Travel Can pilots really make up time in the air?

16:01  13 november  2017
16:01  13 november  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

The 5 Buttons You Hope Your Pilot Never Touches

  The 5 Buttons You Hope Your Pilot Never Touches Getting on a plane can be nerve-wracking. Most flights are totally uneventful, but airplane pilots are well trained to know what to do if there is an emergency. (If you’re scared of flying, these comforting airplane facts will keep you calm.) In the rare case of a real emergency, though, there are a handful of buttons every pilot hopes never to need, which pilot Patrick Smith dished to Daily Mail.

Working with air -traffic control to shorten the route is usually the best way to “ make up time .” It is much shorter than many people realize . When landing on very short runways, the pilots will very carefully control the speed, touch down on the touchdown point and use all of the deceleration

If you've ever sat on the tarmac for an extended time on a delayed flight, you've probably heard a pilot claim they will " make up lost time in the air ".

An airplane lands at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on Aug. 31, 2017. © Michael Probst, AP An airplane lands at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on Aug. 31, 2017. Q: When the pilot says they are going to try to "make up some time" en route to a destination, how is that done? Do they fly faster than cruising speed? Take a different approach/route?      

— submitted by reader Scott, Charlotte, N.C.

A: Working with air-traffic control to shorten the route is usually the best way to “make up time.” Many flights do not use the most direct line between two airports because of congestion and air-traffic control routing, so there may be opportunities to reduce distance.

Most jets cruise near their maximum speed, so there’s little available speed in reserve to lower the overall flight time.

Why you should avoid the first flight of the day if you hate turbulence

  Why you should avoid the first flight of the day if you hate turbulence If you are a nervous flyer then one of the worst times to fly could be the very first flight of the day, according to Paul Williams, a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading. This is because pilots rely on earlier flight paths to navigate past areas of bad turbulence. Therefore, when there is no path to follow pilots consider this "uncharted territory."This could mean you come across unexpected turbulence.

I’ve always been skeptical of this claim, so I decided to check to see if this really happens: Do pilots On- time flights on these routes see an average flight time of about 344 minutes, or 5 hours and 44 minutes.1 If pilots can make up time in the air , the average flight time should be shorter for longer

It’s a familiar scenario, but can pilots actually make up time ? The short answer is yes. But as with most things air travel, it's not that simple. “It’s not just a cost to the company, it’s a cost to the environment,” Anderson says.

Q: What factors allow a flight to arrive earlier than scheduled?         

— Raymie, Honolulu

A: The two most significant factors for getting to your destination ahead of schedule are the wind direction/velocity (high tail winds mean faster groundspeed and reduced flight time) and the taxi time (shorter than planned taxi time means early arrival).

Flight planning looks for the best route for the wind. Taxi time is a function of the traffic at the departure airport.

Q: My flight from Reagan National to Hartford Bradley was delayed. When we finally took off, the pilot told us the flying time would be 35 minutes. The original flight time was 65 minutes. How do you reduce the flight time by that much?

What You Don't Get To See When Your Plane Is Landing

  What You Don't Get To See When Your Plane Is Landing There’s no better window seat than the one in the cockpit. Qatar Airways Captain Sandeep Varma posted a mesmerizing video to Twitter last week documenting a plane landing at Queenstown Airport in New Zealand, one of the world’s most scenic airports.The tweet, which has been shared more than 27,000 times, includes a video that shows what pilots see during that particular plane landing: snow-capped mountains above the clouds, prolonged moments with no visibility and a swift approach toward a runway.This is what the pilot sees and the passengers do not seeDuring landing at Queenstown New Zealand Airport pic.

It's common for flights to run behind schedule, but can pilots really make up the time lost? Here's how airline pilots play catch- up while they're airborne.

It's common for flights to run behind schedule, but can pilots really make up the time lost? Here's how airline pilots play catch- up while they're airborne.

— Bill, Connecticut

A: The initial flight time included the expected taxi time. This can be a significant amount of time. In your example, there was a 30-minute taxi time built into the flight to keep it on time based on history.

Q: Last trip from London to Philadelphia, I arrived an hour and 20 minutes early.  Does this happen very often?

— Robert, Bangor, Maine

A: It happens when the wind is less than forecast when flying westbound, where prevailing headwinds usually lower groundspeed. That happens more often during the summer than in winter.

Have a question about flying? Send it to travel@usatoday.com.

John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his own aviation safety consulting company, Safety Operating Systems.

WATCH: Why Airlines Often Don't Seem To Provide Accurate Flight Times (Provided by GeoBeats)


Ex-Alaska Airlines pilot will plead guilty to flying while drunk .
A former Alaska Airlines pilot will plead guilty in California to a charge of flying a passenger plane while drunk. Federal prosecutors say David Hans Arntson of Newport Beach agreed Tuesday to enter the plea at a later hearing. He'll be sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.In 2014, Arntson flew an Alaska Airlines flight from San Diego International Airport to Portland, Oregon, and then a second plane from Portland to John Wayne Airport in Southern California.After landing there, he underwent random testing that found his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit for pilots.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!