Winter

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Weather Watch: Low pressure lowdown

Pilot Magazine | Sep 05, 2014

Pilots sometimes ask me what I think is the most important weather concept to understand. Wow, that’s a tough one.

Topics Weather, Winter

P&E Weather Watch: ‘Back door’ cold fronts

Pilot Magazine | Aug 08, 2014

When we think of cold fronts we immediately conjure up a number of facts relevant to our flight planning—that they can be angry, fast-moving (say, 50-plus mph across the ground), and violent, packed with severe thunderstorms and the worst turbulence.

Big city seaplanes

Article | Jul 15, 2014

A seaplane base on the East River turns an hours-long drive from Manhattan to the Hamptons into a brief flight.

‘I was getting a little nervous up here’

Article | Mar 27, 2014

The low-time pilot was trapped above the clouds, with bad weather for hundreds of miles. He had no autopilot, no GPS, and was not talking to ATC. Fortunately, an air traffic controller spotted him and took action.

Aircraft maintenance: Cold weather checkup

Aircraft Maintenance | Mar 24, 2014

Even late-winter presents a number of unique challenges to the aircraft’s systems, and it pays to take the time to do what you can to protect your aircraft (and yourself) while we’re still in winter’s grip.

An icy long weekend

Pilot Magazine | Mar 10, 2014

We all know the hassles associated with winter-weather flying.

Topics Winter, Weather

Aircraft maintenance: Proper engine preheating

Aircraft Maintenance | Mar 10, 2014

Preheating is about far more than just oil temperature. Proper preheating involves heating the entire engine, so that all critical engine parts can be brought into the ‘safe’ temperature range.

Aircraft maintenance: Myths, realities of engine preheating

Aircraft Maintenance | Feb 27, 2014

The engine heater and a small cabin heater have been keeping the aircraft warm and ready to go for almost two weeks. Heresy, you say? Leaving a preheater on for this long will corrode the engine, you say? Not necessarily.

IFR Fix: 'Missed the gorilla'

IFR Fix | Jan 28, 2014

The question isn’t whether turbulence will distract you. The question is how long it will divert your attention, and what the consequences will be.

Alton Bay ice airport opens for 2014 season

Article | Jan 23, 2014

The Alton Bay ice airport, a popular winter destination for pilots in the Northeast, opened Jan. 19 for the 2014 season.

Weather Watch: Wind wise

Pilot Magazine | Jan 22, 2014

Well, we’re coming out of the depths of winter, and staring March in the face. For pilots—and, well, just about everybody else—thoughts now turn to the strong winds so characteristic of the colder months, and especially the transition from winter to spring. What do we need to know to be wind wise about this time of year?

Radar apps for winter weather

Apps of the week | Jan 06, 2014

Track winter weather with these apps.

Mission to 'Mars'

Pilot Magazine | Dec 19, 2013

Loaded near maximum weight, a flight of two Quest Kodiaks cruised in the Arctic summer sky over vast swaths of barren tundra and sea ice fraught with history.

IFR Fix: The sig in sigmet

IFR Fix | Dec 13, 2013

Two CFIIs plunge into icing conditions after failing to recognize the significance of a sigmet for icing.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Unpredicted unadvised unaware

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2013

The loss of a TBM 700 turboprop over New Jersey two years ago surprised many pilots. The Pratt & Whitney-powered single-engine turboprop is certificated for flight into known icing (FIKI).

Wx Watch: Eyes in the sky

Pilot Magazine | Nov 20, 2013

It’s a hackneyed phrase, but true: A picture’s worth a thousand words.

WX Watch: Look out below!

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

Mention inversions and most pilots will get the general idea that these represent situations where temperatures rise with altitude rather than fall.

Ice-protection firm focuses on UAS market

Article | Aug 20, 2013

Worries about your unmanned aerial system icing up during a “long loiter” in a cold environment may soon be a thing of the past.

Take the Weather Challenge

Article | Aug 14, 2013

Do your eyes glaze over when you hear about Skew-T diagrams? Yawn at hearing about moist adiabatic lapse rates? Then gather your flying clubs members and soak up some practical weather knowledge with the Air Safety Institute’s “Weather Challenge” fall seminar, brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services.

Solo over both poles

Article | Jul 23, 2013

A solo polar pilot has completed a quest to add 90 degrees north to a logbook already marked with the South Pole.

Training Tip: Charting the carb-ice risk

Article | Jul 15, 2013

If a pilot doesn’t respond correctly to carb ice by applying carburetor heat as the aircraft’s operating checklist recommends, complete engine failure could follow.

IFR Fix: 'One vicious bundle'

Article | Jun 07, 2013

If a VFR pilot’s worst nightmare is to blunder into solid clouds, armed only with basic instrument flying skills, a similarly scary scenario awaits the instrument pilot who bets on sneaking through a stormy sector, and loses.

Aircraft maintenance tips: Spring cleaning

Aircraft Maintenance | May 23, 2013

Before you jump back into the air after a long winter and cold spring, it's wise to take some time to prepare your airplane for the busy flying season.

Wx Watch: Mesoscale discussions

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

Most of us are diligent about studying convective sigmets, convective outlooks, and Nexrad radar imagery before our flights in the warmer months. They’re great for a broad-brush view of any convective situations, but there is another source of information that delves into greater detail, and provides analyses of situations that could be factors in your decision making.

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.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Brief -- Braking Action Reports

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Safety Brief Cold Facts: Braking Action Reports Have you ever tuned in the ATIS at your favorite airport only to hear " ... braking action fair" and wondered what exactly it meant? These wintertime reports highlight one of the hazards of winter flying — taxiways and runways covered in snow, ice and slush.

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.

ASF - Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Equipment

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Aircraft Deicing and Anti-icing Equipment The resources listed below are provided as additional information to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Aircraft Deicing and Anti-icing Equipment Safety Advisor. The links below provide information on icing accident statistics, weather flying strategies, certification of aircraft, and suggestions on how to tell if your aircraft is approved for flight in known icing conditions.

Weather Curiosity - Clouds as Sign Posts

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Wx Watch Among the Clouds What's it like in there? BY THOMAS A. HORNE (From AOPA Pilot, March 1997.) We should all be weather-watchers, and not just on the days we plan to fly.

Weather Curiosity - Flight Preparations

Article | Mar 25, 2013

The Weather Briefing --> Weather on the Web The Internet is a valuable flight-planning tool BY JACK WILLIAMS (From Flight Training, January 2002.) Figure 1: Detailed North American surface analysis chart Figure 2: A simplified surface analysis chart Figure 3: A simplified weather depiction chart Figure 4: Part of a NWS weather depiction chart A few minutes of surfing the Web can usually give a pilot a pretty good idea about whether going flying today is a good idea. Looking at a few weather charts might make it obvious that the weather where you want to fly is so bad that it's not worth the trouble of obtaining a formal preflight weather briefing.

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.

Stability

Article | Mar 25, 2013

The Weather Never Sleeps Stability How bubbles of air can upset the atmosphere BY JACK WILLIAMS (From Flight Training, November 1996.) Air stability is one of those theoretical-sounding subjects that pilots should learn for good, practical reasons. This knowledge helps you make sense of preflight weather forecasts and actual weather you encounter in flight.

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 Severe Ice in Pennsylvania My encounter began one March morning in western Pennsylvania. I was a Part 135 pilot in a PA-32 and PA-34 and that morning I was to fly to DET to pick up cargo in the '6' and return to AFJ.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience Mountain Flying in Turbulence Tickets to a Seahawks game in hand, myself and three others climbed into the Cessna 206 for a quick trip up to Seattle from our homes in central Oregon. The weather was locked into a typical pattern, southwesterly winds pushing wet clouds up against the Cascades and up into the colder air aloft, making the perfect conditions for some really spectacular icing.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience Listen to your Briefer This is taken from my journal. At the time, I was an 800-hour pilot, current for IFR and flying the same plane that I had earned my IFR rating in five years earlier.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience High Altitude Icing A few years back I was flying over Evansville, Indiana at FL180 headed for Dallas. Conditions were IMC and I would have liked to go higher, but we had a 100kt head wind at FL200 and traffic.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience From Ohio to Virginia with Ice I recently made a trip from Tiffin, Ohio (16G) to Leesburg, VA (JYO) with a return trip a few days later. This trip was made at the beginning of January, and the weather was typical wintry conditions.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience ATC and Ice This trip was some years ago, when I was a fairly recent instrument pilot, having about 400 hours total time, and about 50 hours actual instrument time. The airplane was a Cessna C182 Skylane, departing from Cloquet, Minnesota to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience California Icing Encounter On December 29, 2002, our IFR flight from Bakersfield Meadows (KBFL) to Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT) started with clearance direct to Palmdale (PMD) and 11,000 feet, then as filed [Soggi intersection, Palms Springs, Thermal (TRM), Blyth (BLH), Buckeye (BXK), Phoenix (PXR) and then home (KDVT)]. Along with me for the flight were my fiancée and her two children.

Big City Seaplanes

Pilot Magazine | Mar 20, 2013

The official name of the facility is New York Skyports Inc. Seaplane Base, or as seaplane pilots know it, 6N7.

Wx Watch: Mixed-bag winter IMC

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2013

A low-pressure system full of surprises

Ownership: Cold storage

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2013

Keeping your engine happy during winter weather

Ice bridging?

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2013

Modern guidance says the condition is a fallacy

Wx Watch: Snow watch

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2013

Spotting winter storms before they strike