can a plane take off in the rain

Can a plane take off in the rain? If you’re wondering if aircraft fly in the rain, keep reading!

Because in this blog, we’ll address that issue and discuss the precautions and implications of flying planes in the rain.

Rainfall affects a plane’s ability to fly or take off from the ground since contemporary aircraft are built to resist adverse weather conditions. Rainfall is also often not hazardous to aircraft.

Can a Plane Take Off in the Rain?

plane take off rain

Planes can and will typically take off in the rain if there are no other meteorological conditions, such as thunderstorms or hurricanes.

However, there are several factors to consider before taking off the planes in the rain, as discussed below:

1. The Rainfall Intensity

The intensity of the rain has little bearing on whether aircraft can fly. Regardless of how heavy the rain is, modern airplanes create lift.

The issue with heavy rain is that it reduces visibility and causes secondary weather conditions.

As a result, the quantity of rain that precludes flight is the amount that hinders vision and produces other meteorological conditions in the region where the aircraft is taking off or landing.

For instance:

Light Rain

Light rain does not usually cause problems for airplanes.

Most aircraft have improved avionics, allowing them to rise to greater altitudes even in light rain, especially at night.

Light rain is also not usually associated with severe weather events like thunderstorms.

Only thunderstorms and severe winds make rain hazardous for aviation.

rainfall intensity for planes

Heavy Rain

Most aircraft can take off even in heavy rain; however, heavy rain is generally unpleasant for planes to take off in.

While heavy rain does not generally endanger airplanes, it is often accompanied by other meteorological phenomena.

This includes thunderstorms and strong winds, which may damage aircraft and make flying difficult.

While taking off during thunderstorms and high winds is not impossible, it is normally discouraged and avoided due to safety considerations.

Aircraft must also be certified for flight in bad weather and have unique equipment to prevent water from accessing critical components.

2. The Type Of the Plane

plane types take off rain

Small Planes

Small aircraft have a more challenging time taking off in the rain because poor vision and strong winds have a greater risk of damaging them than bigger planes.

Furthermore, most tiny turboprop aircraft lack the equipment to fly through severe rain.

Small aircraft also have difficulty landing on wet runways.

However, some tiny private aircraft are well suited to take off and land in severe weather.

These small aircraft have superior avionics and braking systems that allow them to take off and land in the rain easily.

Large Planes

Large aircraft often have little trouble taking off or landing in severe weather. Most big aircraft are also equipped to take off in bad weather.

Large jets utilize weather data from Air Traffic Control and modern computer systems to help pilots take off and land safely in bad weather.

As a result, even in low visibility, big aircraft normally have little problem landing or taking off.

What Are The Consequences of a Plane Taking Off in the Rain?

consequences taking off in rain

The wings and engines of an aircraft lift the plane off the ground by changing the direction and pressure of the air.

Aircraft may safely take off as long as the air direction and pressure shift in the intended direction.

Do planes fly in the rain? Rainfall has little effect on this process in general.

As a result, it is normally safe for aircraft to take off in the rain.

However, rain may be more dangerous for planes and pilots. 

For instance:

Impacts on the Planes

Wet and untreated runways may cause aircraft damage during takeoff.

Planes, for example, may slide off runways, and their engines might stall during takeoffs, resulting in aircraft disasters.

Furthermore, although it is uncommon for aircraft to be damaged by rain, it is conceivable.

Thunderstorms, which often accompany rains, may damage an aircraft's body and prevent it from properly taking off.

Impacts on the Pilot

Many pilots can navigate wet weather because they have vast expertise and the necessary training.

On the other hand, inexperienced pilots may have difficulty flying in wet weather because they lack the necessary experience and training.

Most rain-related accidents have also been blamed on pilot ineptitude and a lack of training and experience.

pilots taking off in rain

Historical Rain-Related Air Accidents During Takeoff

Few aviation accidents have been directly caused by rain.

Aviation accidents caused by rain typically combine additional reasons such as pilot mistakes, thunderstorms, and technical failure.

Flight 9046 of Cubana de Aviación

Flight 9046 of Cubana de Aviación crashed on September 3, 1989, after taking off from José Mart International Airport.

The airplane took off under severe rain and high gusts of up to 30-50 miles per hour (48-80 kilometers per hour).

The pilot sought to boost speed by lowering the wing flaps from 30° to 15°.

Instead, this move caused the airplane to become unstable and crash.

Meteorological circumstances were blamed for the crash, according to aircraft investigators.
plane accidents in the rain

Flight 210 of VASP

In 1986, VASP Flight 210 crashed soon after takeoff from Sao Paulo due to heavy weather and thunderstorms.

The plane slammed into a barrier, killing one person.

The rain, fog, and the pilot’s unfamiliarity with the airport’s structure were all blamed for the disaster.

Another significant concern was the airport’s absence of radar facilities.

This incident also demonstrated to the globe that takeoffs in fog and rain had the potential to wreck aircraft.

Is It Possible for Planes to Land in the Rain?

planes landing in the rain

Rainfall seldom prevents planes from landing. Rainfall has the same effect on airplane landings as on aircraft takeoffs.

Vision is reduced if the rain is excessively severe, making landing less safe.

Landing may be too perilous if different weather conditions, such as thunderstorms or ice.

In most cases, merely rain isn’t enough to make a runway dangerous for landing. However, the runway may become icy if the rain is combined with snowfall.

Because of the lower friction, landing on frozen runways is almost difficult.

Without adequate friction, an airplane cannot slow down and may slip off the runway and collide with an obstruction.

FAQs About Can A Plan Take Off In The Rain

Do you have more questions about can a plane take off in the rain?

Here are some questions concerning whether a plane can take off in the rain.

questions planes taking off rain

Can a Plane Fly Through a Storm?

Most thunderstorms won’t cause an issue for a cruising plane, even if they feature heavy rain, lightning strikes, or high winds.

Most commercial aircraft have been struck by lightning at least once. Thus tails and wingtips are reinforced to scatter the charge.

Can Planes Take Off in High Winds?

Most flights will encounter high winds during their rise or descent. Most high winds allow aircraft to take off and land.

Strong winds may hinder takeoffs and landings and generate turbulence in the air, although this is unusual.

Is It Possible for An Aircraft to Land Under Freezing Rain?

Yes, an aircraft can land in freezing rain.

However, to assure a safe landing, the runway must be three to four times longer than usual.

As a result, ice reduces tire-runway friction. The plane will take longer to halt.

Read Next: Can You Go To Topgolf In The Rain?

Final Verdict

Can a plane take off in the rain? Planes can and will typically take off in the rain if there are no other meteorological conditions, such as thunderstorms or hurricanes.

Taking off becomes more complicated if the rain contains ice or supercooled water droplets.

The existence of aircraft deicing facilities would then decide whether or not takeoff would be safe.

Rain may freeze if the temperature is below freezing. The smooth runway makes takeoffs tricky. 

Modern airplanes employ weather radars to detect such conditions. Pilots and airlines must then decide whether flying is safe.

Thanks for reading!