Air Canada enRoute

Why the bumps ?


Twenty-one years ago, my first article explained the seven types of turbulence. It was titled ‘Why the Bumps?’ because this is the most commonly asked question from passengers. Technology has certainly helped to contend with the unpredicta­ble nature of bumpy rides. A pilot’s iPad can superimpos­e a specific routing on weather charts that depict areas of bumps. We can also interrogat­e other airplane reports from this site. Each “heartbeat” shows the whereabout­s of the airplane and its altitude, and if bumps occurred at this point. Our flight plan also assigns a numerical value for possible bumps along every waypoint, while flight dispatch sends us inflight reports via datalink. Everyone is striving to deliver the smoothest ride possible.

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