This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Instrument approaches are nothing new in the aviation industry; planes have been able to operate in rain or shine for decades. Landing instrument aids help align the airplane with the runway and proper descent path, and let the pilot take command at some point prior to touching down. Since the 1970s and 80s, airplane manufacturers have worked with airlines to improve jets’ ability to land automatically, aiming to make low-visibility airport operations safer and smoother, reducing strain on pilots but also alleviating weather delays.
In this crazy aviation video, watch an Airbus approach and autoland at Auckland International airport (AKL), breaking through the cloud ceiling barely 50 feet above the runway. How do we know the pilots used autoland? Airbus systems sound three “pings” as the aircraft slows down after landing, indicating the autopilot system being disconnected. At larger airports affected by low-lying fog, flight delays are often caused by ATC limiting the number of aircraft movements. In low visibility, autoland helps minimize diversions and prolonged holding patterns.
When’s the last time you landed in thick fog? Tell us your experience in the comments, below.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards