Ask the pilot: What if the weather is too bad to land?
SAS pilots answer your questions.
”We do live in a corner of the world with long, cold and challenging winters, so most of the time our flights are planned with an alternative landing airport.”
What happens if we reach our destination and the weather is too bad for us to land? /Inga
That is an interesting question, and one we as pilots at SAS deal with more often than you might think. The technical equipment, both onboard the aircraft and on the ground, has become very advanced and really helps to make sure we land normally with little hassle for our travelers.
However, we do live in a corner of the world with long, cold and challenging winters, so most of the time our flights are planned with an alternative landing airport. That means we can fly to our destination, determine if it’s safe to land, and if that’s not the case, we fly to an alternative airport where we know landing conditions are good.
We always check the weather
On top of that, we always check the weather at our destination before we start the flight, and decide how much fuel we need. If we expect snow or other poor weather, we bring extra fuel so that we can circle in a holding pattern overhead and wait for improvements or for the snow to be cleared, if necessary.
Since we are quite used to operating in these sometimes harsh environments, we usually make several backup plans, which in most cases enable us to bring you to your final destination. If the weather dictates otherwise, we always have at least one second option that we know is good.
Rasmus Ilsø Olsen
Rasmus Ilsø Olsen
Title: Chief Pilot
Years at SAS: 23
Home base: Copenhagen
Flies: Airbus A320
Flight hours: 11,000
Favorite airport: Copenhagen