CHC Turbulence

Old Mar 25, 21, 7:04 am
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CHC Turbulence

Hello all. My wife doesn't like turbulence and will be with me on this trip. With CHC shes watches the winds closely a day or two before arrival, basically seeing if there are West to North West winds of more than 10/15kms. She has found that if we fly early morning and avoid this wind direction, the flights are usually smooth landing in CHC. Does this seem consistent with everyone else's observations for the route as far as below 20k feet? (Yes yes im well aware of the odd storm coming through, but assume partly cloudy skies as a stationary variable).

Last edited by DLATL777; Mar 25, 21 at 8:56 am
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Old Mar 25, 21, 12:39 pm
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In all seriousness trying to pick times that might be calm flying into CHC is just a lottery. It can be a bumpy place to fly into, and there have been a number of significant turbulence events over the years. There was even had an A320 (OXC) suffer a very hard +3.6G touchdown during a go around a few years ago due to changing winds.

Even on a reasonably calm day there can still be significant winds or clear air turbulence at higher altitudes.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 1:06 pm
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Some of my most turbulent flights into CHC have been early in the morning, especially on descent over North Canty. Wouldnt necessarily agree with the W-NW theory, I mean a screaming North Wester always makes for a lumpy flight, but I've had equally bad flights in a Southerly or Easterly.

I certainly would agree that turbulence and CHC is a lottery. Pay for your ticket and hope for the best
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Old Mar 26, 21, 1:20 am
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Google TAF and METAR for NZCH and decode the weather.

TAF is the Aerodrome Forecast
METAR is the Meteorological Actual Report
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Old Mar 26, 21, 6:38 am
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Thanks guys. I assume ZQN is much the same and just as unpredictable cause of mountains?
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Old Mar 26, 21, 10:56 am
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Yes. There are many causes of turbulence.

Some are fairly obvious such as wind passing over terrain, and can be predicted and avoided (to an extent).

Not so obvious is when air masses interact. For example it is quite common at Christchurch to have a local north-easterly wind on the surface to around 1500 feet, with an upper wind from the north-west. The boundary between these two air masses can be quite turbulent.
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Old Mar 26, 21, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
Thanks guys. I assume ZQN is much the same and just as unpredictable cause of mountains?
The entire South Island, can be subject to some decent turbulence due to the Southern Alps.

I’ve had some of the worst turbulence I’ve experienced on an approach going into ZQN. Even on day that looks like the weather is great in Queenstown you just need the right winds and the Gibson Valley becomes a a320 on an roller coaster.

it can be an very in pleasant 20-25min approach, into ZQN or it can be the opposite being one of the nicest approaches ever.
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Old Mar 26, 21, 10:22 pm
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Classic building northwesterly at CHC this afternoon.


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Old Mar 26, 21, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi View Post
Classic building northwesterly at CHC this afternoon.


https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/wea...hurch-forecast
26°C
Max: 28°C Min: 17°C

Latest reading

Wind: 28 km/hr.
Rain Today: 0.0
Humidity: 29%
Updated: 27/03 17:36

Today's Forecast

Fine with high cloud. Northeasterlies.

Sun's Forecast

Cloudy at times. A few showers in the afternoon and evening. Northerlies
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Old Mar 27, 21, 7:45 am
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Thanks, I am aware of what causes Turbulence Ive flown over 3.5 Million Kms myself haha but was more so just looking for experience from CHC flyers about what the best general items I should be looking out for in CHC weather-wise. I usually also check the winds in the high altitude passes to the North/West of CHC to see if the winds are stronger at attitude.
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Old Mar 27, 21, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
was more so just looking for experience from CHC flyers about what the best general items I should be looking out for in CHC weather-wise.
In my experience and what seems to be the general consensus is that heavy turbulence can occur thought CHC in any wind direction. Sure I've had a few bad landings in a Nor Wester, but equally as bad, if not worse in a southerly or easterly. CHC is just one of those places....
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Old Mar 28, 21, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by HighFlyingKiwi View Post
In my experience and what seems to be the general consensus is that heavy turbulence can occur thought CHC in any wind direction. Sure I've had a few bad landings in a Nor Wester, but equally as bad, if not worse in a southerly or easterly. CHC is just one of those places....
Is there a different South Island airport we should consider? Can use any airport as she is flexible on time.
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Old Mar 28, 21, 11:28 am
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I would select airport by what suits schedule rather than the possibility of turbulence.

In any case, none of the South Island airfields that I have flown into as either the pilot, or as a passenger (most of them) stands out as being consistently ’better’ for the avoidance of turbulence - even by paying close attention to aviation meteorological reports.

I trust it goes well.
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Old Mar 28, 21, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi View Post
I would select airport by what suits schedule rather than the possibility of turbulence.

In any case, none of the South Island airfields that I have flown into as either the pilot, or as a passenger (most of them) stands out as being consistently ’better’ for the avoidance of turbulence - even by paying close attention to aviation meteorological reports.

I trust it goes well.
Thanks. She had asked about Picton or Nelson.
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Old Mar 28, 21, 12:45 pm
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If she is that worried about turbulence in the South Island then Auckland is also an issue (and so is the flight across the Pacific). NZ is a mountainous country located in a region of jetstreams and changeable weather. This means there is a risk of turbulence everywhere.

Nelson does have lower average winds than most of NZ but can still have some turbulence as close to hills.
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