Extreme Heat Cancels Flights

An extreme heatwave, with temperatures reaching triple digits in many large cities, hit the West Coast over the weekend. The heat was severe enough to be blamed for at least one death, and also caused flight disruptions. US Airways Express reportedly canceled 18 flights on Saturday as temperatures reached 119 degrees F in Phoenix, a new record for June 29.

High temperatures have a devastating effect on aircraft performance, causing longer takeoff runs and a reduction in climb rate. The limit for the grounded US Airways airplanes is 118 degrees, according to US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher. US Airways’ larger jets, which have a higher temperature limit, were still flying throughout the day.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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