Last Sunday, I was enchanted to find an IAH-FRA #flight on my #Flightdispatcher pattern, operated by #lufthansa‘s #retro #aircraft, D-ABYT 😍
The #plane wasn’t subject to dispatch critical technical restrictions, and WX and NOTAMs proved not entirely clear, but without major issues (some slightly winter-y #weather, main RWY at IAH closed with an alternative available).
Initial calculation gave me a warp-speed #flighttime of just 8:13h, with a tailwind component of whooping 102 kts (B).
Yet, a quick look at the map – and I was disenchanted: my min fuel / time optimum was a pure turbulence all-you-can-fly, riding one jet after the other (hence the short flighttime).
So … yet again, no “optimum” route for my flight‘s #crew; I was to check for alternative route options (swipe)…and man, that proved quite a challenge.
I worked through turbulence potential charts (A), consulted several other weather forecasts (B), checked SIGMET (SIGnificant MET conditions reports) and PIREP (#pilot reports) (D) and analyzed wind speed and temperature gradients (E) around the jet… all in search for closer hints regarding intensity / development of TURB and where to (not) go.
calculating an array of routings, I subsequently ruled out (D) not just my optimum (green), but also the standard routings to the NAT tracks via Boston (blue) plus the northern most track (and just north of that), and the yellow option (30 mins longer, still crossing 2 areas with severe turb, plus a front at the east coast present in sat images).
Finally, I arrived at the red route: 20 mins longer (F) but still ~50mins ahead of schedule. And, most importantly, west of that large CAT area, via Ohio Valley / Qébec, to join NAT U for the oceanic crossing, avoiding the windshear between 2 jets.
I thus included some briefing remarks for the #pilots about the situation and released that as #flightplan no. 36 (!).
The longer route turned out to be a good investment: once again, one #pilot on board (who happened to be @wilco737) was kind enough to share his experience afterwards. You sure can imagine how happy I was to hear that they’d only encountered some turbulence twice for a few minutes, on an otherwise largely smooth ride – and despite departing late, had reduced speed and still arrived early.
It’s always a pleasure if all the considerations finally contribute to a safe – and enjoyable – flight experience; and in this case especially so.
After all, I was dispatching a VIP, with the “p” for “plane”: the #queenoftheskies in her very best dress ✈️🤩
(once again we are very happy to have Kirsten, our writing dispatcher, to share her dispatcher-life with us.)