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Korean Air and Turbulence
I remember quite sometime ago someone had posed a question about the flight path of KE planes from SFO to ICN, and how their route seems to always be more turbulent than others. I was talking with an HA pilot friend about our frequent trips to Korea and he mentioned “have fun flying the Korean carriers, because they don’t know how to vector”. He then sent me the attached image, with a KE plane flying in purple and red weather. I’m fairly new to aviation and certainly don’t know how to read radar, but…
Is this bad?
When it comes to turbulence, what’s important to remember is that the plane can handle far more than is comfortable for passengers. The various cases you hear about where planes divert because of turbulence is where passengers or crew get injured (eg, didn’t have seat belt on) and have nothing to do with any actual danger or damage to the plane. So “bad” isn’t really a good word. Is it safe? Almost certainly yes. Pilots are humans too and will not actively put their flight in danger. Bumpy? Yes. It’s a matter of competing priorities — vectoring takes longer, potentially burning more fuel in order to gain a smoother flight.
You’re correct. Bad was a “bad” word choice. I understand commercial pilots vector for the sake of me not spilling my drink in J class. So ultimately it probably comes down to company policy?