Question: Which extreme measures have actually been taken, with regularity, to dispel fog at airports?
- wind tunnel fans (to blow it away)
- sawdust AND fans (to dry it up and provide condensation nuclei)
- heat (to lower the relative humidity)
- high explosives (all three)
Answer: C. During WWII, in an effort to find ways of ensuring that bomber crews returning to fog-plagued England would make their home fields, research scientists at another location having equally persistent fog, Arcata, California, explored a very unusual technique to dissipate fog. Burning 60-octane gas under pressure, as well as from trenches along the sides of the runway, they created walls of flame 15 feet high. When it was ‘W0X0F’ (the old pre-METAR surface aviation observation reporting sequence denoting ‘indefinite ceiling, sky obscured, visibility zero, fog’) they turned up the heat, which brought ceilings up to the needed 200 feet.
Subject: I’ll Huff, And I’ll Puff…
Question: The highest microburst wind speed ever recorded occurred at what location?
- Mount Washington, NH
- Manhattan, KS
- Houston, TX
- Andrews Air Force Base, MD
Answer: D. It occurred at 2:11 PM on August 1st, 1983, at Andrews Air Force Base — six minutes after president Reagan landed in Air Force One. Wind speeds reached about 120 knots.
Subject: Stop Da Music!
Question: In July 1990, on a very hot day, all operations stopped at Phoenix’s Sky harbor airport. It was a scorcher, but the density altitude increase of over 4000 feet wasn’t the reason. What was?
- MILSPEC requirements for an asphalt surface do not specify that they remain firm above a temperature of 165 degrees F. (Although the air temperature was over 120 degrees, the surface was much hotter.) Several airliners were stuck fast, like a modern day replay of the La Brea tar pits.
- The air conditioning systems in all three terminal buildings overheated.
- No airliner’s performance charts went up to the 122 degree F temperature.
- It was July 4, and the airport was closed.
Answer: It was C.