Icing

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Wx Watch: Radar revolution

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

Let's face it: When it comes to checking the weather, most of us immediately call up imagery from one or more of the nation's 150 WSR-88D Nexrad Doppler weather radars, especially when thunderstorms threaten.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

It was a typical overcast winter morning at Portland International Airport in Oregon, with ceilings running around 1,400 feet agl and reported tops at about 7,000 feet msl. Ground control had just rattled off our clearance to Rogue Valley International in Medford, Oregon, clearing us to 10,000 feet.

Wx Watch: The problem with pireps

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Let's get this out right up front: Pireps are a valuable source of information that can be indispensible for safe flight planning - and can help prevent weather-related accidents and incidents.

Iced up and fast

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Winter operations in light jets present a series of problems not encountered during fair weather. Most are related to the chance of encountering in-flight icing, and the associated risks of operating a contaminated aircraft.

Wx Watch: Searching for snowmageddons

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Ever since the huge 2010 East Coast snowstorm dubbed "Snowmaggedon," those living in the busy northeastern coastal corridor states have been extra curious about any nearby winter lows or fronts. Every time an extended-range outlook pops up, we pay extra attention. The temptation is to look for a storm complex somewhere to the west or northwest, on the assumption that weather complexes traditionally move from west to east. That may be true in a general sense, but the worst of the northeast winter snowstorms are actually born in the south.

Answers for Pilots: Icing

Article | Dec 01, 2011

Each winter, AOPA members call the Pilot Information Center with questions about icing, asking, what, exactly, is "known icing"? When can I fly and when am I grounded? The answer depends to an extent on the kind of deicing equipment an aircraft has. But, since the majority of general aviation aircraft are not equipped for FIKI (flight into known icing), we’ll focus on non-equipped aircraft flying in cold weather.

Power up, temps down: King Air 250

Article | Aug 01, 2011

In late June, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) certified its new King Air 250, a more refined variant of its predecessor, the King Air B200GT. Like all King Airs, the 250 has the classy, comfortable cabin that has made the line the go-to twin turboprop for more than 7,000 customers.

Piper Mirage: Pressurization

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

You might think that the primary driver of a pilot’s move from a piston airplane to a light turbine is the need for more speed, or range, or altitude. And while those factors certainly play a part in the decision, my recent conversations with pilots who have made the move suggest that the primary reason for the change was to get pressurization.

Safety Pilot: Landmark Accidents

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

Some accidents aren’t really accidents, since the definition of “accident” includes the adjectives “unforeseen” or “unexpected.” Here is a rare FAA overindulgence to tolerate those who don’t measure up. The pilot’s history is punctuated by an incredible series of miscues and mishaps by one who was, shall we say, financially gifted but aeronautically challenged.

Wx Watch: Checking the weather

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

The aviation weather forecasts we receive from flight service are, for the most part, accurate and useful for our short- and long-term flight planning purposes. Sure, there are exceptions.

System synopsis: Bleed air malfunctions

Article | Mar 01, 2011

Engine bleed air systems can vary widely in design and operation from one airplane type to another, but they all perform the same basic group of functions. Bleed air pressurizes the cabin, heats and cools the cabin, provides heat for ice-protection systems, and even inflates door seals.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 2010

We had many memorable flights during a trip to Alaska in the summer of 1976. The adventure, from Boston to Alaska and back in a Mooney, began on a whim.

CJ4 debut

Article | Dec 01, 2010

Cessna’s new Citation CJ4 takes the company’s CJ line one step closer to the midsize business jet category. The CJ4, announced in 2006, is the seventh of the CJ series (eighth, if you count the Mustang) and offers more in every department: power, speed, cabin size, and plenty of equipment that ordinarily would be optional.

Wx Watch: Freezing Rain Facts

Article | Nov 01, 2010

Freezing rain depends on sandwiching an above-freezing temperature layer between two subfreezing layers. The diagram above shows how a temperature inversion (warm air over cold air, as shown by the red line) melts falling snow.

Technique: Helping other pilots

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

We’ve all been there. The sun is still well below the horizon, you are planning to take off around dawn, and you’re digesting the weather briefing you just received.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Attitude or altitude?

Article | Mar 01, 2010

Pilot attitude is, perhaps even to a greater degree than skill, an accurate predictor of an unhappy outcome. This month’s Landmark Accident is a testament to the adage that haste makes waste, and that the laws of aerodynamics apply equally to all pilots, regardless of their station in life.

Wx Watch: Nor'easter super slam

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

The radar map for late in the day on February 5 shows a classic mid-latitude low pressure system’s frontal signature (left). At this point the low pressure center is somewhere over South Carolina.

Wx Watch: Fire and ice

Article | Feb 01, 2010

The first round of serious winter snowfall always revs up the heartbeat. Any doubts as to winter’s arrival are banished, and let there be no doubt: The icing season has truly begun in earnest.

The iceway is open

Article | Jan 01, 2010

Picture this movie scene: The local airport has closed down. At a meeting of area businesspeople, everyone agrees the airport was a boon for the local economy and a much-loved attraction that should be restored.

Wx Watch: Thundersnow!

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2010

Do you note weather conditions in your logbook entries? I do. It’s a great way to look back over the conditions that prompted memorable >weather events.

Wx Watch: Icing Intensities

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2009

Let’s get something out of the way right up front: Avoid icing conditions if at all possible, and escape them immediately should you encounter icing. It’s as simple as that.

Wx Watch: Eyes on the sky

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2009

In a lonely, one-story, concrete building some five miles from the Kansas City International Airport, a group of 40 Aviation Weather Center (AWC) meteorologists toil around the clock. Their job: create the weather forecasts, advisories, warnings, and graphics that flight service specialists and the pilot community rely upon for sound preflight information.

Nice when there's ice

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

The outside air temperature was near freezing—but the Cirrus SR22’s wings glistened as though they were sweating in a sauna. Seconds after hitting the “max” button on the 2009 model “X edition” SR22 equipped for flight into known icing (FIKI) conditions, the windshield, wings, and tail were bathed in clear TKS fluid that streaked aft in the 170-knot slipstream.