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WEATHER

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.

Tame the Fog Monster

When operating near large bodies of water, especially on the west coast of the United States, you might encounter the "Fog Monster" from the...

XMWX Satellite Weather

Not many years ago your airborne weather information was limited to what you could see out the windshield and what information you were able to gather on the radio from Flight Service-if you could reach them. Plus, reported weather was limited. Thus, it was nearly impossible to form a full, accurate mental image of the weather. …

ATC Sees Weather, too

It's been a pretty smooth flight so far, but out of the haze, you see the emerging outline of a huge towering cumulus. Oh,...

Thunderstorm Safety

As summer arrives and the days get longer, pilots may let their guard down when it comes to weather. Icing and large hail may...