Fear of Flying in Rain

Posted on: April 27th, 2012 by

Some people have a particular fear of flying in rain, and some days rain can be widespread.  This can leading to a particular feeling of dread  should the forecast for the day of your flight be a little ornery.  Here’s a few thoughts on the topic of flying in rain that I posted recently on the Taking Flight FoF forum

A few things about flying in rain…

1) it is no problem. The engines run just fine even with water going in the front, and the wing is unaffected.

2) as you might expect, your pilots do have some considerations to make on rainy days with regard to reduced braking effectiveness on the ground, but these factors are well known and applied with large safety margins so for you, as a passenger, it makes absolutely no difference.

3) on humid days (e.g. Raining or foggy) if you are seated at a window near the wing you may notice some condensation clouds over the wing and in the engine air intakes (the front of the engine). Don’t worry… It is not smoke! It is an atmospeheric effect whereby the water in the humid air condenses in areas of lower air pressure. This is most likely at takeoff, but also possible at approach & landing.

4) you can expect, possibly, a few bumps at low altitude until you get above the clouds. It is quite common for the seatbelt sign to stay on for a little bit longer after takeoff until your pilots climb the plane above the clouds.

5) your airplane has weather radar allowing your pilots to see through the cloud and thereby avoid the worst of the bumpy clouds.

6) you are perfectly safe from lightning inside an airplane due to it being a metal can… if you are science-minded, google “faraday cage” for the explanation of why.

7) you will, probably, be above the clouds for much of your flight. If it is a daytime flight this is a most glorious experience, being in the clear sunny sky all the while knowing that the mere mortals below are being rained upon!

Enjoy your flight, and look forward to seeing the sun on a day when the earthings won’t! 

2 Responses to Fear of Flying in Rain

  1. Hannah had this to say about that:

    Thank you, very good article. I always am fearful to fly since my flight from Hongkong to Japan. It was raining hard, the plane took off and it was bumpy for an hour or 30 minutes as what I have remembered. I thought the plane wa going to fall it was like a roler coaster ride for me. It was more scared because I was with my daughter as I begun crying due to the people screaming when the plane goes up and down. It was Japan Airlines. We made it through the rain and I was crying happily when I saw the sun coming out above the clouds. I am still scared but I am tryin my best to overcome it.

  2. admin had this to say about that:

    Thankyou Hannah,
    Courage is a very interesting thing, and a very personal thing. You are not alone in your fear… fear of flying is one of the most common fears but one that very few people talk about. I don’t have to tell you that flying is safe… you know that, but BELIEVING IT is a different matter.

    This fear can be beaten, and your wings across the Earth can be freed. But it will take a little courage.

    I’m sure you have it within you.

    Fear Dragon

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