winds. Under severe wind conditions, rotary--wing aircraft require more time to
acquire and engage targets. During engagement, accuracy will suffer, and first-
round hit probability will be lower. These effects are most pronounced when wind
speeds exceed 17 knots.
Wind speed and direction have an extremely significant impact on airborne chemical
delivery operations. Air delivery of chemical sprays or munitions is severely
restricted or precluded entirely by high winds. As air-delivered chemical agents
are designed to cover as wide an area as possible, their employment under adverse
wind conditions significantly increases the likelihood of their being blown over
civilian areas or friendly forces.
High winds near the ground may prevent aircraft maneuver, particularly in tight
mobility corridors. These corridors often canalize winds, creating excessive air
turbulence near the ground. High winds aloft will effect aircraft fuel consumption
and payload. Aircraft which encounter severe head winds at operating altitudes
will face increased fuel consumption, reduced range, and lowered payloads.
Aircraft assisted by high tail winds will receive the benefit of lower fuel
especially winds and currents associated with thunderstorms aloft, create severe
turbulence that can literally tear an aircraft apart. Aircraft with ceilings that
do not allow them to climb above such turbulence face severe hazards under such
conditions. High ground winds can cause severe damage to unsecured parked aircraft
control surfaces. Exceptionally high winds can destroy or severely damage even
well-secured aircraft which are exposed to their direct impact. Figure 7-9 shows
wind effects on air avenue of approach.
Figure 7-9. Wind effects on air avenue of approach.
Wind-generated blowing sand, dust, rain, snow, or drizzle can reduce the
effectiveness of early warning and aircraft ground controlled-approach