Turbulence - right

 · As part of our Travel Truths series, British Airways pilot Steve Allright answers key questions about turbulence on an aircraft

One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

In recent years, the number of fatal US crashes has neared record lows and air travel has “become so safe that pilots routinely go through an entire career without ever experiencing engine trouble serious enough to result in an in-flight shutdown,” per the Wall Street Journal . Statistically, 2016 was one of the safest years in US air travel history .

“Substantial damage to air carrier aircraft is extremely rare, but there have been a couple of cases where turbulence was so severe that an engine was torn off its pylon,” says Robert Sharman, a professor and project scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “Even in these cases, the aircraft was able to land safely.”

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Patrick Smith: Predicting the where, when, and how much of turbulence is more of an art than a science. We take our cues from weather charts, radar returns, and, most useful of all, real-time reports from other aircraft. 

A more detailed presentation of turbulence with emphasis on high-Reynolds number flow, intended for a general readership of physicists and applied mathematicians, is found in the Scholarpedia articles by Benzi and Frisch [14] and by Falkovich. [15]

You can continue learning about turbulence models on the overview of turbulence models page or take a look at how these models worked for an example case on the model comparison page.

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