Nav Canada Update Needed

My previous post depicts what I wrote for my weather column. Below is what made the cut. If you freelance, be prepared to have things changed, altered and mutilated. That’s show biz!

Oh, it looks like I submitted the wrong website address for Pilot Weather. Shoot! It should have been www.pilotweatherbook.com

Pilot Weather is selling like a hot cake. Canadian Aviation Weather needs a boost. Anyone?

28-1.jpg
29.jpg

Crickets, Warts and Cow Patties

A pending Canadian Aviator article

You probably thought I would be talking about unique weather lore with this title. Sure, male crickets chirp at different rates according to temperature. Found on the web... “to convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count the number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3 and then add 4 to get the temperature.” But “crickets” also denotes silence or NORDO (No Radio) for us pilots. It’s what I experience from my weather blog, feedback from this column and my requests to update NAV CANADA’s weather website.

About six years ago while researching for my weather book, I approached NAV CANADA regarding their archaic weather website. For years, it’s header broadcasted its emergence in 2006 and revision in 2007. But nothing has been touched since. Truth be told, they recently removed the header stating its birth date maybe because some of us were raising eyebrows. Every tab I examine has gaping holes.  “PIREP not available” is found on the PIREP tab for most regions. Have pilots given up? And why can’t I get a high-resolution surface analysis chart? The same one is available on Environment Canada’s site. And why do I have to type in the four-letter ICAO code for METARS and TAFs when the three letter IATA code would suffice since they don’t supply weather outside the Canadian border? The satellite pictures are poor quality, the weather radar does not supply cloud tops in feet and there are more legal disclaimers than there are weather tabs. It’s probably the same reason why Environment Canada persists in calling it ANAL surface for surface analysis. I know many of you gave up and have moved on to other sites/apps, mostly American. We are losing our Canadian meteorological identity. At one time, 9 out of 10 initial conversations began with the topic of weather and that included pilots. Now when an quiet/awkward moment occurs we all reach for our cell phone. But at least we have the TROWAL (Trough of Warm Air Aloft) to reference an occluded front. That is as Canadian as Tim Hortons. Sorry to come out punching with such a negative overtone. To prove I am not all sour and not just another high time crusty ornery captain, my enRoute magazine column will have an upbeat take on pilot hiring - if there ever was a time to become a pilot, the time is now! Okay, back to my stormy take on weather politics.

Over two years ago, I attended an aviation weather conference in Montreal geared for you, the pilot. This three-day seminar consisted of a room filled with meteorologists, dispatchers, academia and one pilot, moi. There I challenged NAV CANADA’s weather liaison why their weather site has not been updated. His lips moved and all I heard was blah, blah, blah. Funny, I could recruit two young computer whizzes on Friday from any Canadian college or university, feed them pizza, beer and legalized Canadian marijuana and they would have a gleaming weather website by Monday morning.

To fly safe, you must challenge and query on a continual basis. Weather and aviation is dynamic so why aren’t you challenging the norm regarding an updated weather website? Are we Canadian aviators that inert? I give the site D+ for disappointing and a disservice.

But it doesn’t stop there. I have been trying to get Transport Canada to acknowledge my weather book, Canadian Aviation Weather, as a viable alternative to a book written over four decades ago, the Air Command Weather Manual a.k.a the ACWM. Don’t get me wrong, this monochromatic book geared for the military is excellent when it comes to theory, but is defunct of aviation forecasts or how to read a METAR. This weather fossil, albeit well written, is pre-internet, smart phone or lap top. Yes, it’s that old and yet the book is the number one seller for aviation meteorology in Canada.

Because my book is not government published the standing policy is Transport Canada can’t/won’t acknowledge it. It is why most flight schools and colleges are reluctant to take it on because their curriculum is geared to questions and material supplied from the historical ACWM. To paraphrase one Transport Canada employee’s take on things and to offer up an explanation why status quo rules, “My grandfather used to say, don’t touch the cow patty, it will only smell worse.” How is that for mandated safety? He admitted to low staffing levels, but claimed my book is being (might be) tagged in their database as a reference for hundreds of exam questions.

I too worked for the federal government and realize the frustration. Over 30 years ago, I was getting an annual “route check” on the weather desk. The supervisor asked what I would like to see or accomplish as a forecaster. I wanted to close the huge gap between weather and the pilot. Sadly, that bridge has never been built nor is it on the drawing board.

My aviation career is slowly unwinding. I teach and write for that young lad in Prince George, British Columbia learning to fly, or for the mother of three changing careers in Quebec City, Quebec flying a Navajo or for that seasoned helicopter pilot flying out of Churchill, Manitoba. After all, the company I fly for also has meteorological warts. They still reference the METAR and TAF as SA (Surface Actual), FT (Terminal Forecast) and FC (a short Terminal Forecast). The system changed 22 years ago, when I was hired! Yes, I’ve been asking. But every large organization has warts. It’s how my friend described his airline that launches from the heat of Dubai, U.A.E. This A380 skipper nailed it with the wart analogy.

To a quote an instructor, pilot, and mentor for young aspiring pilots, “What underlies this malaise and failure to respond to changing conditions and requirements in aviation?

A kick start and wakeup call is in order…”  As an aviator challenge the norm. Take up the quarrel and poke those cow patties.

Doug Morris is a B787 captain, certified meteorologist and wrote Canadian Aviation Weather. www.canadianaviationweather.ca.  His latest book, Pilot Weather: From Solo to the Airlines is hot off the press catering to pilots south of the border www.pilotweatherbook.com

Time for Weather

Here is the latest found in Canadian Aviator magazine. I called it "Time for Weather" but it was called "When the Ball Drops." Every pilot should make their way to Greenwich to experience where time starts. 

Weather 1.jpg
Weather ii.jpg

Pilot Weather book coming soon!

Coming soon...an aviation weather book for American pilots...Pilot Weather: From Solo to the Airlines. ETA is September 2018. This book will include a glossary of over 550 entries and will be in full colour  (Oops, I meant color for my friends south of the border). I have hit a meteorological wall trying to convince Canadian pilots that Canadian Aviation Weather is the best weather book out there, so it's time to move south of the border. "Trumpland" here we come!

B787+HUD.jpg

Wet Microburst

Over Great Slave Lake (North West Territories) in a DC-3 during microbursts. 

Great Slave Lake .jpg

A former student Jamie MK from the Brampton Flight Centre is building time with Buffalo Airways (think the iconic show Ice Pilots) in a DC-3. Notice the outflow cloud and the wave of water created by the intense downpour. Can you imagine trying to land with this parked over an airport?  Or worse yet, training to land a float plane near the dramatic walls of water.

Canadian Aviator (July/August) The Way the Wind Blows

Looks like my column made it to a two page spread instead of 1.5 pages sharing space with an ad. Unfortunately, the  pictures still don't get captions, but I will take the upgrade. 

 

CDN AV 1.jpg
 Again, the pics are missing captions. The two radiosonde pics originated from Sable Island. I spent a month out there when I had hair. Plus, we used to buzz the Island when we finished our cable patrol in a Navajo. The top right pic depicts 201 winds I encountered in the Airbus 320. (Top left corner of the pic). 

Again, the pics are missing captions. The two radiosonde pics originated from Sable Island. I spent a month out there when I had hair. Plus, we used to buzz the Island when we finished our cable patrol in a Navajo. The top right pic depicts 201 winds I encountered in the Airbus 320. (Top left corner of the pic). 

Thule (Greenland) Albedo

Thule's white runways

 Thule's runway 08 degrees True - 260 degrees True

Thule's runway 08 degrees True - 260 degrees True

On page 5 of Canada's best written weather book for pilots (ahem), it is mentioned, "the asphalt runways in Thule, Greenland are painted white to enhance albedo and prevent heating of the permafrost beneath the surface." The topic of unique airports came up while flying over Greenland after we almost diverted to Moscow on a recent New Delhi to Toronto flight. My F/O air dropped this pic to me. (It turns out this same pic is on the internet). When looking at the Jeppesen approach charts there is no mention of the runways being white. Something a pilot should know when breaking out from an ILS approach and seeing a white runway. Think slippery.

Thule is so far north, the runway headings are in True. It's just short of 10,000 feet long. 

 

 

Cover design for pending weather book

Just thinking out loud as far as a cover design for a new weather book aimed at our friends south of the border. The completion has been painfully slow. But with the addition of an additional graphic artist there is light at the end of the tunnel. Still hoping for an early summer closure.

