View Full Version : Fog Ahoy!!!!

20th Dec 2006, 15:43
Ok, so now that's it Christmas, we can expect delays from baggage handlers on strike, terrorists, and now flippin' fog.

Anyone been to LGW today? I'm flying out of there on Friday evening.

PS, Sorry if you're reading this from an internet cafe at LHR!!! :uhoh:

20th Dec 2006, 15:46
Just waiting for someone to blame this on Global warming:hmm:

20th Dec 2006, 15:50
Luton was apparently clear.

20th Dec 2006, 15:50
McAero, according to the Beeb http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/5day.shtml?id=3238 you may need to change 'I'm' to 'I was supposed to be'. :{

One hopes not 'though! :ok:

20th Dec 2006, 15:56

Just to titillate your meteorological musings, herewith a long TAF or two with which to amuse yourself. Friday should be ather worse; I should have thought, given that it will probably be colder.
A quick check through arrivals and departures on the LGW website on Friday might reveal the extent of your doom. Happy holidays anyway. In the end one will arrive at one's destination.

LONDON/GATWICK EGKK 201630Z 210024 VRB03KT 0100 FZFG VV/// BECMG 0912 2000 BR BKN004 PROB30 TEMPO 1117 6000 SCT012 BECMG 1619 0100 FZFG VV///

LONDON/HEATHROW EGLL 201630Z 210024 VRB03KT 0100 FZFG VV/// BECMG 0912 2000 BR BKN005 PROB30 TEMPO 1117 6000 SCT012 BECMG 1619 0100 FZFG VV/// :O

20th Dec 2006, 16:09
Why can't we (in this day and age) disperse this fog? They set fires during the War (did they work?), and, as someone suggested on another thread, we could run the windmills and BLOW the fog away.
Is it beyond the skill of Man to induce depressions in some places and 'Highs' in another, thereby inducing 'thermals' that would shift the fog? :ugh:

Fog is a cloud on the ground. Fog-clearing operations have mainly been attempted at airports to improve runway visibility. An early attempt at fog dispersal burned large quantities of fuel oil along runways, so that the air would warm enough to evaporate the fog. This expensive technique proved to be ineffective and very smoky. Another method employs helicopters that hover above the fog layer. The turbulence created by the blades mixes the drier, warmer air above the fog with the cooler, saturated air below. The mixing of the drier air into the fog evaporates the fog. This method works well when the fog is shallow, winds are light, and the air temperature is above freezing.

Fog has also been seeded in an attempt to dissipate it. The seeding usually involves salt particles or dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide). Tiny salt particles cause the fog droplets to grow in size and fall out as drizzle. Dry ice only works in fog at below freezing temperatures. As small pieces of cold dry ice descend, they freeze the liquid fog droplets into ice crystals. The ice crystals grow in size and fall to the ground. The remaining fog droplets evaporate, leaving a clear area in the fog for aircraft operations. No matter how successful the fog-clearing operation, it must be applied continuously or the fog will reform as it moves in from the surrounding area.

Lessons should be learned.

20th Dec 2006, 16:34

Yes! You are absolutely right - Gosh darn it!!

Furthermore..people used to pay good money for fog!!


Just a little lasts all night - somewhat appropriate perhaps!:p

tony draper
20th Dec 2006, 16:49
One thunk everything was automated now puters and radio beams guided you down to the runway threshold puters set your flaps and dropped the wheels like wise no need to see anything on takeoff, a blue line on yer moving map displays shows exactly where yer is, in fact one thunk you lot just strapped in and pressed a button now.

20th Dec 2006, 16:55
With the exception of perhaps an engine failure - an automated landing in poor visibility is probably the most stressful thing your average airline pilot will have to undergo during their career. As a wannabe I was lucky enough to witness one into Gatwick aboard a B747-400 in about 200 metres viz. Pin drop time on the flight deck and audible sighs of relief from the three crew members on rollout. Trust in technology is all very well in theory but put into practice is a different matter!


