets, some of them may use keys for ignition and doors but not all.   When pilots start the engines of an aircraft, specifically most passenger jets, they do not insert a key into the ignition. To provide power to the aircraft, they need to perform a specific startup procedure.   Powering the plane engine To power a commercial jet, the pilot must operate a series of buttons, switches, and knobs successively. This turns on the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) or the Ground Power Unit (GPU) —  devices that are used to provide electrical power to the plane while also generating essential air pressure to the engines.   When you’re in the cabin, you may notice the air-conditioning system turning off and the lights dimming or flickering. This happens because the APU is directing air from the plane into the engines. The cabin lights get dimmer also because the APU must use electricity to power all vital systems of the aircraft.   Once the APU bleeds enough air to the starter, the engines will start spinning. The RPM of the engines must be monitored and when they reach a required frequency, fuel will be introduced. After that, the RPM will be monitored once again and when it reaches another set frequency, then the aircraft engine has successfully been turned on.   Conclusion Basically, commercial airplanes do not have ignition keys...
Why There are Few Female Airline Pilots?

Why There are Few Female Airline Pilots?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com The aviation industry has a long and rich history. It has numerous breakthroughs and accomplishments, but why do we always associate these great things with men? In general, the roles of women in this field aren’t as recognized as they should be.   In this age, women are achieving great things. There are a lot of successful and acclaimed accountants, doctors, designers, etc. But when it comes to female pilots, there is very little that we hear about. We need to address this issue to further inspire females not just to become pilots, but to pursue whatever career that they wish to excel on.   Issues to overcome Aviation is a highly male-dominant field. According to a 2006 study called Gender issues in aviation: pilot perceptions and employment relations, women are put off by the “masculine beliefs, values, and perceptions [that] appear to continue to dominate the industry.” The research also stated reports of assault, concupiscent dialogue, and sexism toward women.   Airlines around the world are addressing and providing solutions for such issues. For example, United Airlines spokesperson stated that the airline has no tolerance for such situations and would be very quick to inflict penalty or sanction to anyone who performs any type of harassment toward its crew, especially female pilots.   Destroying barriers Due to the global shortage of active commercial pilots, airlines are striving to make the position a lot more appealing to both men and women. Qantas, for example, is aiming to ‘up the ante’ by hiring more female pilots into their company. Just recently, Air India has operated an all-female...
Does an Aircraft Have a Key?

Does an Aircraft Have a Key?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com When we think of vehicles, we immediately associate them with keys for ignition, doors, and compartments. The key provides security and safety of the vehicle along with everything contained inside of it. Thus, it’s reasonable for airplanes to have a key considering how large and valuable they are. But is that really the case? You’d be surprised to learn that when it comes to aircraft, bigger commercial jets like the Boeing 747 do not have keys. Accessing the boarding door and the ignition can be accessed and turned on respectively without the need for a key. However, there are some private jets that actually do have keys, but not all. These smaller aircraft are owned and used by individuals. Does This Make the Keyless Aircraft More Prone to Theft? The short answer is no. When not in use, passenger jets are housed in airport hangars which are heavily guarded by surveillance cameras and security personnel. Moreover, airline staff and passengers can only gain access to the aircraft via moveable stairs or a jet bridge. These things, like the aircraft, are also protected by airport security and cannot be used by unauthorized persons. The ignition for most large aircraft also does not require a key. But what if some random person somehow managed to get inside the cockpit without getting caught? Can they simply push the “Start” button and successfully take the plane for themselves? Well, not really. First of all, there is no simple “Start” button. Starting an aircraft engine is complex and requires training. A lot of buttons, knobs, and levers need to be manipulated...