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Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.


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Old 25th Jan 2012, 04:04   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Huge Solar Eruption Sparks Strongest Radiation Storm in 7 Years

I hope you're not in the air at 0400 GMT.......
Do airlines just stick their head in the sand at this threat or were there reroutes/lower FL's?
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 04:34   #2 (permalink)
 
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News media reports I read mentioned that Delta are re-planning more southerly from Asia, but did not mention anyone else.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 05:00   #3 (permalink)
 
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Any web links with details please.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 05:01   #4 (permalink)
 
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Do you think CX's wonderful "dispatchers" (who are really not trained nor licensed dispatchers and who plan CX flights directly through the center of typhoons) would really re-route the aircraft due to this?

I think not.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 05:16   #5 (permalink)
 
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SW for Aviation Service Providers

i.a.w. with OPS Part A all flights still on the ground at the time of issue of a NOAA Space weather 4 or above alert message should be re-planned via non-polar routes, and flights in the air diverted away from the polar region, even if this requires a fuel stop.

From what I can see this was a S-3 solar radiation storm, and a G-1 geomagentic storm, not requiring any immediate action ...

To put it into perspective:
A S-3 alert is triggered at a Proton 10MeV Integral Flux exceeding 1000pfu
A S-4 alert is triggered at 10000 pfu

this storm had a maximum 10MeV Flux of 6310 pfu


Last edited by freightdog188; 25th Jan 2012 at 05:35. Reason: alert level info added
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 05:50   #6 (permalink)
 
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Delta reroutes its flights, but Cathay launches 841 and 831 right over the pole.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 05:53   #7 (permalink)
 
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Freightdog188, you are awesome!
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 21:04   #8 (permalink)
 
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Air Canada also rerouted flights away from the Pole.

It is said to be the largest solar storm in the last ten years. Yet, it was a level S3 on a scale from 1 to 5. It just shows that a policy of rerouting for level 4 or 5 only is inadequate.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 21:12   #9 (permalink)
 
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Not entirely sure what the problem is with flying through the middle of a typhoon. At high level it is hardly any different from the normal summer weather around the region.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 22:42   #10 (permalink)
 
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I head back westcoast US from China this afternoon at 4pm via G212, VALDA,ANC etc. I dont think this is considered a polar route. We dont go more than 64n on this route.

I have read the info but must admit I dont know a lot of what it means and how high a risk it presents to crew.

Would this route pose a threat? Does flying a lower cruise level make it safer?

thanks for any guidance cos the dumbass's I work for wont give any.
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 03:46   #11 (permalink)

 
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Had a LAX HKG Flt planned through North Korea a few years ago right in the period they planned a missle test. The USAF and JSDF were very busy flying right near the area snooping around. I "asked" disp to re-route us another way avoiding the area thanks very much!!
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 11:06   #12 (permalink)
 
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Map of radiation hazard

If you want to be very concerned look at the following site which contains a diagram of the radiation hazard during this period which not unexpectedly shows the greatest hazard in the high north / south latitudes

Solar radiation storm sweeps over Earth | Cutting Edge - CNET News

So why didn't Cathay re route their flights in accordance with the manuals
When warnings of high geomagnetic or solar radiation are present flights will be routed using non polar route.

Simple answer, because it would have cost more in time and fuel and that is all they care about.

The space storm had been on every news broadcast worldwide so everyone was aware of the dangers of flying during this period
A re-route despite costing more could have been a PR bonanza for the company if handled correctly .
" Ladies and Gents this is the Capt We will not be taking our usual routing because the Company is very concerned about exposing you to the additional radiation hazard from the recent space storm"

Well now we all know that the Company is never going to reroute a flight due to radiation hazard and what's in the manuals is simply there to make you feel better. For the junior crew who will be doing this 2-3 times a month for 20-30 years IF you live that long I do not envy you .
I cannot understand that there has been so little comment on this subject
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 10:33   #13 (permalink)
The Reverend
 
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Quote:
For the junior crew who will be doing this 2-3 times a month for 20-30 years IF you live that long I do not envy you .
I cannot understand that there has been so little comment on this subject
This S3 magnitude solar storm is the first one since 2003 and they abate within 40 hours max so I very much doubt that junior crew has much to worry about.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 12:29   #14 (permalink)
 
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Oicur 2,

How did you go??

b.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 13:08   #15 (permalink)
 
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Suggest you read the NOAA website regarding this topic and the FAA document by the Space Weather Sub-group of the Cross Polar Working Group and you will see that most of the comments being push as fact in this thread are in fact a stretch of the facts.
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Old 6th Feb 2012, 21:02   #16 (permalink)
 
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boocs

The level had decreased to "normal" by the time we launched. Still chose a lower cruise level though. No glowing from my underpants yet.

This is the first time I have needed to consider solar radiation. Its amazing how much information is out there but more surprisingly is how much of it is NOT usable information at consumer level.

I am a dumb pilot, not a scientist.
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