Friday, August 15, 2014

Airlines and Tornadoes: A Continued Safety Threat


I've been asked whether this photo is genuine. Having tracked it back to the original source, the answer appears to be yes.

While meteorologists have conquered the downburst, making air travel much safer, tornadoes are a different matter. There are far too many close encounters between aircraft and tornadoes. Here is one from the St. Louis area earlier this summer. A 737 flies very close to a damaging tornado.

In Warnings, I tell the dramatic story of how Dr. Ted Fujita and others conquered the downburst. I also
discuss that tornadoes are still an unsolved threat to commercial aviation. The book was published in 2010 and nothing has changed. I'm not the only one that has noticed: the Washington Post ran a two-part series on this problem in 2011.

It is long past time the Federal Aviation Administration gives this problem the attention it demands.

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