Aborted takeoff attributed to wind-shear fears

Apr 4, 2011

And you thought flying with a hole punched in the roof of your plane was scary.

Earlier today, a plane had to abort its takeoff due to fears of wind-shear.

Wind-shear refers to a drastic change in wind direction over a relatively short distance, and can cause serious problems for airplanes taking of or landing.

Here's more information on the incident from United Press International:

A wind-shear alert aborted a jetliner's takeoff in Grand Rapids, Mich., early Monday, an airport spokesman said.

The American Airlines Boeing 737, carrying 145 passengers from Miami Sunday, had been diverted from Minneapolis because of bad weather there, Bruce

Schedlbauer  of Gerald R. Ford International Airport told the Grand Rapids Press.

The plane refueled and was taxiing down the runway when the wind shear signal went off shortly after midnight. It did not leave the ground or attempt another takeoff. Most passengers stayed the night and were being rerouted Monday morning, Schedlbauer  said.

A dangerous wind shear was not confirmed, but could have been caused by thunderstorms in the area, the National Weather Service's Grand Rapids office said.

Here's a clip that may help some non-meteorologists out there (the boiling pot explanation starts at 1:21).  

 -Brian Short, Michigan Radio Newsroom