Tucson International keeps an extra eye on the sky for Monsoon

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Normally Tucson has ideal flying weather---clean blue skies and calm conditions but when monsoon rolls in places like Tucson International have to learn to roll with nature.

Modern jetliners are able to fly in some pretty rough weather.  Ultimately, pilots and airlines make the call on whether they think it's safe to fly.

But Tucson International also worries about the safety of the crews that service the planes.

When detectors sense lightning within five miles, there's a warning. 

When it's within three miles, ground crews take shelter.

TIA Operations director Dannette Bewley says, “Everything stops out on the ramps during a lightning storm and when the lightning goes away we re-notify the airlines that it's safe to return to the ramp and continue their operations."

TIA uses methods like Twitter to warn passengers there might be some weather delays and that weather might slow down their trip to the airport.

And summer can bring weather trouble that does not include lighting and rain.

Summer heat can be so extreme that air gets less dense, so wings don't create as much lift, and engines develop less thrust.

Bewley says, “Sometimes they may have to adjust their weight because sometimes the hotter it gets, the longer the runway needs to be for them to take off. So they may have to adjust their weight just to accommodate the situation."

But that sort of trouble is extremely rare.  A few years ago an airline at Phoenix Sky Harbor delayed some smaller jets because temps there topped 118 and manufacturer specs said that was too hot to fly.RELATED


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