Can a plane handle 100-kt headwinds?

A plane flys relative to the air mass, doesn’t matter if it’s 100kts or 500kts! Turbulence is what you worry about. Of course if you’re flying at 500kias, and you’ve got a 500kt headwind you won’t be getting anywhere! 😂


Yep, you got that right.

So legally you can log it as rotor time right? 😂


Sure can. I was operating a BAe 146 a few weeks ago across Australia and we got stuck in 100 kts headwinds (where the Jetstream was). But it just meant that we had 100 kts tailwind on the way home.


Got a 78kt crosswind landing at Narita today… Could not avoid it. My fastest headwind was a 196 from London to Chicago in a a319 and therefore was forced to landing at LaGuardia.

This should help. All commercial aircraft (ie A320, B737 etc) fly IFR flights so refer to those flight levels.

Northeast to South East, also known as NEODD (0° to 176°) you are flying at odd intervals (ie FL330) Southwest to Northwest, also known as “SWEVEN” (180° to 359°) you are flying at even intervals (ie FL340)

In addition, China is the only difference with you adding an extra 100 feet to your flight level as they operate on the metric system for aviation while every other country in the world uses feet for their Flight Levels.

If you fly from New Zealand to Australia you will get up to 107 kt headwinds. Just means that on the way back you will get there quicker.

It’s perfectly normal ,u can get quite a ride when yur right against the jet steam

It will only be 100 knots minus your speed. So if your going 320 knots then it would be 320-100=220knots is your actual speed

I had 172 knots of wind half way thought my flight from YPAD TO YPPH it was a rough flight hahaha

I have handled 200 kt headwinds and tailwinds. It occurred in November 2017 over the North Atlantic for around a 3 day span. It was crazy.

I can’t believe this has been open for so long…
Fly 100kt headwinds in a Cessna sometime; it’s fun

In South Africa in the real world headwinds of up to 135kts are experienced daily between FAOR-FACT and FALE-FACT in Block 3. I’ve experienced it in IF on those routes too and spoke to pilots about it. It’s a normal thing in the daily lives of pilots in South Africa.

I had some brutal 131 kt headwinds for several hours over the Indian Ocean flying YPPH-EGLL. It took forevvvveeerrr.

I once had 149kt headwinds over the Tasman Sea when flying from Auckland to Sydney. My ground speed was 330kts 😂😂😂

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the largest headwind I have ever had was over the Atlantic. 166 knots. I don’t remember my groundspeed though.

Usually when planning a flight, the route I choose will stay out of the most severe headwinds. Can’t say the same about tailwinds though, the heaviest tailwind I’ve ever experienced was 211 knots just south of Japan last winter.


Once had a crosswind (at cruise altitude) of over 100 knots. There was a lot of turbulence but it worked out.

wind speeds when you get into the upper 20’s and 30,000’s are typically more than 100kts, the polar jet stream can be absurdly fast. my dad said the biggest wind he’s ever experienced was a 212kt tailwind from ATX to LGA - that’s in a 24-year career at the airlines.

Is there a tutorial on how to use the windy app ? It’d be nice to incorporate accuarate results in the flight planning to add realism.