Weather that Impacts Flight Plans

There are many types of weather that may impact your flight.  Pilots, aircraft dispatchers, and air traffic controllers put a lot of time and effort into trying to avoid these phenomena. While weather is always unpredictable, a general understanding of how weather can impact your aircraft operations, may help your travel plans run smoothly and increase your comfort in flight.

Thunderstorms can be hazardous to aircraft due to high winds, hail, and their generally unpredictable nature. Aircraft dispatchers are trained to assist in planning flight paths that are clear of thunderstorm weather. They take into account wind direction and speed. When multiple storms develop in a region, the storms block local air routes. This causes a delay in flight. Additionally, wind shear, a sudden and unpredictable change in wind direction and/or velocity, may be caused by thunderstorms. This causes a sudden loss of altitude, which can be critical in phases like taking off or landing, and when the aircraft is flying slowly and low to the ground. Aircraft dispatchers who have been highly trained at the world’s best aircraft dispatching schools, like Sheffield’s School of Aeronautics, can professionally assess thunderstorms and make ground delays as they see fit, all while keeping passenger safety at the forefront.

Tropical weather in the Atlantic Ocean usually peaks in the fall season. The potential for great impact and dangerous debris during a tropical storm or hurricane, can cause a temporary suspension of all flights. To ensure the safety of passengers and your aircraft, it is best to bunker down and protect your belongings.

Fog can be the most popular weather condition during flights. It causes low cloud base and reduces visibility, which makes flight operation more stringent. The morning hours are affected more frequently, but it can often last until the afternoon hours.

Snow and Ice can be a major challenge for aviation. Snow and ice on the aircraft require de-icing, so they do not adversely impact the ability of the plane to fly. In the event of snow and/or ice the airline’s aircraft dispatcher may initiate departure delays, and while this may aggravate traveling passengers it is for their safety. De-icing is an important factor in lift capability. If ice is on the wing or surfaces of an aircraft, it will be more difficult to lift the aircraft due to weight. It can also change the way the air flows if ice is contained on the wings of an aircraft. Reduced visibility and cloud bases during snowfall limit the use of some airports, especially those in mountainous regions.

Jet streams are high-speed, narrow air currents found at altitudes above 35,000 feet. During the winter months, jet streams flow from west to east across North America at speeds typically in excess of 130mph.  When flying from east to west, these strong headwinds may cause turbulence and/or extended flight times, which may lead to additional fuel stops. Conversely, flying from west to east along the jet stream will reduce the overall flight time.

Flying an aircraft during vigorous weather conditions can be a dangerous task. With the help and knowledge of an aircraft dispatcher or an air traffic controller, pilots are able to fly in these conditions with ease and guidance. Having the knowledge of what to do during harsh weather can help save many lives, and that is what aircraft dispatchers are for.

  • Contact Us

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • Testimonials

    “Eric Morris is one of the most if not the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on Aircraft Dispatching in the United States. He strives constantly to make the industry better.” DH sidebar DH
    “now that I’ve been in an indoctrination class with students from other schools, I know I made the right choice with Sheffield.”   Kindest regards,  A.R.  All schools are created equal?! yeah…sure ;)
    “This was an amazing class! Always interesting! It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I have never enjoyed a course more than this one. Thank you for a great 5 weeks & EWINS!” R.S. R.S. Testimonial – 5-weeks & EWINS
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    ” I have received 4 (job) offers…many of the interviews I have gotten have been because of my “pedigree”…going to Sheffield. I am amazed at the respect your school has….I am honored to be a graduate. Thank you for all the work you ..!”  Testimonial – J. Ganci
    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    “My experience at Sheffield and my exposure to other aircraft dispatchers that did not go to Sheffield has resulted in an awareness of the superior depth and quality of the training provided by the Sheffield instructors.” CD Sidebar CD
    “After receiving my certificate, I joined a class of 4 experienced dispatchers for Part 121 initial training. Without experience, my preparation at Sheffield enabled me to become active at the same time after the initial training.” PR PR
    “Being that half my new hire class dropped out over the course of training, I can confidently say that Sheffield helped to prepare me for the real world.” GT – abridged testimonial – school selection matters
    “I am a graduate of the Sheffield’s Dispatcher Program. I have been a Captain-Part 121 Airline, Certified Flight/Grnd Instructor, and FAA Designated Check Airman and Sim Instructor (Part 121). From my experience I would rate Sheffield School as outstanding in their field.” PT PT
    “As a graduate of Sheffield School of Aeronautics I am a firm believer that I received the most thorough and well thought out aircraft dispatcher training available. I owe my position in the industry to Sheffield School of Aeronautics.” BF Sidebar BF
    “While touring my company’s dispatch department before I had my license our OCC manager pointed out that 7 of the 10 dispatchers on shift had come from Sheffield. The overall consensus was that Sheffield grads were able to hit the ground running as they were better prepared.” K.O. Sidebar K.O.
  • Online Catalog

    Sheffield Flight Dispatch Training Catalog

  • Connect