Experts: Radar systems protect US airliners

U.S. aviation experts say most American airlines are equipped with weather radar technology to help prevent tragedies like the recent AirAsia plane crash that killed 162 people onboard. The pilots

News 12 Staff

Dec 31, 2014, 3:48 AM

Updated 3,428 days ago

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Experts: Radar systems protect US airliners
U.S. aviation experts say most American airlines are equipped with weather radar technology to help prevent tragedies like the recent AirAsia plane crash that killed 162 people onboard.
The pilots of AirAsia Flight 85-01 had asked permission from air traffic controllers to climb above threatening storm clouds, but were denied due to heavy air traffic. Minutes later, the jet disappeared from air traffic control's radar. The tragedy raises the question about what type of technology was aboard the AirAsia flight that could have prevented the plane from crashing.
U.S. aviation experts say pilots rely on high-tech weather-radar systems that include a dashboard display of storms and clouds to steer clear of dangerous weather. Dr. Michael Canders, an associate professor of aviation at Farmingdale State College, says most major U.S. carriers are equipped with this technology.
"It allows the flight crew to see weather ahead of the aircraft," said Canders. "The weather radar looks out to see if there's heavy precipitation that would be indicative of severe weather, such as a thunderstorm."
Federal aviation analysts say most major U.S. carriers have their own in-house meteorological departments. If a bad storm is brewing, most airlines simply cancel the flights to avoid the hazardous conditions.
Canders says the safety of a flight depends on the expertise of the pilot and his communication with air traffic control.
This year had the lowest number of crashes since the late 1920s, according to the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. This year's number of crashes is 111, down from 139 last year.
 


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