Arrival of Storm Atiyah

I was a bit alarmed when I saw this weather forecast map on Friday. At first I thought it meant that Ireland was about to be swallowed by a black hole but when I realised it was Storm Atiyah I had the lesser but still significant concern that my flight home from Cardiff would be disrupted.

As it happened the flight was on time, though the blustery winds at Dublin Airport ahead of the storm made for a more than slightly bumpy landing.

I was in one of these:

It’s a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 operated by FlyBe. I had a window seat on the right hand side so had a good view as we bobbled around on the way in to land. The wings being above the level of the cabin and my seat being next to the starboard engine I could see the right undercarriage come down as we approached. We weren’t quite level when we reached the runway though and I felt and heard the left set of wheels touch down while the ones on the right I could see were still in the air. I could also see weren’t moving exactly parallel to the runway but slightly crosswise. We travelled for quite a few seconds on one set of wheels before we had both feet on the ground, so to speak. During that time I thought we might go off the side of the runway. When the right set of wheels did touch down, however, causing a big splash of water, only a slight correction was needed to point us in the right direction and all was well.

Pilots are if course trained to cope with windy conditions and I’m sure everything was always under control but I bet pilots do have to concentrate hard on such occasions.

3 Responses to “Arrival of Storm Atiyah”

  1. If it’s any consolation, the Q400s, or the more generic DHC8s, have a long history of being able to cope with extreme weather and landing/take-off conditions. At airshows in the 70s and 80s, when military pilots impressed with speed and flashy VTOL manoeuvres, the DHC pilots could still steal the show with the agility of their aircraft.

  2. How is the list of names for storms chosen? This name feels very unusual. The only Atiyah is can think of is the famous mathematician Michael Atiyah who died a few months ago.

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