PIlot Weather Cover.jpg

Canadian Aviator (Mag) May/June 2018 METAR Diversity

In the latest edition of Canadian Aviator, I discuss how METARS around the world are not created equal. A METAR is the largest staple for any pilot's weather briefing, but many pilots are shocked to learn they actually differ around the world. This article will broaden your METAR horizon. Of course, I included an in-depth chapter in my book as well. 

26.jpg
27.jpg

New cloud discovered (Cumulus Erectus)

If a pilot starts making reference to how clouds look, then an eyebrow should be raised. If you hear, "hey, that cloud looks like a bunny rabbit" then suspect an hypoxic state from oxygen deprivation and tell he or she to "go on oxygen!"

But how do you respond when a pilot says, "hey, that cloud over there looks like a big (ahem)!"

F/O Brent was excited to fly with me (no, not that kind of excited). He knew I was a meteorologist and wanted to share a couple of pics he took over Colorado. Most have heard of cloud seeding using silver iodide to suppress the development of a thunderstorm. Maybe viagra was used instead for this cloud?

Even though I can't claim ownership to the pics, I will stake it's nomenclature, Ce (Cumulus erectus). This "unique cloud" is actaully caused from the extreme late stages of a dissipating cumulonimbus. (Seriously).

 

Cu Erectus.jpg
Cu eructus #2.jpg

Weather Talk (Buttonville Flying Club)

Last night (November 8th/2017) I gave an hour talk to about 40 general aviation pilots at an airport with nine lives. It supposed to have seen the wrecking ball several times, but it continues to be a viable airport. I sold 27 books and met some great people. And I also scored this hat! 

BFC HAT.jpg

 

As well, It takes money to sell books. I just enlisted Skies Magazine and Wings Magazine. Canadian Aviator will be advertising my book in their virtual bookstore. 

CanadianAviationWeatherBook-SC4.jpg

 

 

When In Doubt (Deicing on my mind)

I thought of writing a deice article for my pending contribution to Canadian Aviator and started doing TC's When in Doubt surface contamination exam. (If you are into forms, it's the TP 10643).

I must admit, whoever created this did a great job. However, the exam will take hours. One has to search many documents to find the answers. Here is my attempt to the first ten questions. There is more but you will have to buy my book. :) Honestly Canadian Aviation Weather has a great chapter on airframe icing. Just saying...

IMG_0402.jpg

When in Doubt

1.01 Frost, ice or snow on top of deicing or anti-icing fluids

(1)  is not considered as adhering to the aircraft and a take-off may be made.

(2)  must be considered as adhering to the aircraft and a take-off should not be attempted.

(3)  is only considered as adhering to the aircraft when Vr speeds are below 100 kt.

(4)  is not considered as adhering if the aircraft has been de-iced and then anti-iced.

Reference: WID (When in Doubt) Page 52 #77 Frost, ice or snow on top of deicing or anti-icing fluids must be considered as adhering to the aircraft and take-off must not be attempted.

1.02  Where conditions are such that frost, ice or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the aircraft, no person shall take-off or attempt to take-off in an aircraft unless...

(1)  it has been de-iced.

(2)  it has been inspected immediately prior to take-off to determine whether any frost, ice or snow is adhering to any of its critical surfaces. 

(3)  its skin temperature is warm enough to ensure that adhering frost, ice or snow will slide off on take-off.

(4)  its power and runway length are sufficient to allow acceleration to Vr plus 10% before rotation.

Reference: CARS 602.11 page 452The aircraft has been inspected immediately prior to take-off to determine whether any frost, ice or snow is adhering to any of its critical surfaces.

1.03  Prior to take-off, the PIC cannot confirm that the aircraft is "clean". Take-off

(1)  may be commenced provided the maximum holdover time has not been exceeded

(2)  may be commenced provided the anti-ice fluid used was of the type that prevents ice or snow from sticking to the critical surfaces.

(3)  may be commenced provided the amount of frost, ice, or snow does not exceed that specified in the company operations manual.

(4)  must not be attempted until confirmation is obtained that the aircraft is clean.

Reference: WID Page 14 Therefore, if the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) cannot confirm that the aircraft is ―clean, takeoff must not be attempted until confirmation is obtained that the aircraft is free of frozen contaminants. This is called the “Clean Aircraft Concept.”

4. One engine is kept running during a quick turn around in icing conditions because you are unable to restart it with existing internal or external power. When taxiing for take-off, you are advised that there is a significant amount of wet snow on the aircraft. As your operating instructions require both engines to be shut down for deicing, you should...

