Technology – Automatic Landing

Bad weather affects the airline industry more than other modes of transportation. For example, when there is a thunderstorm, you are still able to drive your car, take public transport or take a train (usually).
However, when there is a thunderstorm, the airlines in the affected region experience disruption.
When this happens, there is a whole lot of logistical work that goes into rescheduling flights and delays may be experienced in other destinations not affected by the weather.

Not too long ago, about ten years, while travelling by air we would experience disruptions due to poor weather. One particular type was flight delay due to fog.

Fast forward someday in the year 2020, and there was some announcement at the airport about some delays affecting European flights. I thought the delay was due to another French air traffic controls on strike.

We got on the plane, and the pilot apologised for delays and stated that this was in fact due to weather disruptions across Europe. I was glad it was over; I did not know what type of weather delay it was.
As we approached our final destination, the captain announced that due to the weather conditions, we would have an automated landing. All devices had to be powered down, not on safe, sleep or any other sleep flavoured mode.

I was very excited as I had never experienced an automated landing. We were all set and ready to go I looked out the window, and it was all clouds there light coming through the clouds as we made our way towards the airport.

The plane began its descent towards the airport as if gliding. I looked out the window, and it was still very cloudy. I could not see a thing. The wheels came out as the plane progressed towards landing, still very cloudy outside. It felt like we were still in the clouds then the tyres were on the runway, visibility was poor. I could see nothing just what looked like fog lights shining through the deep fog.

The landing was great made me appreciate the advances in technology even more. What would have been cancellations and hours of delays was saved by technology.

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