Do earthquakes affect an aircraft flying above?

They sure do, and I experienced it once. It was pretty scary, too.


I was flying a VIP jet transport from Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, to Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas to pick up someone, probably a member of Congress. It was night and there was a solid cloud overcast with a ceiling at about 3,000 feet.

We were talking to and being vectored by approach control and inside the clouds we saw nothing but black—in those conditions, cockpit windows look like they’ve been painted black.

Suddenly, we broke out of the cloud base. Below them, it was crystal clear and we could see lights for many miles, including the runway lights and rotating beacon on the base. We reported to approach control that we had the airport in sight, we were cleared for a visual approach, and we turned toward the runway.

Just as suddenly as the lights had appeared, everything went black again.

When the windows went black again, we assumed we’d flown back into a cloud, so we called approach to tell them we’d lost the visual and wanted to continue vectors.

No reply.

We then checked our position on our navigational instruments but noticed they had red flags on them, which meant that the ground signal had been lost.

We called again. No reply.

We then noticed our transponder wasn’t blinking anymore, which meant we weren’t being painted by radar.

We called again. No reply.

We began to ponder climbing and switching back to our last enroute frequency but first we called again. No reply.

Just as I was about to change frequency, a very excited controller called us.

They’d just had a big earthquake, which knocked out all power. It had taken a couple of minutes to get running on their emergency backup, but he now had his radio working.

He asked us to orbit visually on our own while they got things up and running again. That was the scary part because we saw nothing but black.

We could only hope there wasn’t a tall antenna out there—now unlighted due to the power outage. We called him and he verified he didn’t have his radar back yet, but he knew the area well and we were in the clear at our altitude. We continued to orbit—seeing nothing else in the whole world but the red glow from our flight instruments.

Finally the runway lights came back on. The controller then told us to continue to orbit while they sent some trucks down the runway to check for cracks.

A few minutes later we were told the runway was fine, so we finally went in visually and landed.

So, yes, earthquakes can absolutely affect pilots!

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever experienced something like this? Are you afraid of the earthquakes?

#Geography #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
I think the question was related to a direct effect, not peripheral. As in turbulence.
Mar 19, 2020 8:45PM
I was a child in Alaska when the big one hit Anchorage.,it took months before we could leave roads were turned upside down, worst natural disaster I've seen,and now I'm in Florida,,Andrew runs a close 2nd.
Dec 26, 2019 4:28PM
Joanne Dormer
Last time I experienced an earthquake I was shaving my legs and thought my house was falling down. ..
Nov 11, 2019 6:05PM
Raymond Cardona
Oh boy this is one major thing for me to dislike about flying!!!!! Bonnie
Jun 6, 2019 4:33PM
Melody Nees
Love learning new things!! Scary!!
Apr 11, 2019 12:39AM
Lalo Sandoval
I don't have it clear if you can Actually fell the quake or it's just the lack of communication what it's the scary part
Mar 23, 2019 4:29PM
Jackie Murphy
Very interesting thank God they were able to land safely.
Jan 2, 2019 5:28PM
William G. Fry
Yes the Impact is real, though indirect.
Dec 26, 2018 7:04PM
Brian W Dennison
Andrews is in Maryland. Shouldn't pilots know geography?
Dec 22, 2018 6:13AM
Michael Pascarello
I never even considered this as a thing!!! I am sure it would be scary!!!
Nov 29, 2018 10:50PM
Janice Ingram
Blytheville AF Base (no longer in existence) lay on the New Madrid fault, which in Dec. 1811 and Jan. 1812, experienced a series of some of North America's strongest earthquakes ever. Supposedly they made church bells in Boston ring.
Oct 13, 2018 11:17PM
Isabel Benson
Isabel Benson, I agree
Oct 8, 2018 5:50PM
Isabel Benson
I agreeRobert Hohmann, Robert Hohmann,
Oct 8, 2018 5:50PM
Isabel Benson
Robert Hohmann, Robert Hohmann,
Oct 8, 2018 5:49PM
Robert Hohmann
So the answer is no; but can cause a problem if landing where earthquake has hit. The earthquake does not affect the airspace above.
Sep 20, 2018 5:27PM

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