Aircraft ditching into swells and sea



  • This is a fantastic app. As an airline pilot that flies over water routes, I have a few questions.

    How do I interpret the swells direction? When an aircraft ditches into the water we plan to plan a direction, sometimes at night. If wind speed is less than 25 knots we plan to ditch parallel to the primary swell and down the secondary swell. When you show both on the app I am unsure how to interpret. As wind speed increases we shift to flying more into the headwind but still have to factor the swells.

    Thanks for assistance in using your app.


  • Meteorologist

    @airlinepilot ....this is not an answer to your quest, but I found your emergency water ditching planning/assessment very useful information. I work as an aviation meteorologist for an airline with international routes and I will now follow this up with our own internal emergency operational procedures manual. I hope your question never has to come across my (or any others) desk for assessment/clarification. Safe flying!!!!

    Just an added note: This weblink gives a pretty comprehensive outline of wave modelling in general and some of the wave products from the ECMWF weather agency (modelling found within Windy)

    https://confluence.ecmwf.int//display/OPTR/Our+training+resources?preview=/19661038/30246095/Jean_Bidlot_2014.mp4

    I'd probably watch from 00:28min through to about 0:40min


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