Icy conditions can change the aerodynamics, handling qualities, and performance of the aircraft and its engines. Pilots are trained extensively in recognizing specific types of icing, how they affect various aircraft, and the procedures to use when those conditions are encountered.
Why are American skies the safest place in the world?
Because our pilots are some of the best-trained in the industry, working in an environment that always puts passenger safety first.
How did the U.S. reduce airline fatalities? By raising the bar for pilot experience.
ALPA has fought for improved training, safety, and hiring standards. What does that look like?
250 increased to 1500 total training hours, including:
Can you guess what your pilot is checking while you’re checking in?
Before every flight, pilots inspect their aircraft top to bottom, personally confirming that critical systems are in working order. A small sample:
Flight deck prep
Aircraft weight and balance
Caution and warning
Gear pins & covers
A sudden change in the direction and strength of the wind, especially dangerous at low levels. Wind-shear recognition includes a sudden loss or increase of airspeed, while recovery may include advancing the throttle to maximum power while controlling aircraft pitch.
The result of differing air density. Although modern airliners are designed to withstand these conditions and pilots are trained to fly through them, they often avoid areas of reported or forecasted turbulence in order to maximize passenger safety and comfort.
The most common way to navigate these hazards is to avoid them altogether. Pilots predict them through weather forecasts, radar, and other pilots’ reports. They then use their best judgement to consider other options, such as delaying departure/arrival or flying around a storm’s path.
Above & Beyond
See how training and experience matter when pilots encounter the unexpected at 30,000 feet.Learn More
What role does ALPA play?
For more than 80 years, the world’s largest airline pilot union has fought for rigorous training and qualification standards, advocated for proven safety measures and regulations, and defended the rights of the professionals responsible for keeping your flights safe. Our extensive history of victories includes: