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Not believing your eyes

Whats the worst that should happen if that wide runway seems further away? Well, you could end up too high and go around or you could simply land long, risking an overrun. Embarrassing, to be sure, possibly with expensive damage, but seldom much worse than that.

Forecast-Wind Follies

If I were crowned king, my first decree would be to abolish the official winds and temperatures aloft forecast, also known as the FBWinds. Its an outdated product thats fraught with problems. The problems get compounded when pilots unknowingly misuse the forecast.

Stratus for ipad ADS-B

ADS-B weather for the iPad has been around for a while, but this is the first year pilots get some real choices. Baron released its Mobile Link with XM weather for the iPad. SkyRadar, which puts ADS-B weather into WingX on the iPad, just released a new device. FreeFlight Systems is promising an in-panel, complete ADS-B solution (traffic and weather) that will wirelessly send data to the iPad.

West Coast Fog Monster

Fog along the West Coast of the United States has been documented as far back as the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th...

Spring Dust Storms

In March, 1933, Malcolm C. Harrison wrote in An Unusual Texas Duststorm, "Pilots were experiencing the same condition over North and Central Texas, all...

One Stop Web Weather?

At the AOPA Summit in October 2012 Lockheed Martin had a large and impressive display to announce the rollout of Flight Services (LMFS). Sigh…another...

Meteorology of Icing

Icing is one of the most feared hazards of flight. In the extreme, the aircraft becomes enshrouded in a thick, solid mass that reduces lift and thrust as the twin effects of drag and gravity overcome our ability to maintain controlled flight. Not only is the shape of our airfoils changed, but ice accumulation dramatically increases drag, clogs pitot tubes, jams control surfaces, blocks undercarriage doors, obstructs engine intakes, and the final insult, covers the windshield. We may not even be aware of how extensive the ice is until a high angle of attack or unusual power settings are required. At this point premature and significant aging may instantly occur within the cockpit.

Knowing Known Ice

Transitioning to your first aircraft that has ice protection equipment beyond a heated pitot tube is a big step for a pilot. Having a full complement of ice protection usually gives pilots warm fuzzy feelings about being able to complete more trips and handle any ice related problems that arise. Unfortunately, the current regulations and guidance addressing icing can be just as complex as dealing with the nuances of in-flight icing encounters.

Chinook Winds

In 1892, E.B. Garriott wrote for the fledgling U.S. Weather Bureau, Following a period of intense cold the Chinook wind is a welcome visitor in the Northwest. The icy clutch of winter is loosened. The earth throws off its winding sheet of snow. Humanity ventures forth to inhale the balmy, spring-like air. Animate nature rejoices.

IFR Under Pressure

We're not talking about the anxiety of a slam-dunk vector. The subtleties of the mundane altimeter setting really matter—especially for IFR in the high...

Staying In One Piece

With sunny skies and calm winds, it's a surprise to reach cruise altitude and find a bumpy ride. Though computer modeling is beginning to...

Pop-up Clearances

The pilot wasnt having much luck on his flight review. As he and his instructor were about to depart, the airport weather went from a manageable SCT006 to BKN006, requiring an IFR clearance. Since they had planned to depart VFR, they didnt file an IFR flight plan. To top it off, the part-time tower was closed.