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US Airways cancelling flights due to heat

[...]US Airways had to cancel 18 flights Saturday due to the heat, spokesman Todd Lehmacher said. He said planes are certified for takeoff up to 118 degrees, but the temperature crept up to 119 degrees in Phoenix. ( More...

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bentwing60 4
I think David pretty much hit the nail on the head. It was off the chart temp. wise and my guess, probably Airbus. Long ago, when flying Falcon 20's for a freight operator, got a call to drop what you are doing and go fly a hot shot (pardon the pun) trip to and out of of PHX. Seems it was 120 degrees, and nobodys performance charts went that high. Falcons went to 125. Probably because of Fed-Ex. So when I climbed out of the airplane in PHX in shorts, T-shirt and sneakers, the line guy looked at me, laughed, and said "Man, you got a hell of a job". And "It's a dry heat" is bull. 120 is 120.
preacher1 2
Just a little additional. Sky Harbor put out a piece I just found that said AWE had charts to 120. AWE aircraft are mostly Boeing and they said it only took an hour for Boeing to update them and get them to them. That said, as far as these cancelled flights go, they were probably either Airbus or else US had some low number flights and used the heat as an excuse to cancel them.
preacher1 1
I spent a year down in Tucson and while humidty definitly has to figure in as a diffenence between there and here, hot is hot.LOL
David Sims 1
I wonder if it is more of a point that the performance charts for the aircraft simply don't go that high. In the airline industry, you don't get to fudge things like performance numbers, everything is by the book. If the book didn't go that high, it would be just like having a limitation.
Bill Baird 1
Years ago when I flew for the airlines all of the T/O performance charts and data ended at 110 degrees. If you did not have the info then the temperature became a no go limitation. Whether or not higher temp data could be gotten from the manufacturer in a timely manner is questionable.
canuck44 1
Some of the pilots here need to weigh in on this article as it is not likely the Aircraft itself being certified or not, but a question of weight vs lift in the thin hot air to be able to climb if enough runway was available to get airborne. It seems it would be different for each aircraft the 757 was initially advertised as designed for high, hot airports.

It would be interesting to know if US Air cancelled flights by a certain type or all types when the temperature was 119. With 1500 operations per day and Southwest not reporting cancellations one would suspect this was restricted to a particular aircraft type.
preacher1 2
I would be thinking Aircraft type, and/or it may be as David has mentioned above. You got to admit that is an abnormal temperature. Extreme heat is one reason USAF closed Walker AFB at Roswell NM back in the day. Even with as long a runway as they have, a B52 could not get off with a full weapons and fuel load. They had to come off light, roughly half I think, on fuel and Tankers kept on alert too to fuel them on up once airborne. US Air, being mostly Airbus, it could be a heat thing or a chart limitation as David says above. We never were anywhere near MTOW with our 707 or 757, same with the 767 they have up there now, so I really can't speak to it. The only thing I can tell you for sure, is that in most cases, the hotter is is, the more room you need to get off the ground.LOL
Torsten Hoff 1
I also wonder why they wouldn't simply bump passengers to reduce takeoff weight. You're better off getting some passengers to their destination than none.
joel wiley 1
One of the locals chimes in on the subject.....
Torsten Hoff 1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

SoCal Heat Wave Even Strong Enough To Ground Planes

[...]At some smaller airports, like Bermuda Dunes in Riverside County, scorching temperatures can pose a problem.

“When it’s 110, 115, the air is thinner and the thinner the air, the less lift the plane can get,” says David Shapiro of Desert West Aviation.


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