Horrible Microburst?!

Got hit by what my pilot believes was a microburst. Bad situation all around. Night, bad weather, visibility down to a few hundred feet with a plane on our 6 about 1000 below headed in the same direction. Our Nexrad was down for some reason. While my pilot and co-pilot were trying to figure out what was going on with the Nexrad, we got hit by what appeared to be wind shear/microburst. Almost passed out. Kicked off the autopilot and got blown all over the sky. The flight path looks like a drunken spider walking across the page! Never want to experience that again. Just thankful my pilot was experienced and did not overcorrect. Glad to be back on terra firma.

Any thoughts? You can check out the flight plan. Tail is N34BF on 5/16/10, KSTL to KCGI.

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:


Glad you’re ok!

Looks like turbulence, not a microburst. Microbursts USUALLY last a few minutes at that and do not cause side to side motion. They slam you down then spit you out the other side. Seems like you just encountered windshear or turbulence.

that’s all in a days flying.

I’d have to agree though as I understand microbursts, there is no “coming out the other side”, you are just slammed dunked into the ground. One flight comes to mind was a flight into Dallas when a jet got slammed to the ground from a microburst.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microburst gives insight on microbursts.

Flight path deviations sure look normal on track that Wazzu provides when one has to pick around TCU’s (towering cumulus) or CBs (thunderstorms)

No doubt not a comfortable ride!

Yet we do escape training at my airline? You can get out of it. Just ride the stick shaker till you’re spit out the other end.

I assume this training would be for dry microbursts? I can’t imagine for the wet ones you have enough altitude to get through it? Keep in mind, I am not ATP or even close so it’s just thoughts for what it’s worth.

Obviously if you are trained for it, then it’s possible to get through them but avoidance all together is what I have read to be the best option.

I remember years ago in a AA MD-11 Sim, they hit us with a microburst on approach. Throttles to the stops, stick in our laps, we only saved it by less than 100 feet before we would have hit dirt. That really was an eye opener for me, and it was only a sim.

Interesting. Gotta love learning.

How high were you off the ground before they hit you with the microburst? I’ve just never heard of a good outcome dealing with these things though I am sure they are out there since good things never get publicized.

With what you experienced in the sim, do you think the Piper twin pilot in this thread would have survived it without having it’s wings ripped off (conjecture of course)?

This Why you should have REAL on board Radar.
Nexrad is pretty and cute untill you’ve used it alongside real aircraft radar.
Once you’ve seen them side by side the Nexrad limitations are glaring.

Nexrad for strategic planning, and on-board radar for tactical manuevering. :wink:

Looking at your track log it appears that you entered an area of windshear induced by a wind shift between two air masses. If you’ll note…your groundspeeds 10 +/- minutes prior to the shear encounter were in the 140 kt. range. Then after it slowed to around 127 kts. While the GS reduction could’ve been from a power reduction from the settings prior to the encounter…my bet is the classic wind shear/shift scenario.

Also, microbursts usually accompany precipitation and/or virga that draws the air down with the precip. The radar overlay for your route is pretty clear. Another indication of shear/shift rather than a MB.

185 and AZ,
Very interesting about on board radar vs nexrad. I had wondered about that!

Keep in mind that the NEXRAD images are up to 12 or 15 minutes old! That’s a long time for convective activity. Different satellite providers also make their own modifications to the images, changing the shading for intensity, etc… NEXRAD is good for getting a “big picture”, but nothing beats the real thing

Something you said almost three years ago 8)

discussions.flightaware.com/view … 4261#34261

Allen with the memory of an elephant… :wink:

Allen with the memory of an elephant…

Or a pilot… :wink:

I think that pilot memory thing only applies to the location of bars, nudie bars, sports bars, tiki bars, biker bars, bar bars… :smiley:

Our memories of our “experiences” on the road are never a problem… :laughing:

What “experiences” on the road? All I did was go eat dinner at the Outback and go back to the hotel room. I was there all night watching the Mythbusters marathon… :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

That’s your story…and I see that you’re sticking to it!

And I’m okay with that… :wink: