Aeronautics: How to Come in Blind

Except in dire emergencies the pilots of U.S. commercial jets are far too cautious to try blind landings with zero-zero visibility. When weather conditions at their target runways are worse than 200-½ (200ft. ceiling, half-mile visibility), they are diverted to the nearest usable airport, which may be hundreds of miles away. The system is remarkably safe; during 1963 no fatal accident to a scheduled airline was caused by bad landing visibility. But passengers who were taken to Montreal instead of New York were seldom grateful, and airlines suffered financially. The Federal Aviation...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!