Monthly Archives: November 2005

Canada/US descent below minima

I was discussing this approach with some U.S. pilots before I revised the numbers up — at the time, I remembered not seeing the runway until below 100 feet, though now I’m fairly certain I saw it at 130 feet. … Continue reading

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Ground support

Most commercial pilots, from the 747 captain to the freight dog and flight instructor, have something that most private pilots lack: ground support (did you think I was going to write something like “gumption”?). Today, the professionalism of a charity … Continue reading

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A low approach, and the lights

[Update: after a night’s rest, I’ve gone back to the approach plate to get the threshold elevation, and have tried to remember the exact reports I gave North Bay radio; as a result, I’ve revised all altitudes up a little.] … Continue reading

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Surface temperature and the TAF

When you’re looking at the weather around a specific Canadian or U.S. airport, the METAR (current observations) includes surface temperature and dewpoint, while the TAF (forecast) does not. Why? It’s true that pilots have to worry about more than just … Continue reading

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Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, David …

I flew home from Atlanta by airline this morning. I had been forced to cancel my plan to fly myself down early Monday because of severe mechanical turbulence around Ottawa up to 6,000 feet (confirmed by a PIREP from a … Continue reading

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Wind and the TAF

I just read this TAF for Watertown International Airport (KART): KART 121738Z 121818 19008KT P6SM SKC FM0600 17006KT P6SM SCT250 WS015/23035KT FM1400 19012KT P6SM BKN250 WS015/23045KT The tricky parts are the phrases “WS015/23035KT” and “WS015/23045KT” — those might be common … Continue reading

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Know your fuel consumption

Update: WordPress tells me that this is my 100th post. Whoopie! Update 2: I went for another test flight on Friday, and the problem is fixed. When you land after a flight, do you know — within a gallon/a few … Continue reading

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Five-day aviation prog charts

Anyone who’s planned a serious cross-country knows not to pay attention to any weather forecast until about 12 hours before the flight, not to take any forecast seriously until 2 hours before the flight, and not to rely on a … Continue reading

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You can't, always

The weather might be marginal somewhere along your route. You’re instrument rated, but you’re concerned that filing IFR will result in a much longer trip, or maybe you’re worried that you’ll hit ice at the required IFR altitudes. Assuming that … Continue reading

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Back in the air

Today I took my Warrior for its first flight with the overhauled engine installed. I haven’t flown it since 13 July, and it was a nice feeling, despite high winds and a lot of low-level turbulence. I was supposed to … Continue reading

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