(1)  take off but delay rotation until Vr plus 10%.

(2)  take off as wet snow will slide off as the aircraft becomes airborne.

(3)  taxi back to the apron, shut down the engine you are able to restart and have the critical surfaces carefully de-iced.

(4)  cancel the flight until proper equipment is available or necessary repairs made.

Reference: Cancel the flight.

1.05  The only positive assurance that an aircraft is "clean" prior to take-off can be achieved by

(1)  confirmation from the crew chief that the fluid used has the required holdover time.

(2)  ensuring the aircraft is not subjected to excessive ground delays.

(3)  close inspection by the PIC or designated flight crew member.

(4)  ensuring take-off is within the applicable holdover time table.

Reference: WID P.52 #74Pre-Take-Off Contamination Inspection: As required by regulations, immediately prior to take-off, a pre-take-off inspection shall be made to determine whether frost, ice or snow is adhering to any of the aircraft critical surfaces, except where the operator has established a program in accordance with GOFR 622.11 and complies with that program. The pilot may need the assistance of qualified personnel to perform this inspection.

1.06  Who may inspect an aircraft immediately prior to take-off to determine whether any frost, ice or snow is adhering to any of its critical surfaces?

The PIC and

A.  a flight crew member of the aircraft designated by the PIC to carry out the inspection.

B. the operations officer.

C. the deicing crew.

D. a person designated by the operator who has received the required surface contamination training.

E. any Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

(1)  A,B,C,D,E.

(2)  A,B,C,D

(3)  A,B,C.

(4)  A, D.

Reference: CARS 602.11.5 The inspection referred to in subparagraph (4)(a)(i) shall be performed by

(a) the pilot-in-command;

(b) a flight crew member of the aircraft who is designated by the pilot-in-command; or

(c) a person, other than a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), who (i) is designated by the operator of the aircraft, and (ii) has successfully completed training relating to ground and airborne icing operations under Subpart 4 or relating to aircraft surface contamination under Part VII.

 1.07  When a crew member of an aircraft observes frost, ice or snow adhering to the wings of an aircraft before take-off, the crew member

(1) shall immediately report that observation to the PIC.

(2) need not report that observation if the aircraft has recently been de-iced.
(3) shall immediately report that observation to the designated crew member.
(4) unless designated, need not report that observation.

Reference: CARS 602.11.6 Where, before commencing take-off, a crew member of an aircraft observes that there is frost, ice or snow adhering to the wings of the aircraft, the crew member shall immediately report that observation to the pilot-in-command, and the pilot-in-command or a flight crew member designated by the pilot-in-command shall inspect the wings of the aircraft before take-off.

1.08  Before commencing take-off the PIC is advised that there is frost, ice or snow adhering to the wings of the aircraft.

The PIC

(1)  may take off without a further wing inspection if the aircraft has been recently de-iced.2.  

(2)  shall request a go/no go decision from company operations.

(3)  shall request the deicing crew to inspect the wings before take-off.

(4) or another flight crew member designated by the PIC shall inspect the wings before take off.

Reference: CARS 602.11.6 (2) No person shall conduct or attempt to conduct a take-off in an aircraft that has frost, ice or snow adhering to any of its critical surfaces.

IMG_0398.JPG

1.09 No person shall commence a flight in an aircraft

(1)  unless it has been de-iced if frost, ice, or snow conditions exist.

(2)  unless assured that adhering frost, ice or snow will slide off on take-off.

(3) if frost, ice, or snow is adhering to any of its critical surfaces.

(4)  if frost, ice, or snow adhering to the critical surfaces cannot be removed on take-off by the aircraft deicing systems.

Reference: CARS 602.11.2 p453 (2) No person shall conduct or attempt to conduct a take-off in an aircraft that has frost, ice or snow adhering to any of its critical surfaces

1.10 An aircraft surface contamination air carrier shall provide training to crew members on the adverse effects of

(1)  biannually.

(2) on initial hiring and annually.

(3)  biennially.

(4)  on initial hiring only.

Reference: WID p.15 #13 The CAR’s require that all personnel involved in aircraft operations shall have initial and annual recurrent critical surface contamination training to continue performing their duties. This includes all ground personnel directly participating in aircraft operations such as, deicing crews and baggage handlers. Any person observing frozen contamination on the aircraft critical surfaces shall report this immediately to the PIC.

CDF 3.JPG