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Aviation Weather Safety

General aviation weather safety is nothing to take lightly. Our pilot weather articles are designed to help you maintain your skills for flying in tough conditions and improve your overall aviation safety.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weather Avoidance Techniques


Staying Out of Trouble When it isn’t CAVU



Weather Avoidance TechniquesToday, a wide range of tools are available to help avoid those dangers, but each has limitations that must be understood in order to use them safely.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

10 Tips For VFR Flying In Marginal Weather


A few simple suggestions to help keep VFR pilots safe in marginal weather



10 Tips For VFR Flying In Marginal WeatherIt was the classic example of baby- bird stupidity.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Combating Crosswinds


Ten Things The Textbooks Don’t Tell You



Combating CrosswindsNeither the wind given to you by the tower, nor that shown on a mid-field wind sock, is likely to be what you actually experience when landing.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weather Avoidance: Back To Basics


Ten simple steps to enhance your weather planning and avoid Mother Nature’s worst



Weather Avoidance: Back To BasicsIt's one of the great paradoxes in aviation that one of the biggest killers of pilots —weather—is one of the least understood and least taught subjects in primary flight instruction.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Winter Flying Tips


Twenty Things You Can Do To Stay Safe and Have Fun



Winter Flying TipsWinter is as inevitable as aging, and for pilots who live in or fly to the northern latitudes, every winter will present significant challenges.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beware The Downburst


An insidious risk that can undercut airspeed and drive you into the ground



Beware The DownburstContrary to the advice that aviation usually allows you to make most mistakes only once, I’ve been fortunate in 50 years of flying to make virtually all the bad mistakes, in some cases more than once.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Box Is Yours


Competition aerobatics can make you a more precise and confident pilot



The Box Is YoursI was circling at 4,500 feet in the designated contest holding area for the Borrego Springs Akrofest while another competitor finished his routine in the aerobatic box.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Managing Risk: VFR Versus VMC


Are you prepared for when the weather deteriorates?



Managing Risk: VFR Versus VMCIt has been a long day on a long cross-country flight. The weather forecasts have not been very accurate—you’re reminded of a quote from an anonymous wag: "Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dealing With Convective Weather


Some pilots simply lock their airplanes in the hangar when convective weather is about. Others learn to cope.



Dealing With Convective WeatherShortly after returning from a recent Grand Caravan delivery from Long Beach, Calif., to Seoul, Korea, I spoke at a LoPresti First Saturday event in Sebastian, Fla.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Myth (Almost) Of Tailwinds


Logic suggests you should have tailwinds roughly 50% of the time. Logic is wrong.



The Myth (Almost) Of TailwindsIt was late March 1994, and I was waiting for wind—again. Mooney Aircraft had loaned me a new TLS in January so I could set several world records flying between Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Fla.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Top Mistakes In Convective Environments


How to stay safe in bad weather



Top Mistakes  In Convective EnvironmentsDeep, moist convection, better known as thunderstorms, are the nemesis of all aircraft, big or small. Avoidance is mandatory.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Go/No-Go Decision In Winter


The rules change when the weather turns cold



It had been a long day. It was January 2003, and I’d departed Reykjavik, Iceland, in a 58 Baron; destination Iqaluit, Nunavit, Canada, with stops in Greenland, where it was clear and cold—in this case, minus-20 degrees C. I’d landed on the gravel runway at Kulusuk in the dark of noon, refueled as quickly as possible to avoid having the engines cool down, and leaped back off across the ice cap for the old U.S. air base at Sondre Strom Fjord, well above the Arctic Circle. The weather remained perfect as I spanned the cap at 14,000 feet in smooth, frigid air.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Ugly Side Of Spring


Winter hasn’t released its icy grip yet



springWhether Punxsutawney Phil sees his own shadow or not, winter is losing its death grip. But it isn’t dead yet. Widespread icing still exists during the transition months of March and April. Gulf moisture, warmer temperatures and an overactive jet stream guarantees that convective SIGMETs will begin to spring out of hibernation. With temperatures slowly on the rise, you need to tailor your briefings to focus on key weather products that track the vernal transition.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Winter Flying: A Strategic Approach


Tips for staying safe in a cold season



winter flyingWinter presents many complications for those who live in northern latitudes. Residents of warmer states like Florida and Arizona probably consider us northerners to be their somewhat slow-witted (and perhaps crazy) cousins, but winter offers its own set of pleasures—and challenges.
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Icing Folklore


Avoid flying by rules of thumb



icing folkloreIcing is already a terribly complex topic without the many old wives’ tales and rules of thumb making it even more difficult. Rules of thumb generally plead ignorance. Ignorance often leads to bad decisions. When the weather is on its worst behavior, rules of thumb rarely apply and can actually be dangerous. Here are a few of my pet peeves when it comes to icing folklore.
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Severe Weather Flying


Dennis Newton’s book reviewed



severe weather flyingSevere weather. Who would ever think about flying in it, or around it? Yet a book about severe weather flying has been highly popular and successful for over 20 years, and is now in its third edition.
Friday, December 1, 2006

Winter Flying


With careful preparation, cold-weather flying can be great fun



Winter FlyingWinter—it’s cold, it’s dark and sometimes it seems like spring will never come. But, lots of pilots live in cold country, and there’s no sense letting our airplanes sit idle all winter. Although it takes more effort and better preparation, winter flying can indeed be tolerable and sometimes even downright fun. So, if you’re up for the challenge, let’s consider some things you can do to mitigate the effects of winter and enjoy some flying.

 

Monday, May 1, 2006

Finding Weather


More and more information outlets are available for pilots



Finding WeatherWeather happens, and the vast majority of us mere mortals will probably never understand it. WX (as it’s rarely abbreviated) is almost universally regarded as the subject pilots understand least and fear most. For most aviators, it’s flying’s great question mark. Some people may have a perfect understanding of Bernoulli’s principle, but still consider weather a mystery.