Wind and Gusts

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Proficiency: Hover like a hawk

Pilot Magazine | Dec 23, 2013

Slow flight is an essential skill for pilots to understand and master, but practicing it can be a drag (literally and figuratively).

Whooping cranes take flight...sometimes

Article | Nov 19, 2013

Halloween has long-since passed, but you’d have no clue if you were looking at the Operation Migration crew. Dressed in long, white costumes with hoods that cover their faces, the group aims to trick their charge — a group of eight whooping crane chicks — from recognizing the human form as they teach them the migration route from Wisconsin to Florida behind ultralight airplanes. The cranes were raised in Maryland before being brought to Wisconsin and trained to follow the plane as a surrogate parent. They left the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area and began their migration journey on Oct. 2. As of mid-November, the cranes were in Illinois, having traveled about 200 miles in 41 days. To see their current location, go to the Operation Migration blog, In the Field, or click on either of their two cams: http://www.ustream.tv/migratingcranes or http://www.ustream.tv/flyingcranes.

FAA issues final rule on air carrier pilot training

Advocacy | Nov 06, 2013

The FAA has published a final rule that stresses basic pilot skills and better tracking of remedial training for crewmembers to avoid "events that, although rare, are often catastrophic," such as the February 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y.

Fly like a fighter: Tackle snarling crosswinds

Fly like a fighter | Nov 04, 2013

Variable gusting winds can force a runway change on short notice. Pilots should be prepared to switch runways even on short final, as retired Air Force fighter pilot Larry Brown recounts from his training at the Air Force Academy.

Dogfight: The E6B computer

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

This month, we welcome esteemed aviation writer Barry Schiff into the ring. He and Senior Editor Dave Hirschman debate the merits of one of aviation's finest inventions--the E6B computer.

Wx Watch: A slow-moving IMC-maker

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

I was taking an intensive flight training course earlier this year, and it ended up being a real workout. By this I mean instrument weather for much of the nine hours I flew during the weeklong course.

NTSB wants wind-test towers marked, registered

Article | May 30, 2013

As the wind-energy industry grows, the towers it uses to evaluate the potential of sites for power generation pose a growing hazard to aviation, the NTSB said, issuing six safety recommendations to stakeholders.

Safety Pilot: Low-impact aerobatics: The Swiss way

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

Learning about unusual attitudes—not the pilot’s but the aircraft’s—is an excellent skill and need not be painful. It’s good experience since most of us work hard to avoid them.

Apps aid flight planning process

Article | Apr 16, 2013

You can’t fly anywhere without proper flight planning. Smartphone and tablet apps have simplified the process, covering everything from flight calculators to wind computers.

The cold truth

Article | Apr 16, 2013

In rugged, remote country, harsh weather can be more life-threatening than an aircraft crash itself. In 2012, AOPA Online Managing Editor Alyssa Miller reported on what she’d learned in a weekend-long winter survival course held in the woods of northwest Montana.

Breezy day at Sun ’n Fun Splash-In

Article | Apr 11, 2013

The skies were blue, the air hot but not steamy—a perfect day for the Sun 'n Fun Splash-In except for one thing: the wind. Some 35 varieties of seaplanes flew in for the day to participate in the grapefruit bomb drop and spot landing contests, and to enjoy a day on Florida’s Lake Agnes.

Don’t let the mountain siren lure you

Article | Mar 26, 2013

Mountain flying can be a captivating adventure along beautiful valleys, over brilliant mountain lakes, and above sprawling icy-blue and -green glaciers as you climb to cross a mountain saddle or circumnavigate a peak—and once again continue the spectacular journey. But along with their beauty, mountains harbor lurking dangers that can snag a flight in one unforgiving moment.

Flight Amid Vertical Terrain

Article | Mar 25, 2013

AOPA's A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying Introduction Do you want to fly above snow-capped mountains, journey through narrow canyons and land at airports that have some of the most spectacular scenery in the world? If you haven't experienced this, you are in for a thrill. However, you will also be faced with greater challenges and different procedures.

Mountain Ways

Article | Mar 25, 2013

AOPA's A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying Coping with mountain weather BY THOMAS A. HORNE Why do so many weather-related accidents happen near hilly or mountainous regions? Three reasons come to mind.

Mountain Flying

Article | Mar 25, 2013

AOPA's A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying Mountain Flying BY THE AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION Introduction On behalf of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation staff, thank you for your interest in, quite literally, expanding your horizons by learning the techniques of mountain flying. Operations in the rapidly changing weather conditions and the thin air of the high country differ significantly from normal flight operations.

Weather Curiosity - Fronts

Article | Mar 25, 2013

The Weather Never Sleeps Storming The Front How Air Masses Wage Meteorological War BY JACK WILLIAMS (From Flight Training, May 1996.) Meteorologists use the war-like term fronts for one of the atmosphere's key weather makers, because Norwegian scientists developed the theory of fronts during World War I when headlines screamed about battles along the Western Front. The name seemed appropriate for the zone between contrasting air masses.

Weather Curiosity - Turbulence

Article | Mar 25, 2013

The Weather Never Sleeps Turbulence What Causes Bumps In The Air BY JACK WILLIAMS (From Flight Training, June 1997.) Anyone who's made more than a few flights has almost surely had at least one bumpy ride. To pilots and passengers, the bumps are the result of "turbulence." To an atmospheric scientist, turbulence is "a state of fluid flow in which the instantaneous velocities exhibit irregular and apparently random fluctuations." Those "irregular fluctuations" of the air create the bumps.

: Crosswind Conundrum

Article | Mar 25, 2013

: Crosswind Conundrum Mentoring Tips Crosswind Conundrum Demonstrating a flare for the cross-controlled touchdown It may be a bit sadistic, but one of my favorite spectator sports involves driving to the local airport on a windy day, parking near the runway, and watching inexperienced pilots enter into combat with a blustery crosswind. It is like watching a slapstick comedy.

Thunderstorms

Article | Mar 25, 2013

The Weather Never Sleeps --> Thunderstorms A Thunderstorm Unites Just About Every Hazard Known To Aviation! BY THE FAA (From Flight Training, February 1994.) Annually, and prior to the start of the season, we publish an issue of the Air Traffic Bulletin to focus your attention on the upcoming thunderstorm season and to remind all controllers and specialists of the hazardous weather associated with it. The more we understand the severe atmospheric hazards associated with thunderstorms, the better position we are in to aid the pilot in avoiding these hazards.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience Refer to your Mental Checklist This happened while I was a student pilot. I had long since soloed and done cross-country, but due to finances I had not been able to finish up.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience A Flash of Experience To say I was a newly minted pilot at the time of this story would be putting it mildly. Having just passed my practical on Wednesday, on Friday I flew the 300+ miles to Georgia to help a friend move into her dorm.

Author Richard Bach recovering, publishing, recollecting

Article | Mar 19, 2013

Richard Bach, relaxing after a flight with Puff, his SeaRey. Photo courtesy NiceTiger.