The pilot said that he does not always see the ground when landing – but this is normal

The pilot said that he does not always see the ground when landing — but this is normal

Landing at night, and even more so at a large airport, is not an easy task. Pilot Mark Vanhenaker, in his book How to Land a Plane, said that there are times when it is very difficult to “feel” the runway at night. And the lack of professionalism has nothing to do with it. “Most people think of airports as well-lit places. This is true when it comes to the area around the terminal buildings. But taxiways and runways are less illuminated. And there is logic in this: when landing at night in urban conditions, it is more convenient to look for the darkest place, because the lights of the night city shine brighter than any signal lights, ”Mark told readers.

The pilot explains: in case of very poor visibility, the crew makes an instrument landing.

Should I be worried?

No, passengers don't have to worry about pilots not seeing the ground or getting “lost” in the middle of all this illumination. Night landing is quite safe thanks to weather sensors, on-board instruments and navigation systems. In his book, Mark explains that in the event of very poor visibility, the crew makes an instrument landing. If pilots see nothing at all during landing, they rely on information from their cockpit screens. But there are situations when it is really impossible to land – for example, due to a gale. Then the plane should circle around the airport waiting for more suitable conditions. True, the fuel supply is limited, and bad weather can last for hours and even days.

Therefore, pilots and dispatchers exchange messages, monitor the situation and choose the best solution. Sometimes you can really wait, winding circles in the sky. But most often, the plane is sent to the nearest airport where it can land – or even returned to the point of departure. Fuel is always filled with such surprises in mind.

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