What is wind shear?

Wind shear is when there is a sudden change in wind direction and/or speed.

Wind shear can be dangerous as the flight environment changes significantly.  The pilot must correct for these changes. This is most important during low-altitude phases of flight as there is less terrain clearance.  For example, there may be a headwind that abruptly changes to a tailwind.

Reference(s)

AC 00-54 Pilot Windshear Guide
FAA-H-8083-25B Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge 12-11

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