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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 20 September, 2019
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It's so hot in Phoenix, planes aren't allowed fly

It’s too hot for some craft to operate.

A NUMBER OF flights have been cancelled in Phoenix, Arizona – because it’s too hot for the planes to take off.

The weather forecast for the city today is for highs of up to 49 degrees Celsius – too hot for the operating temperatures of some craft.

According to a statement to USA Today from American Airlines, the ‘American Eagle’ regional flights use Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which have a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Today’s forecast includes highs exceeding that.

w1 Source: Accuweather

It’s not the first time flights have been cancelled at Phoenix as a result of the weather. USA today reports that temperatures reached 122 back in 1990.

Flights were also cancelled due to heat in 2013. On that occasion airline pilot Patrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential, was asked by Business Insider to explain the science behind the flight cancellations.

The heat also makes it harder for the plane take off, according to Smith.

He wrote:

“Hot air is less dense. This affects the output of the engines as well as aerodynamic capabilities, increasing the required runway distance and reducing climb performance. Therefore the amount of passengers and cargo a plane can carry are often restricted when temps are very high.

How much so depends on the temperature, airport elevation and the length of the available runways. And getting off the ground is only part of it: once airborne, planes have to meet specific, engine-out climb criterion, so nearby obstructions like hills and towers are another complication.

Customers affected by today’s cancellations have been told to contact their airline to rebook or request a refund.

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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