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Features December 2010 Issue

Blind to the Ice

Too often the briefer is a parrot of weather data rather than a partner in weather strategies. Draw on a wider pool of data and become your own expert.

Blind to the Ice

An official FSS briefing may not be perfect, but at least it gives you a clear picture of the hazards, right? Nope. It also lacks the critical element of strategy.

It was late afternoon and time to fly home after a productive business meeting. Before heading to the airport, the pilot called Flight Service. Most of the significant weather was along a cold front just to the north of his east-west proposed route. The briefer mentioned some light snow showers were showing up on radar near the front. There were a few pilot reports of light to moderate icing, but all of them were associated with the weather to the north. The briefer alerted the pilot to an AIRMET for IFR conditions and mountain obscuration along a portion of his proposed route, but as of yet no en route advisories for structural icing had been issued.

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