Tips for Cold Weather Operations

On 8 Dec 2014, a corporate jet carrying one pilot and two passengers crashed into a house in Montgomery County, Maryland, tragically killing all three occupants and a mother and two children on the ground. The NTSB reported that the aircraft encountered clouds and was exposed to structural icing conditions while descending to their destination. They noted that there were numerous reports of ice fr...
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Four Types of Fronts

There are four basic types of fronts, each with its own distinct weather characteristics. Understanding the differences can help pilots gauge how soon weather changes will occur and when inclement weather may arrive, dissipate, or increase in severity. This blog explains the four basic fronts that exist within our atmosphere. Warm Front Warm fronts are boundaries of slow-moving air masses th...
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Hazards Associated with Hydroplaning

Hazards Associated with Hydroplaning Wet weather season is upon us, and it is wise to review how to safely navigate inclement weather conditions. Wet weather can make air travel precarious both in the air and on the ground—during takeoffs and landings. In this article, we will address the types of hydroplanes, their causes, and how to avoid them. The three basic types of hydroplaning are: Dynami...
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Hazards Associated with Microbursts

Summer is here, and although there will be plenty of perfect flying days, pilots should be prepared for volatile weather, such as thunderstorms, which can pop up quickly and unexpectedly. While there are many hazards associated with thunderstorms, this article specifically addresses microbursts. Formation When a thunderstorm develops, the updraft can be so strong that it suspends large a...
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The National Weather Service Marks its Sesquicentennial

The National Weather Service (NWS) is one of the primary sources for weather information used by pilots and dispatchers to plan and monitor flights. Weather information is a fundamental element in the lives of aviators, and has been since the first aviators took to the skies. The NWS we know today was originally called the Weather Bureau, created by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870, 33 years bef...
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