- Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 am
It is interesting that you pose this question as a few of us "powered pilots" were discussing how we rarely hear the term used in Free Flight circles. Shear, or Wind Shear, is basically two air masses rubbing together because of different velocities and or directions. It can be horizontal shear or vertical (like on the edge of a strong thermal). There will be turbulence of some type associated with it; the strength of which will be determined by the differences in the air masses' different speeds and direction. We, in free flight, DO talk about Wind Gradient which is also a type of shear as it is still the difference in speeds or direction of the two parcels of air.
Shear can be very dangerous for us close to the ground, no matter if we are in a 747 or a Falcon, as a sudden shear from our tail can take away airspeed in an instant. ( Adding a few extra knots by pulling in for speed on final helps there. )
In your discussion of "shear" with the gentleman, If there was a convergence of two air masses producing lift, there would have to be a "shear zone" . I think most people would talk about flying in the "convergence" though.