Tech Why you should avoid the first flight of the day if you hate turbulence

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If you are a nervous flyer then one of the worst times to fly could be the very first flight of the day, according to Paul Williams, a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

This is because pilots rely on earlier flight paths to navigate past areas of bad turbulence. Therefore, when there is no path to follow pilots consider this "uncharted territory."

This could mean you come across unexpected turbulence.

Read the full interview with Professor Williams below:

"The first flight each day on a particular route tends to be particularly turbulent according to pilots I’ve spoken to and that’s because the previous plane that flew on that route through that airspace is a valuable source of information to the pilot behind about whether the air is turbulent or not.

"So I guess the advice to nervous passengers who don’t like flying through turbulence would be to avoid flying on the first flight, the first departure from any airport on any route simply because that airspace has been unexplored overnight and we generally have no idea how turbulent that atmosphere has been.

"We don’t have the prior knowledge from the previous flight that flew through that route ten minutes earlier.

"There’s another kind of turbulence to do with weather systems and clouds and that tends to peak in the afternoon.

"So I guess that means you shouldn’t fly first thing in the morning but you also shouldn’t fly in the middle of the afternoon because that’s when the ground is being warmed by the atmosphere and the warmer air is rising and that is pushing on the wings of the plane and causing turbulence too."

Produced by Jasper Pickering. Filmed by David Ibekwe. Special thanks to Joe Daunt.