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.
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Extreme Flying: Winter, Part 1
Lessons learned from an Alaskan bush pilot can be just as valuable to pilots in the lower 48
It’s Gary Chamberlain’s second cup of coffee and it’s still dark outside. For months now the sun has been rising later and later each day, only to scribe a low arc across the horizon before disappearing again just a few hours later. As the winter solstice nears in December, even the twilight hours are gone. Still, there’s flying to be done, and Chamberlain has learned the lessons that decades of living in Alaska have taught him. Despite the constant risks of whiteouts, high winds, frigid temperatures and limiting visibilities, he’s developed a set of rules that allow him to crisscross Alaska and the Yukon Territory year-round in his Cessna 185.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Aircraft And Engine Preheat Is A Big Deal
Pilots need to stay warm during the winter months. Your airplane deserves the same consideration.
Your engine needs preheat. Starting a cold engine can give it the equivalent of 500 hours of cruise wear and tear, according to engine authorities. Assuming no other potentially catastrophic damage occurs, this single event easily could raise the hamburger price to a healthy four-digit value.
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Thunderstorms: Managing The Risk
Day or night, how do you fly responsibly?
It was June 1977, and I had climbed out of Reading, Pa., in a new Rockwell Commander 114, heading for Bethany, Okla. The weather was characteristic June gloom, hot, hazy and humid, typically unstable for summer in the Northeast.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
12 Tips To Beat The Heat
Here are a dozen effective suggestions for safer summertime flying
Most new-production and many high-performance aircraft have fuel-injected engines. There are some advantages of fuel injection over carburetion, but one drawback is that injected engines can be difficult to start when hot. Fuel vaporizing in fuel pumps and lines needs to be purged before the engine can fire. Here’s where a good read through the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) is worthwhile—it should contain a hot-start procedure that takes into account the airplane’s design and make of its fuel-injection system. What is good hot-starting practice in some types can be downright damaging in others.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Control The Crosswind!
It can be vexing to any pilot, but is there a right and wrong way to take on the wind?
There are several ways to start an argument. They range from the old favorites, politics and religion, to the blonde/redhead/brunette thing. Or you can simply state that there’s only one right way to land an airplane in a crosswind and that’s the way you do it. Stand back, folks, brutal words to follow.
Sunday, May 1, 2005
Don't Be Dense About Density Altitude
As the warm weather arrives, your airplane’s performance can really suffer
It can prevent you from taking off from the same runway you did the day before. It will sap power from your engine. It can eliminate any chance of a climb rate on departure. It can drastically increase your takeoff and landing rolls. What aviation phenomenon has this much power over your flying? Density altitude. And if you fly without paying it due attention, you may find yourself staring down the end of a runway without hope of stopping or taking off. Even if you do make it in the air, high-density altitudes can cause you to quickly meet up with terrain that has a gradient superior to your ascent.
Thursday, July 1, 2004
Crosswind Landings FAQs
Maintain and expand your skills by unraveling some frequently asked questions about this intricate technique
Saturday, May 1, 2004
Worst-Case Weather Scenarios
If you find yourself in hazardous situations, nothing helps you more than having a plan
Thursday, April 1, 2004
Prime Time For Icing
Although winter may have the reputation, springtime can be just as notorious when it comes to freezing conditions
Sunday, February 1, 2004
Get The Most Out Of Winter Part 2
Last month, we took a look at how much cold-weather flying depends on groundwork preparation. In this issue, we’ll explore how to safely and effectively maximize wintertime flight once you’re airborne.
Thursday, January 1, 2004
Get The Most Out Of Winter Part 1
With cool temperatures and great visibilities, autumn-to-spring flying requires a different set of rules—and it all starts on the ground