20th Dec 2006, 17:00
The problems arise when the aircraft have LANDED and can't find their way to their parking stand, and also when they are leaving, the ATCOs need to be able to see that the runway is CLEAR before allowing the departing aircraft onto it. Nowadays, there is congestion on the taxiways as aircraft queue up to fulfill their allotted departure slot.
What HAS been implemented today is a reduction in the frequency from 45 per hour to 28 per hour, so therefore SOME flights have to be cancelled, and it 'makes more sense' to allow the International flights to take precedence (Inland passengers MAY be able to travel by surface transport).

a B747-400 in about 200 metres viz.
Apparently, the viz at Heathrow this morning was 75-100 metres. Remember, last night the Liverpool football game was cancelled due to inadequate visibility ie the Ref couldn't see the corners of the pitch from the centre.

20th Dec 2006, 17:09
Valley fog in the SE today at 11.15 UTC, upper centre of this 250m res image:


20th Dec 2006, 17:28
There is a major reductionin OPS at LHR, half the usual. From CWL www.cwlfly.com all flights have been cancelled or indefinatley delayed for the day.:*. My bother has had the nights BFS flight cancelled and is now on his way home. So much for the second best weather record in the UK.

20th Dec 2006, 17:33
Common practice from the old days ~ haven't flown planks in awhile.

First plane in the queue sacrifices his slot by making a high speed taxi down the runway generating enough turbulence to dissipate some of the fog and raise the RVR high enough to obtain takeoff minimums for those behind them. Succeeding planes taking off kept the RVR high enough for the rest of the queue to follow.

Remember an airline Captain and ATCO peep being busted by some FAA type in the 80's at KORD for authorizing and performing said procedure ~ " unauthorized use of a runway " ~ don't remember the outcome.

Anyone remember this incident and have any of you done it?

Edit: Memory jog~
When the US ATCO's were fired in the 80's and many airports went uncontrolled at night and reservations for IFR flight plans went into effect the US courier flights carrying commercial paper to the Federal Reserve banks went into panic mode.
Long story here but that's for another time. One contracted to meet courier planes at an uncontrolled field with an instrument approach and helo the paper to ground couriers and major airport departures to other Federal Reserve cities with 6 helo's. Courier Lears landing at uncontrolled field illegally IFR
by group clearance on unicom telling ATC they were VFR.

Our aircraft did two ship high speed hovers down the active to disperse fog ~ probable illegal because the intent was there, foolhardy by practical standards but the couriers with their unicom coordination and self discipline pulled it off for several months until the financial powers
( the local airport authority was selling a lot of Jet-A ) and FAA towed the mark and payed to reopen the tower.

The AvgasDinosaur
20th Dec 2006, 17:57
Seem to recall Swissair lost a Caravelle after a similar high speed fog busting run.
Hope it helps

20th Dec 2006, 18:11
Just waiting for someone to blame this on Global warming:hmm:

cause london never had fog til the late 90's.......

20th Dec 2006, 18:21
BAA said 223 flights had been cancelled altogether.
The BBC Weather Centre says the poor conditions are set to continue for the next few days approx 48 hours when many people will be travelling for the festive break.
It warned that the weather was likely to cause problems for motorists right up to Christmas. The fog has also caused delays for ferries docking at Pembroke port - with 160 passengers on Irish Ferries' Isle of Inishmore coming in 10 hours late.

:ugh: looks like i wont be going to Paris,,,,nooooooooooooo

20th Dec 2006, 18:54
I was told long ago that Gatwick is built in an area originally named 'Lowfield Heath' and is actually in a dip that is prone to mist and fog..... sounds like a great place to put an airfield!!!

