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Traffic and Weather

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  1. Traffic and Weather Soaring Safety Foundation Tom Johnson CFIG

  2. Weather • Contents • Weather Gathering Sources • Weather Acquisition • Enroute Weather Analysis • Weather Hazards • Weather in the Landing Pattern

  3. Basic Principles • Obtain the basic weather data • Know how the atmosphere works • Use some simple calculations to see if soaring is possible • Graphs and pictures improve student understanding • Weather analysis continues throughout the flight

  4. Obtaining Weather Data • Look Outside • Local sounding • Flight Service Station (1-800-WXBrief) • National Weather Service • Duats • Weather Channel • Internet (email and Web)

  5. Obtaining a Weather Briefing • FSS call 1-800-992-7433 (WXBrief) • Identify yourself as a glider pilot • Give Aircraft ‘N’ number • Say type of flight and location • Ask for standard briefing

  6. Atmospheric Assumptions • Pressure lapse rate 1” hg/1000 ft • Dry adiabatic lapse rate 5.4o (3c)/1000 ft • Wet adiabatic lapse rate less than dry • Dew point decreases 1o / 1000 ft

  7. Soaring Calculations • Thermal Index (TI) • measured - adiabatic (minus is better) • Cloud base • (max surface - dewpoint)/4 (in 1000’s of ft)

  8. Pseudo-Adiabatic plot Src: Soaring Flight Manual

  9. Typical FSS Soaring Forecast

  10. NOAA Forecast Plot

  11. METAR and TAF

  12. Local factors • Terrain features • Ridges • Mountains • Rivers • Lakes • Towns

  13. Local factors • Ridge conditions • Calculations • Predictions • 90O +/- 30O to ridge line • 10 - 15 kts • Ridges • Lift extends 2 – 3 times the ridge height • Ridge length should be several miles

  14. Ridge Lift Zones

  15. Mountain Wave System

  16. What causes this wave system?

  17. TraWWhatnsition p wave sketch What is wrong with this picture? 03/09/12

  18. Sea Breeze Front

  19. Sea Breeze Front-Chicago Style

  20. Go/No-Go Decision Making • Use realistic scenarios • Are storms forecast for later in the day/evening? • Effect of strong x-wind • Local vs X-C flight • Pilot experience level • What are your limits?

  21. Continuing Weather Analysis • Obtaining enroute weather data • Flight Watch (122.0 Mhz) • Airport automated weather services • Obtaining end-of-flight weather data • Wind direction for landing • Current Altimeter setting

  22. En Route Flight Advisory Service (Flight Watch) • AIM section 7-1-5 • Real-time weather advisories • National coverage above 5000 ft on 122.0 • Available 6:00 am to 10:00 pm • State ARTCC facility, N number, & nearest VOR name

  23. Hazards - Types of Fronts • Cold • Good soaring conditions • squall lines 50 - 300 miles ahead • Warm • temperature inversion • broad cloud system precedes front • Occluded • both warm & cold cloud patterns

  24. Hazards - Cold Front Src: Aviation Weather AC 00-6A

  25. Hazards - Warm Front Src: Aviation Weather AC 00-6A

  26. Hazards - Seasonal Weather Operations • Density Altitude • Thunderstorms • Frost, Snow Ice • Temperature extremes • Wind shear • Microbursts

  27. Weather in the Landing Pattern • What effect does the wind have on landing? • How do you determine the wind? • Wind Shear on Final • Wind Gradient

  28. Wind Indicators

  29. Wind Sock

  30. NTSB Accident Exerpts…Wind Gradient? • The 360-hour private pilot reported that he was unable to find any thermal lift to assist in gaining altitude to return to TA11, and he elected to land on a nearby open field which he considered suitable for landing. The pilot stated that while on final approach to the open field, he experienced gusty headwinds resulting in an "excessive sink rate." • He lowered the landing gear and put in full flaps and set up for landing in a green field. When he recognized the field was a crop he turned toward a dirt field, but he encountered "heavy sink and turbulence." He reported that he leveled the wings prior to landing but landed hard. • The pilot further noted that just before turning onto final approach, about 400 feet agl, the glider experienced an increase in sink rate and a decrease in airspeed (about 5 to 10 knots IAS). He lowered the nose in an effort to increase the airspeed and counteract the sink, but the glider continued toward the ground. • Notice a pattern?

  31. Wind Gradient….What Do I Do? • 1. Assume the Wind Gradient will ALWAYS be there. • 2. MAINTAIN Minimum IAS of VL/D + 5 kts • Blanik, ASK-21, Grob 103 55kts • If you do lose IAS, you slow toward best L/D and decrease drag. Once you get below best L/D you increase drag as you slow. • 3. Close spoilers to maintain glidepath as performance decreases. Do not “pull back on the stick” to maintain glidepath.

  32. Scenario Problem Flying in hazy conditions Flying near a thunderstorm Landing into a decreasing headwind

  33. Scenario – wind shear Themes Pilot low turning final Fence 300 ft before runway threshold Pilot making approach at minimum sink speed

  34. Scenario Pilot issues High time pilot returning forgotten battery Aircraft issues Heavy water ballast load EnVironment issues Gliders launching from runway External issues Need to get back up quickly

  35. Relight Scenario Write the text for this scenario Evaluate this scenario using the P.A.V.E model

  36. ScenarioFlying from Coastal Airport with this Surface Prog Is cross country possible today? What about a local training flight? What hazards will you encounter Coastal Airport

  37. Scenario What are your weather concerns?