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April 8 in the USA: What does a total solar eclipse mean for aviation

April 8 in the USA: What does a total solar eclipse mean for aviation

The United States is preparing for the total solar eclipse on April 8. There are also some things to consider for cabin crews and passengers.

The United States is suffering from eclipse fever. Because on April 8 it will be the shadow The moon will pass over 13 states, causing a total solar eclipse. To experience it, people travel to cities like Buffalo, Indianapolis, or Dallas, where the spectacle is supposed to be particularly easy to see. Because if you miss it you will have to wait more than 20 years for the next opportunity.

“The next favorable situation will not arise again until August 12, 2045, when a wider shadow pushes across the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic, thanks to the presence of a new moon near the Earth (perigee),” explains the German Aerospace Center DLR. In one Blog post.

What should the cockpit crew expect?

But what does a solar eclipse mean for air traffic? The FAA advises to expect waiting patterns, diversions and delayed takeoff clearances, especially along the path of totality. There may be more traffic, airport congestion and delays at airports there.

The Air Line Pilots Association (Alpa) explained what cockpit crews should prepare for during the last total solar eclipse in 2017: On the path of totality, “you should expect fairly dark conditions, perhaps as dark as night, with a full moon.” “. Landing conditions are expected to be at night. “Pilots should be vigilant and request that airport lights and other night vision instruments be turned on in low-light conditions.” Shortly before and after totality, twilight-like conditions can be expected.

Private flights on Airbus A220 and A321 Neo aircraft

The Union said that the only time when it is safe to look at the sun during an eclipse is the few minutes when the sun is completely obscured. This also applies to crew members and passengers on board: “At all other times—that is, during any type of partial solar eclipse—you should use specially developed and approved glasses,” Alba wrote.

Delta Airlines launched two special flights to allow passengers to see the eclipse for as long as possible. One flies from Austin to Detroit with an Airbus A220, and the other flies from Dallas to Detroit with an A321 Neo.

You can see what a solar eclipse looks like above the clouds here: