August 13, 2013
By Jim Moore
Advanced warning, or even avoidance of clear-air turbulence may be possible in coming years, and a Cessna Citation is flying circuits out of Amsterdam and over Europe to make it happen.
The joint effort by various European aerospace agencies seeks to detect wind shear strong enough to produce waves which compromise smooth airflow over wings, and lift. Those waves are the cause of clear-air turbulence.
A short-wave, ultraviolet laser mounted on a probe extending forward of the Citation’s nose sends a beam along the flight path, and sensitive instruments measure the backscatter, or reflection, of that light from air molecules. The density of oxygen and nitrogen can then be calculated, and clear air turbulence is then revealed indirectly.
Researchers from several countries are collaborating in hope that one day a cockpit instrument could give pilots enough warning to direct passengers to their seats, or, better still, steer around the bumps.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Daher-Socata announced that it had installed the first Garmin G600 and GTN 750 avionics in one of its 2004 TBM 700C2 airplanes.
Even brief flight under actual conditions can expose how well your basic instrument flying is serving.
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