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Isabel nears; pilots, last chance to take precautionsIsabel nears; pilots, last chance to take precautions

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Isabel's forecast track from
the National Hurricane Center

Pilots take note: The National Hurricane Center says that Hurricane Isabel will likely pack 110-mph winds as it makes landfall in North Carolina.

By 11 p.m. Thursday, as Isabel moves inland and tracks to the north-northwest, forecasters are predicting wind speeds as high as 80 mph. By Saturday morning, wind speeds are expected to fall to the 50-mph level.

Pilots and owners in the affected areas should take precautionary measures in advance of the storm.

Relocation to an airport well away from Isabel's wind field may be the wisest tactic. Aircraft should be in sturdy hangars ahead of the storm's arrival. At the very least, aircraft should be tied down using approved methods.

In advance of the storm, winds will be out of the easterly and northeasterly quadrants of the compass. Winds may die down as the hurricane's eye—if it still exists—passes overhead, but don't even think about flying. As the eye passes, expect winds to increase as they shift direction.

As with all such emergencies, be prepared and stay informed by tuning into NOAA Weather Radio and consulting the National Hurricane Center's Web site. Click on "Maps and Charts" to see the latest predictions.

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