Turbulence over mountainous terrain

Is it just me or does anybody else also feels that the turbulence over hilly terrain seems to be overdone? Even if I’m more than 25k feet above the ground in an airliner, the persistent turbulence from mountains would hit the plane really hard. Is the turbulence over hills really so harsh and goes so high in real life?

I get what you mean, but I am not complaining. I suppose that because the sim cannot duplicate the actual bodily jolts of turbulence, the exaggerated effects try to still make it “immersive”. Of course if there are really bad spots, it would be worth checking on the algorithm for fine tuning.

Turbulence over and around mountains is a real thing and often in abundance. I often feel like turbulence and or buffeting isn’t done enough in the sim by comparison to all you may feel while in an aircraft. Over an expansive mountain range it depends a lot on the altitude of which you’re at equating to what wind layer you may be in and too where you’re at over mountain ranges or large hills. Winds aloft over ranges may be rather smooth or straight-line but the clear air turbulence may occur in between fluctuating layers and where we see upper and lower level jet stream direction variation.

In ways MSFS has done a good job with the modeling *certain weather dynamics. For instance over large buildings, around the edges of mountains and even flying over forests to then be flying over parking lots and lots of concrete results in a bumpier flight in comparison to flying over a flat forested area. I do use REX weather though but the default weather presets seem to be pretty good too. FL220 to 270 can be a rather bumpy level to be at times. Are you using real world weather? There is still a lot to be desired with the weather modeling in the sim, like for instance how wind effects clouds, clouds in many ways can give us a lot of information in regards to wind conditions. You’ll also see in the sim clouds that shouldn’t be where they are based off of the real data you may have. I never see big thunderstorms anvil at their tops as they should when they expand into upper level winds that are in excess of 90 knots or so nor do we see any kind of billowing. Just static. It would be nice to see one day it all working together as it does but that is like a sim all together, weather sim :laughing:

Here is some nice info to read over.



Yes …

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I was just flying from Vancouver to Los Angeles. There was some significant air traffic (live) around me while my plane was dancing around violently over those mountains. I was just wondering that if those mountains below are causing so much turbulence to my plane then how come so many aircrafts are flying in the same region.

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I can also testify to that turbulence over mountains and in general are waaayyy too little as compared with real life.

I remember reading somewhere here in the forum that Asobo deliberately turned it down which is a pitty as it takes away from the experience. Small GA airplanes don’t fly as stably in most weather conditions and the airspeed indicator usually bounces around in real life during turbulence as opposed to the one in the sim which seems to be nailed to the dial.

Flew many mountain waves IRL. The rotor through which one sometimes has to fly can be very very impressive and you make sure your 4 point harness is as tight as possible. Also you clean the cockpit beforehand because any little dirt at some point ends up first on the canopy ceiling and then often in your face.


Because it is often the case in order to get around it you’d have to put hundreds or even thousands of miles on your flight plan to go around it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Hey All,

I would like to know if anyone else if having this issue or if it is just me. If you have been experiencing it as well, whether on #pc or #xbox please vote to get this fixed.

Now it doesn’t matter if I have my FBW mod or liveries in my community folder or if the folder is empty all together. I have been noticing, when I am flying over mountain terrain, even at FL370, I am noticing the turbulence level is so unrealistic, it’s Infact a little frustrating. It happens mostly when I am on love weather, but sometimes it still happens in clear skies setting. Let’s be honest though, we want the most realism in this sim so changing things to clear skies all the time isn’t technically as fix. Now I notice this mostly flying over the mountains between British Columbia and Alberta, but I did just recently notice it flying to Salt Lake City.

There has been a couple times where my flight will suddenly end because after so much turbulence, the message will come up saying the aircraft was overstressed. I have flown in real life over these mountains multiple times, as a passenger of course, and though sometimes there are a little bit of turbulence, it is never this bad lol. Even the passengers in my Self Loading Cargo go from 96% to 12% satisfaction just after 5 minutes over mountains.

I feel this needs to be fixed as the mountains have beautiful scenery, but I’m not going to want to fly over anymore if it’s going to cause overstress on my aircraft and can’t finish the flight LOL.


