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Old 17th Nov 2007, 19:32   #1 (permalink)

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max air wind speed for takeoff/landing big planes?

Hi there,

First, I am not a pilot... simply a curious passenger

Which is the max wind speed allowed for takeoff/landing in major commercial airports for planes such as Boeing 747 and 737, Airbus 360, etc???.

Which would be the 'safety margin'?

cokie69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Nov 2007, 21:12   #2 (permalink)
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No specific speed. However, airports will generally close when winds hit hurricane force (about 70 mph).
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Old 18th Nov 2007, 00:06   #3 (permalink)
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Aerodromes are not closed due to high wind; the decision to operate rests with the operator/ pilot in command. The maximum value of wind (or crosswind) is determined and promulgated by each operator, taking into account the manufacturers recommended/maximum limits.
Usually, in extreme high wind conditions, it is not the windspeed per-se that is the limiting factor, but the effect of any crosswind, turbulence, or windshear, any or all of which can be present to some degree in high wind operations.
Ground handling is an issue, also. No point in landing somewhere if the ground staff are unable to service the aircraft or operate the airbridge etc.
Typically, in my neck of the woods, the airlines start to call it quits if the wind is consistently above about 50knots, or the crosswind frequently exceeds 35. Have seen Boeings land in about 60. Not that common, though.
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Old 18th Nov 2007, 19:44   #4 (permalink)

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The demonstrated cross wind limit of the 737 is 35kts.

This is normally, if not universally, an operational limit.

We have limits on when doors can be opened and limits on when we can taxi.

I have landed in winds gusting 60+ kts and its not fun.

On this particular day the wind readout at 500' RA (radio altitude) was 88 kts.

The decision about whether to land will ultimately rest with the Commander.
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Old 18th Nov 2007, 21:56   #5 (permalink)
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cokie - I assume your question refers to windspeed along the runway rather than across. I have landed 737s with gusting 65kts and the major problem is taxying when you turn across the wind especially if the surface is at all slippery. That, as 'Intruder' says, tends to put a top end on it. Strong winds can also cause havoc on the parking stands. I was turned quite a few degrees on stand by a strong wind and I have seen a badly chocked BA jumbo turned 45 degrees.

As 'SR' says, until you try to turn out of the wind or open anything, actual wind speed is not really a problem for a jetliner as they are designed to fly at high (relative) wind speeds.
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 14:38   #6 (permalink)
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Airbus 360, etc
Airbus has not produced Airbus 360, nor even announced what it should be.

So, there is no official limit on headwinds? Airplane types have defined limits for crosswinds (which is at least 20 knots for all planes, at least 25 knots for all planes with Vref over 125 knots and at least 20 % of Vref for all planes with Vref between 100 and 125 knots) and they have defined limits for tailwinds... So what about a strong wind directly ahead? Is it possible, or legal, to land an airplane flying backwards?
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 17:46   #7 (permalink)
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Again, there is no general headwind limit. There may be a headwind limit for autoland (25 knots in the 747), but no general limit. In practical terms, as has already been pointed out, turbulence and other weather (rain, downdrafts, etc) will make it inadvisable to land when the surface wind is high, and may restrict ground operations before flight ops are restricted. I have landed in 50+ knot wind, but it is not a common practice for most commercial operators.
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