Many of the travelers know the feeling of dread when their flights have been delayed due to bad weather. There might be some light weather conditions such as passing rain or some snow, but it doesn’t look severe enough to delay or cancel a flight. Why the delay then?
Some weather conditions, regardless of how insignificant they appear, can raise safety concerns for both commercial and private jet charter flights alike.
However, private jets can offer more flexibility in how weather affects flights. They can prepare for these weather conditions much faster and offer more responsive actions when the weather clears all while keeping their passengers safe and comfortable.
Rain is one of the most common signs of a flight delay that many customers know well. However, rain itself is very little cause for concern. Aircraft are designed to weather rain and water with ease. The issue with rain is when it’s combined with high winds and other weather elements that can cause a flight to be delayed.
Rain can affect an aircraft in a variety of ways. Mainly, rain lowers visibility from the windshield. During a flight, rain and water simply fly from the windshield to give high visibility. However, at lower speeds, the rain and water won’t clear away as well.
Private jets are equipped with a variety of ways to clear water from windshields. The most common are windshield wipers like that on your car. A popular one on higher-end jets is pressurized air that blows rain off the windshield with short bursts. Recently, specialized hydrophobic coatings can be applied to the windshield of private jets to make the water simply bleed away.
Wind can be both a gift and a curse for flights in the air as tailwinds can decrease travel time, and a headwind can increase travel time. On the ground, winds can be a cause for the delay as both takeoff and landing can be tricky or unsafe.
Airports arrange for aircraft to take off facing into the wind as this helps an aircraft lift from the runway. However, when the wind is blowing across the runway these crosswinds at high enough speed can force flights to be delayed for safety concerns.
Luckily, private jet pilots are specially trained to combat crosswinds on both take-off and landings. Additionally, private jet charter flights often operate from smaller airports where they can react faster if there is a decrease in wind speed. If there’s a period of low crosswinds, as soon as the pilot gets a clearing from the tower, they can take off before the winds pick up again.
The biggest issue during foggy weather conditions is visibility during takeoffs. Airports must shut down runways once the visibility drops below a certain threshold to ensure the safety of everyone. However, landings are often allowed during these periods as auto-landing autopilot can help pilots land in low visibility conditions.
Commercial flights tend to have issues rerouting their trips while flying or finding openings when the fog lifts to take off. This is where private jet charter flights have the edge as they have more options for routes to avoid fog, and can take advantage of gaps in the fog to squeeze out of the airport once the tower gives them clearance.
Ice and Snow
Aircraft have no issues surviving ice, snow, or cold conditions as normally at cruising altitude, the air outside the aircraft can be colder than -70C. The big cause for concern is often icy or snowy conditions make runways slick and unsafe to take off or land on.
All airplanes and airports must abide by safety requirements around ice and snow for the safety of their passengers and pilots. Slick conditions can cause accidents or the inability to take off properly.
All aircrafts must be de-iced to have the plane operate properly, and the runway must be cleared of ice and snow before any flight can take off or land. Private jets can be more quickly de-iced due to their smaller size, and smaller airports can be quickly cleared of ice and snow as they have a smaller area to de-ice.
Heat and Sunshine
All aircraft can survive through high heat with no issue. The concern for hotter weather comes from hot air being less dense than colder air. Hot air can decrease the output of an aircraft's engines, and thinner air can create less lift. This is most important when taking off as in hot weather, aircraft require more power and a longer runway for takeoff.
Once in the air, there are no issues as the air cools down and becomes denser. Private jet charter offers excellent air-conditioning set to the customer’s preference while on the runway and are capable of taking off in any temperature condition.
Thunderstorms can be a combination of many severe weather conditions such as heat, rain, and high winds. While thunderstorms are scary weather events, they offer very little cause for concern for private jets.
Flying through a thunderstorm is ultimately dangerous and no flights would do so. However, private jets have more flexibility in working around thunderstorms. They can take off much quicker in a spot in the storm and climb faster over these thunderstorms. With a tailwind from the thunderstorm, a private jet can arrive at their destination faster and have more time to find an appropriate safe time to land.
Weather Flexible Flights with Airacer
Founded in New York by a group of aviation industry professionals, Airacer provides private jet charter flights that go exactly where you want to go while working with your schedule. Our professional flight consultants are always ready to help you with the most tailored and flexible private flight service. Contact us now and request a free quote for your next charter flight!