I don’t think the turbulence is overdone. I do think that the aircraft stress model is fragile. This is not a new issue, we’ve discussed it before over past months here and here and here.

Fortunately there is an easy solution:

Options > Assistance Options > Failure and Damage > Aircaft Stress Damage > OFF

Now you can bounce over those beautiful mountains as much as you like :rofl:

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If you read over this thread and click some links in here that takes you to information on this you’ll find that what is unrealistic is how the sim portrays the outcome of this and not the turbulence necessarily. So, yes perhaps the outcome or result being an aircraft that is downed by turbulence is a little extreme. So perhaps in this sense it may need some correcting on Asobos part. There are some great resources out there that can give you a chance to look at some graphical forecasts of winds aloft. You’ll find in areas where winds may reach 120 knots and when this occurs with many layers of wind over mountain ranges the going can get bumpy to say the least.

Wouldn’t be too quick to call this a solution, perhaps a band aid that if removed may expose a wound that won’t heal… :laughing:

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@LUCHY0517 @ClayishCoast9
IRL the reason your aircraft doesn’t break up inflight while transiting areas of turbulence is because the pilots adjust their speed. Every aircraft has a placarded maneuvering speed. That is the speed that must not be exceeded when flying in rough air.

If you are flying at maximum cruise speed and encounter turbulence it is entirely possible to bounce between stall speed and never exceed speed. Vertical speed can and does indicate extreme changes. Due to these fluctuations I often disengage auto pilot when flying over mountainous regions when there is significant wind. The AP trying to maintain altitude can result in extremely erratic attitude adjustments that simply are not required.

Bottom line, if the turbulence is causing you to overstress your aircraft it is not a sim error. It is pilot error. Slow down to maneuvering speed and disengage AP. Fly with gentle adjustments and do not chase the VS.

Clear air does not mean smooth air. Wind over the mountains can result in some extreme turbulence that will leave you with bruises from your shoulder belts when flying in anything less than an airliner. Google airliner turbulence and you will see that stuff can bounce off the ceiling even in big planes.

My concern is that we end up with further reductions in turbulence to accommodate non-pilot perceptions of what turbulence should feel like.


Exactly. I share the same concern.


Couldn’t we say that for the sim to state that the aircraft was lost due to damages sustained by over-stressing that this is not an error of the sim in case of turbulence though the results of turbulence? I can see well where pilot error may be to blame but then we can also see where sim error may be to blame and where both come together. I mean, I’m not talking about the kid that tries to pull 12 Gs in a 152 here and expects to not tear his airplane apart :sweat_smile: :joy:

In any aircraft incident where pilot error may be deemed the cause or the Bottom line per se we find that aside from this bottom line that there are multiple factors that lead to the pilot error even.

The air frame and wings of large aircraft you should know are designed with a tolerance that exceeds forces you would encounter at these maneuvering speeds. So for the sim to say you’ve lost your aircraft when dipping into the red by 10 knots in some cases I have read is to me an error in the simulations part but then we look back further and see other errors along the way as well that lead to this.

Exactly… if you read enough about what people experience in this sim with losing aircraft in turbulence you’ll find that it’s not under conditions that one would expect to disintegrate in midair as the sim often portrays it to be.

How many aircraft in reality have been lost due to stress from turbulence?

Is this sim expecting every player to access information that is not readily available in the sim to some how predict thus plan ahead in the way of real pilots to avoid dangerous circumstances in winds aloft?

Same here because it isn’t the turbulence that is the issue per se, it may be how the sim is interpreting the affects thus results of turbulence of which may be a concern here as well.

Let’s start here. All the information you need is either printed on the panel in front of you or displayed on your instruments. Maneuvering speed is placarded and the wind speed is displayed on any of the GPS equipped aircraft. When flying over uneven terrain in windy conditions reduce speed to at or below maneuvering speed.

Overspeed by itself is not necessarily a disaster but overspeed combined with rapid deflection of control surfaces will break something even when there is no turbulence.

I have been flying back and forth over the Rockies in the just about every aircraft in the sim, since release, at altitudes ranging from 9000 ft to 35000 ft and encounter turbulence nearly every flight. I have not had an overstress failure.

