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Fog disrupts flights from Heathrow and London City Airports


Forum Editor

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132 flights from Heathrow have been cancelled because of fog, and a weather warning for dense fog has been issued for Yorkshire and Humberside, the East and West Midlands, the East of England and the South East. That will probably mean further cancelled flights and severe disruption. I'm no aviation expert, apart from having flown as a passenger countless times, but I would have thought that in the 21st century,with all the technology at our disposal we could manage to come up with systems that would enable aircraft to take off and land without the people on the flight deck having to see the ground. Over sixty years ago RAF aircraft were able to take off and land in fog, thanks to a system known as FIDO. The idea was to burn petrol along both sides of the runway, thus raising the air temperature,which cleared the fog from the runway. I know it took a horrifying amount of fuel to do this, and I'm not suggesting anything like that. Nowadays we should surely be able to leave the fog where it is and get the aircraft onto and off the ground through it, or am I suggesting the impossible?

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Woolwell

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As far as I am aware birds don't like flying in fog and will normally not fly.

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wee eddie

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Automated Take-off is very much simpler that Automated Landing.

The number of Back-up Systems is not related to the complexity of the equipment but to the possibility of it's failure.

Ground Radar would be unlikely see a lump of tyre on the runway, although it might see a human crossing it.

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morddwyd

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"birds don't like flying in fog and will normally not fly."

Birds fly all the time in fog, they have to, otherwise they starve.

They might sometimes delay migration flight because of thick fog, but will still go eventually if the fog persists.

Birds on migration regularly fly through cloud, which is simply high level fog.

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spuds

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Looking at the bird population including a whole flock of feral pigeons over my property doesn't seem to have made much effect in the foggy periods. They still seem to arrive and go at their regular feed intervals.

You may find the odd 'ringed' pigeon among them, but even they do not seem to stay very long before they possibly resume their journey!.

I remember the days of flying 'between the houses' into Kia Tak airport in Hong Kong when there was 'bad weather', and also into and out of Castries in St Lucia when sea fog was present, and it didn't seem to make much difference to the pilots handling of the aircraft. Sand storms in the Middle East did make a difference though!.

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