20th Dec 2006, 19:26

Curious Pax
20th Dec 2006, 19:28
Driving from Hull to Cornwall on Friday - I suspect that it could take some time (even if the ship manages to dock!).:(

Captain Smithy
21st Dec 2006, 07:17
Heard the most fecking stupid thing on GMTV this morning. Reporter was talking to various stranded pax - I was sympathetic towards them until this point - then comes the usual "It's rediculous, shocking, disgraceful etc. etc. etc. we haven't been told anything, nobody knows anything". Well, what is there to say? I would've thought it was fecking obvious. It's still foggy, ergo you can't leave yet. What is it with these people?:ugh: D'oh!

You want it when?
21st Dec 2006, 08:17
Wonderfully clear on Orly / London City for the 15:30 yesterday. Air France only 15 minutes late and - I'm done for the year. Yippee.

Course got fog bound in Stevenage but hey that's par for the course. :ok:

Buster Hyman
21st Dec 2006, 09:01
Ahhh, what I'd give for fog right now! Here's a photo of the MCG!

And this is Bairnsdale, closer to the bushfires...



fox niner
21st Dec 2006, 09:12
well, at least you have a sort of white christmas then, in the london area....

21st Dec 2006, 09:20
Just heard a tirade from a would-be passenger at Heathrow that, being such a large Airport it SHOULD be capable of coping with such problems.
Spokesperson stated that Heathrow normally operates at 98% of its capacity, so, reducing 'spacing' (45 per hour to 28 per hour) due to ground-handling restrictions, inevitably means a loss of some slots.

SO - the solution would be to increase capacity so that Heathrow normally operated at only 50% capacity, so that when restrictions were applied it could continue unabated.

Mr Pax
21st Dec 2006, 10:20
Patience everyone!!!
Let us NEVER forget that terrible foggy day in Teneriffe:(


Captain Smithy
21st Dec 2006, 10:33
Patience everyone!!!
Let us NEVER forget that terrible foggy day in Teneriffe:(


An event every moaning passenger should bear in mind.:sad:

21st Dec 2006, 12:44

ATC boss-chappie talking on the wireless that the Instrument Landing System depends on a 'clear view' for each aircraft, so the landed aircraft has to be cleared away from the ground transmitter before it is 'safe' for the following aircraft to be able to rely on the integrity of the beam.

21st Dec 2006, 12:47
I'm flying into LHR overnight today so I've been checking the weather and the BBC news. I just read this in the "have your say" section from a clearly dillusional person...
"As British citizens we should have the right to travel where and how we want. Although BA and BAA can do nothing about the weather it is clear they do not have sufficient provisions to make alternative arrangements for the affected passangers. The fact that people put up with it is typical of the general British attitude towards customer service in terms of letting large corporations walk all over us - in America people would put up a fight and the airlines and airport operators would have react [sic] accordingly."

So we have a right to travel - correct, but please tell me why BA et al should have a fleet of cars, trains, buses etc on standby on the off chance that the weather or some other factor causes them to cancel flights. Obviously this person has a spare car at hand just in case his current vehicle packs it in. Idiot.

21st Dec 2006, 12:54
The basic 'situation' is that BA are using their available slots for overseas/international flights. Makes sense when inland/domestic passengers CAN find alternative methods of transport (coach, train, car). However, trains are operating above capacity (passengers standing from London to Scotland) and car rental companies are reporting 'no vehicles available'.

BMI (allegedly) have been operating their inland flights using wide-bodied jets in place of the usual slim versions, and running with spare capacity.

It all makes sense, but not, apparently, to some travellers who expect perfection.

Chimbu chuckles
21st Dec 2006, 12:58
We briefed and flew Cat3b no decision this morning but were visual just below Cat 2 minimas...rather nice actually...no holding at LAM just over, round the S bend and in...but if anywhere on the planet desperately needs a little global warming its this place:}

Hey Buster..an EK mate was in MEL a week or so ago and reports some rather 'novel' interpretation of CAT 1 minimum vis being applied...people wouldn't do that would they?:= :E

Buster Hyman
21st Dec 2006, 21:19
"I have no recollection of that Your Honour!" (I think that's how it goes....)