Microbursts and Aircraft
a blueprint for disaster

The anatomy of a microburst shows that the highest wind speeds occur shortly after the cold air has impinged upon the ground. The spin-up of the microburst curl then results in an acceleration of wind velocities about the curl.

An aircraft entering a microburst will encounter strong headwinds, followed by strong tailwinds, as it flies from one side of the microburst to the other. If the pilot compensates for the headwind (to decrease lift) a bit too much, then the aircraft will lose lift in the tailwind and quickly strike the ground.

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Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.