View Full Version : turbulence- worse up or down?
I fly a little. Couple times a year. Turbulence doesn't really bother me,however i was going from Ft Meyers into Atlanta on Monday morning-Apr 13. We were up, down all around in the storm.
People sitting next to me were saying with turbulence like this it is better to be landing rather than taking off.
Truth or fiction or doesn't matter.
I suspect it's fiction, because isn't the climb quicker than the descent? In the descent you're at lower (generally more turbulent) altitudes for a longer time, I believe.
But I hate a turbulent take-off. It makes me feel like the flight is getting off on the wrong foot. I don't like turbulent landings either, but they don't bother me as much because I presume descent will be turbulent, and because at least we're getting closer to earth!
04-15-2009, 09:31 AM
Personally, I'd prefer a little chop on the descent rather the the climb. At least if it's bumpy and you are about to land, you know that it won't last long. On the way up you never know if it's a just a little patch, or if it will be choppy the whole ride. More of a mental trick than anything else.
04-19-2009, 08:34 AM
I agree with ted and 50convert ... I dislike turbulence more on takeoff, fearful it it is setting the "tone" for the trip. But I have heard, over the years, that landing a plane is more difficult/dangerous than take-off. So, I would think turbulence on landing would be "worse" from a pilot's perspective. Plus, isn't wind shear more an issue while descending in a storm?
04-20-2009, 08:40 PM
I hate it on approach.
For one thing, you have already been in flight a while and are further along the road to airsickness. Add that to the normal banking and turning for final and it's much more queas-inducing.
I don't mind turbulence. From a safety standpoint during takeoff the plane is configured for accelerating with gear up and flaps retracted climbing to cruising altitude. During approach the plane has everything hanging out. Flaps, landing gear lots of drag and approaching stall speeds. Less margin for error. Your flight into Atlanta was probably in the vicinity of thunderstorms and the pilot was avoiding cells I suspect. There are many different causes for turbulence. I spent 18 years as a pilot weather briefer for the FAA. Happy to share my knowledge of weather and aviation if it helps with your ease your fear.
05-04-2009, 09:12 PM
Tek-thanks for the advice you can give us nervous and frequent fliers. for my two cents, i can handle landing turbulence better, mostly out of knowing that it will eventually come to an end, the worst times i have had for bumos have been takeoffs, though i know, i know, it is normal stuff.
When I used to give pilots' weather briefings we were required to give what are called "Flight Precautions" or Airmets and Sigmets issued by the NWS at the beginning of the briefing. There are many reasons to fear flying that go beyond turbulence-the one condition that expressses itself well but statistically causes fewer problems. Turbulence, Icing, Mountain and terrain obscuration, widespread areas of IFR conditions (ceilings and visibilities below 1000 ft and one mile) and thunderstorms as well as sustained suface winds greater than 26 kts, volcanic ash, migratory fowl are basic conditions that are tracked and conveyed to pilots for their use in making flight planing decisions.
Those are just natural conditions. There are also NOTAMS which convey mechanical conditions such as equipment outages in landing systems, runway closures, etc. So you see, pilots have a lot more to factor in than turbulence alone. I have utmost confidence in their ability get me there and home safely.
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