If there is something that needs fixing it is that in most cases the turbulence encountered in the sim is far less than I would expect IRL. (I fly a G58 from Northern BC to Vancouver at least twice a month, IRL)


Exactly my point (see above) with many many IRL hours in mountains.
Turbulence is not even close in severity to what to expect IRL.

Before toning down weather / turbulence even further than it already is – I mean the sim already lets you fly anything already through a hurricane let alone thunderstorms (see the Ida posts) – I rather have a switch allowing the user to choose between realistic and easy weather.


Correct indeed in this type of scenario in some cases with certain aircraft and in some aircraft perhaps not. I can tell you with the MAX8, 787 and 777 that you would be really hard up to exceed the structural limitations by means of limitations designed in the controls. You would have to be doing some flying way past anything ‘normal’ to be able to achieve it combined with extreme environmental conditions. You’d most likely would face certain control surface damage that may or may not doom the aircraft.

Right… so lets hope that they get their stress models more accurate in case they up the realism in the sim or else we’ll all be falling out of the sky! :sweat_smile: :rofl:

I am not convinced there is anything wrong with the stress model. If you allow the airspeed and/or g-forces to exceed the placarded limits then you risk an airframe failure. This is what would be expected. No RL pilot would intentionally allow those conditions to exist.

Unintentionally, it can happen. The only difference between the sim and real life is how that failure is depicted. IRL, I would not expect a black screen and a message.


I wonder if that aircraft design ever accounted for the weight of the load? Is this aircraft in the sim? We might be careful to not ball every scenario up and view them as one… We end up straying from the original topic and or response which is effectively that the turbulence in the sim is consequently that of which is causing the deflection. I don’t remember reading a post where they were maneuvering the aircraft in the manner of which is depicted in the photo.

So if the sim states you’ve crashed after being in the red a few seconds by 20 knots, this is not enough to convience you when you yourself state:

It’s more than enough to convince me, especially when we are talking about the sim not even simulating turbulence enough as it is, and here we find people coming to disastrous consequences when the sim tells them they’ve crashed because they’ve over stressed while in turbulence.

Alright, let’s consider that statement. 20 knots past redline is not something I would attempt in any aircraft not equipped with either a parachute or an ejection seat and only then, in ideal, smooth air conditions.

We are discussing failures attributed to turbulence. If exceeding VNE by 20 knots as a result of turbulence, I expect that VNE was exceeded by an extreme updraft that the AP tried to compensate for by pushing the nose over to maintain the set altitude. Intuitively if this was to happen, I would expect an equally strong downdraft to be encountered in short order. Nose down, airspeed rapidly increasing and now we enter a pocket of descending air. The AP detects a rapid descent below the desired altitude that it tries to compensate for by rapidly applying up elevator. We now have excessive speed and excessive G-force. Black Screen.

By reducing airspeed to the speed that the airframe can safely maneuver in that unstable air we reduce the rate of change. a reduction in the rate of change, translates into a reduction in G-force, and because we slowed down we do not run the risk of exceeding VNE. Result? A bumpy but uneventful flight.

The photo I included was to illustrate that structural failure can happen to the best of us and in real life, is NOT accompanied by a message on our screens. To answer your questions… Yes the aircraft is operating within it design limits. No they do not overload an aircraft just to fight fires. Whether the aircraft is reflected in the sim or not does not change the fact that failures happen.

Speed, G-forces and airmanship are the factors causing the “overstress” in the sim. NOT turbulence. The aircraft in the sim are capable of flying through far more intense turbulence than is depicted in the simulation, as long as they are flown in a competent manner.


I was thinking about failures features earlier, becoming more robust in the sim might actually solve some of these instances where people experience catastrophic failures when they shouldn’t be. Cool to read it from you. And very nice info you provide in regards to procedures to reduce airspeed. A lot of good info for everyone!

I wonder, what do you think the chances are that strong updraft/current attributed to the failure of the wing structure of the AC in that photo? Haven’t did any research regarding it. That kind of incident makes me thankful for the advancements we have made in aircraft design. I could see a 747 converted tanker do the same maneuver with 4x the amount of payload and come out flying high… bless those guys in the flightdeck putting their lives on the line.

Cheers, Willi!