Serious upper winds

Check out the low-level upper wind forecast (FD) for Ottawa tomorrow — it looks like the gales of November are coming calling a couple of days early:

STN YOW - for use 3000 6000 9000 12000 18000
FDCN03 CWAO FCST BASED ON 291200 DATA VALID 301200 06-17 2939 3046-05 3151-08 3063-10 3197-22

In plain language, that means that at 18,000 ft the wind will be from the northwest at 97 knots (180 km/h). My Warrior cannot fly that high (the theoretical ceiling is around 14,000 ft, with a lightly-loaded plane and lots of patience), but many light piston singles and twins can. Even at 12,000 ft, the winds are strong enough that I could point the plane into the wind, drop flaps, pitch for slow flight, and fly backwards over Ottawa; at 9,000 ft, I could still pretty-much hover or move backwards very slowly.

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About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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One Response to Serious upper winds

  1. Flyin Dutchman says:

    Hello there !

    I was up flying the past few days and the winds have been pretty crazy. The highest they got around Ottawa that we saw at FL200 was around 85 kts which is pretty strong for that level. Yesterday on approach for RWY32 we had a 52 kt wind till about 3000 feet.

    Once in Caravan with a 65 kt wind at 5000 feet I put out the flaps when I was empty and ended up flying backward at 10 kts. If only I was IFR to see the controller wondering when I was doing 0 kts :)

    Safe flying !

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