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Ask the Pilot, with Captain Mike Bowers


Q: Does air density change, and if so, how does that affect the plane’s lift? How do you  compensate for flying in air of various densities  and qualities?
A: The density of air changes with altitude, temperature and humidity. At high-altitude airports, or when the temperature is hotter or the air mass is drier, the air will be less dense. When the air is less dense, the wing produces lesslift. We compensate for that by flying at slightly higher speeds to increase the lift from the wing.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? You can write to him at askthepilot@united.com

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