"Flights will be grounded if winds are showing out of limit" #CapeStorm

As the heavy rains are expected to hit the Western Cape on Wednesday and last until Thursday Morning, flights are likely to be cancelled or suspended for a while in the Mother City.

The South African weather service is warning that the province will experience a cold front which is expected to hit the city.

Cape Talk host John Maytham spoke to SA Flyer magazine editor, Guy Leitch warning pilot to be extra vigilant when flying to the Western Cape.

Also read: WC schools to shut down as province prepares for major storm

If Cape Town is showing out of limit tomorrow, then the pilots will almost certainly not take off.

Guy Leitch, SA Flyer Magazine Editor

All aircraft have very defined limits as to what cross wind component is and other winds they can tolerate.

Guy Leitch, SA Flyer Magazine Editor

In a short haul flight such as Johannesburg-Cape Town, the decision is usually left to the pilot, says Leitch.

An average of 25-30 knots, or 45km/hour cross winds, is the demonstrated limit, he estimates.

Read: WC schools to shut down as province prepares for major storm

At a certain level, it transcends pilot decision making and SAA has this global operations command unit and they could simply say we cancelling or postponing all Cape Town flights for six hours until the front passes.

Guy Leitch, SA Flyer Magazine Editor

The cold front is expected to bring with it heavy rain and gale force winds, raising fears of flooding.

Snowfall can also be expected in surrounding regions.

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