Flying Challenges in Reno
The Reno area can be one of the toughest areas in the world for pilots to fly over, because of the Sierra and our gusty winds.
Because of the Sierra and our gusty winds, the Reno area can be one of the toughest areas in the world for pilots to fly over. You can think of a wind storm as a fast-moving stream of water, and as it hits a barrier like a mountain, it creates eddies - or swirls - in the air. These eddies can be very dangerous for pilots.
Bob Meurer is a local pilot with over 50 years of experience, is the president of Advanced Aviation Reno and is also a flight instructor. He says, if you can fly in Reno, you can fly anywhere.
"Reno is very challenging. I tell all my students Reno is the worst place in the world to learn to fly," said Meurer.
Turbulence, eddies, and strong winds don't mix well with planes.
"That can actually throw you into the mountain. If you're close enough to it you could get into the eddies coming off the mountain. And there's been lots of planes in the Sierra that that's happened to," said Meurer.
Safety is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport's number one priority.
"We can push snow, but we can't push wind. So you do see a number of cancellations or delays because of wind.Because we can't control that," said Heidi Jared of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Flights here can be rather bumpy. Even if your fight's not canceled there's a good chance of turbulence, especially when a storm rolls through here.
"The best thing you can do is keep your seat belt nice and tight. The thing about turbulence is the airplane can take more turbulence than you can," said Meurer.
The good thing is it takes a ton of training to fly airplanes. Your chances of getting in a commercial airplane crash are pretty low.
"The amount of training and the amount of safety and the things going on with aviation, I tell my folks okay be careful driving home. That's the most dangerous part of your trip," said Meurer.
Keep in mind the airline itself makes the decision whether or not to cancel or delay a flight, but you can check with the airport to see if it's on time or not.