Photo depicting wake vorticies generated by aircraft

airvorticies-1-680x380This is an incredible photo depicting the wake vorticies generated by aircraft. The two counter rotating vortices are clearly visible in the cloud as it spins around.

Vorticies generated by smaller aircraft are almost negligible, however, vorticies generated by larger, heavier aircraft can be extremely dangerous. The aircraft’s weight, speed and shape (configuration) govern the strength of the vorticies it creates.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states that between 1983 and 2000, there were 130 aircraft accidents and 60 aircraft incidents in the U.S. that resulted from probable encounters with wake turbulence. 14 of these accidents were fatal (11%). Eighty-seven of the accidents (67%) and forty-seven of the incidents (87%) occurred at or below 200 feet above ground level.

Sholto Hamilton “Dick” GEORGESON- May 7, 1922 – March 27, 2014

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Sholto Hamilton “Dick” GEORGESON
May 7, 1922 – March 27, 2014

It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog posting. On Thursday March 27, 2014, the world lost a lovely man, Dick Georgeson. His full name was Sholto Hamilton Georgeson but everyone called him “Dick”.

Dick grew up in New Zealand and was a pioneer New Zealand glider pilot. He discovered the potential of the Makenzie Country (near the center of the south island of New Zealand) mountain wave system and even diagrammed it out on paper.

On December 16, 1960, Dick set a world height record and soared his wooden Skylark 3F Glider, registration ZK-GCF, to 34,395 feet (10,484 meters). For the next twenty years Dick went on to set many more world records and New Zealand records in various gliders.

Dick was so enthusiastic about the weather, discovering new things and was always sending me unusual cloud formation photos that he and I would then spend time trying to figure out how/why they formed.

Dick was so excited about the Perlan Project and had such wonderful insight into the mountain wave when we were flying out of Omarama New Zealand.

Einar Enevolson, the Perlan Project Founder, and I were talking about Dick on the phone yesterday and Einar made a wonderful comment that pretty much sums things up. He said “Isn’t it great that we knew Dick!”

My thoughts and best wishes go out to his family including his children, grand-children and his wife, Anna Wilson. He will be missed dearly!

Elizabeth Austin
President, WeatherExtreme Ltd.

A380 Landing at San Francisco

Pilot’s view of the first Airbus 380 landing (Lufthansa) at San Francisco International Airport (KSFO): http://www.wimp.com/approachlanding/.

Runway 28R is adjacent to Runway 28L, where recently, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash landed on July 6, 2013, killing 3 and injuring almost 200. Weather is not believed to be a cause in the accident. Conditions at KSFO were fair skies, mild temperatures, light winds, perfect visibility, no precipitation, and no forecast of wind shear.

It is incredible how automated the approach and landing sequences appear to be on these ultra-modern aircraft. There are also some pretty spectacular views of the S.F. Bay Area!

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Stephen Bone
Meteorologist

TWA Flight 800

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the southern coast of Long Island, killing all 212 passengers and 18 crew members onboard. The Boeing 747 aircraft departed John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City at approximately 8:00 PM EDT and was destined for Paris, France. The National Transportation Safety Board’s lengthy investigation came to the controversial conclusion that an electrical spark from a faulty/damaged wire caused ignition of the overheated center fuel tank, and subsequent explosion.

Tonight, on the 17 year anniversary of the tragedy, a new documentary titled “TWA Flight 800” will debut on Epix at 8:00 PM. Since the crash, hundreds of witnesses claimed to have seen streaks of light in the sky seconds before the explosion, as if missiles shot the plane out of the sky. There are theories that the investigation was a manipulated government cover-up, and a petition for the NTSB to re-open its investigation on the crash is circling around the country. Former NTSB investigators who worked on this particular crash in the late 90’s speak out regarding the truth about how the 230 victims on a routine flight were suddenly killed.

I am interested in listening to the evidence and eye-witness accounts presented in this documentary, and encourage everyone to give it a watch at some point. More information can be found on the Epix site here: http://press.epixhd.com/programming/twa-flight-800/.

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Stephen Bone
Meteorologist