What is wind shear and how does it cause an aircraft to crash?

Wind shear is a fancy name for turbulence— that windy stuff that makes airborne airplanes bounce a little.

Wind can sometimes change directions suddenly, either vertically or horizontally, creating eddies and swirls and bumping into other wind currents headed in the opposite direction.

Needless to say, if you’re floating on a cushion of air, this sort of disruption is scary and sometimes dangerous.

The wind shear responsible for airplane crashes generally comes from wind gusts pushed downward and outward by severe storms.

These winds are much faster, harder, and less predictable than your usual turbulence, and It’s not a bad time to avoid going into the air and being tossed around by their strength.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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