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).
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!
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.
A fellow coworker wrote this great article in Canadian Aviator. Richard Pettit has given me the nod to repost this. I have been asked for years about pilot hiring. Now, I just have to direct people to this post.
Here is an article on Deicing in the big leagues.
I am trying to get Transport Canada to acknowledge Canadian Aviation Weather as a viable reference to their study guides and exam questions. Presently, they claim it goes against policy to endorse a third party. Ahem! What about references to the FGU and ACWM? And what about safety? Surely some wide eyed 16-year-old pining for the skies or that middle aged "nine to fiver" wanting to learn flying would benefit from a pilot/meteorologist's take on aviation weather? Just saying.
Below is TC's PPL exam found on the internet and CAW's references. (I must admit I did okay on their exam. Phew)
I included references from Canadian Aviation Weather Edition #2.
51. Relative humidity is the
- amount of moisture present in the air.
- weight of water present in the air.
amount of moisture present in the air compared to the amount the air could hold at that temperature and pressure.
- temperature to which the air must be lowered to bring about saturation.
Chapter 5 Page 33. Remember the answer must include temperature and pressure reference.
52. The cloud type usually associated with steady rain is
Chapter 3 page 20.
53. Clouds form when moist warm air overruns cold air because the warm air
- is cooled by the cold air underneath.
- is cooled by the surrounding cold air aloft.
- becomes unstable as a result of cooling from below.
cools as a result of expansion as it rises.
I did not specify this fact in chapter 9 in regard to warm fronts. I did allude to it on page 2 when a parcel of air rises, it will expand and cool called adiabatic expansion.
54. Advection fog forms when
moist air moves from a warm surface to a colder surface.
- the cold ground cools the air in contact with it at night.
- moist air is influenced by orographic effect.
- moist cool air moves from a cold surface to a warm surface.
Chapter 6 (Fog) page 41
55. Radiation fog forms as a result of the
- passage of cold air over a warm surface.
- air becoming moist as it moves over the sea.
- clouds becoming cold and heavy at night so that they settle to the ground.
ground becoming cold at night and cooling the air in contact with it.
Chapter 6 (Fog) Page 40
56. In the northern hemisphere, the winds blow
- clockwise around high and low pressure areas.
- counter-clockwise around high and low pressure areas.
clockwise around a high pressure area and counter-clockwise around a low pressure area.
- counter-clockwise around a high pressure area and clockwise around a low pressure area.
Chapter 4 (Atmospheric Pressure) page 28
57. During a descent from 2,000 feet AGL to the surface, you will usually find that the wind
- veers and increases.
- backs and increases.
- veers and decreases.
backs and decreases.
Chapter 10 (Boundary Layer Winds and LLWS) Page 70 We pilots learn that winds generally veer and increase with height but TC adds a twist by asking what happens when you descend.
58. The diurnal change of surface wind velocity is such that during the day the surface wind will usually
veer and increase in speed.
- veer and decrease in speed.
- back and increase in speed.
- back and decrease in speed.
Chapter 10 (Boundary Layer Winds and LLWS) page 76.
59. In the standard atmosphere, the temperature at an altitude of 5,000 feet will be closest to
Chapter 2 (Stability and Lapse Rates) Standard lapse rate is 2°C/1000’ starting with surface standard at 15°C. See graph page 9.
60. The conditions required for the formation of thunderstorms are
- moist air, high temperature, and an inversion.
- stratus cloud, high humidity and a lifting force.
unstable air, high humidity and a lifting force.
- a mixing of two different air masses.
Chapter 15 (Thunderstorms) Page 117 It is highlighted but I said lifting agent instead of lifting force.
61. A condition when the air temperature aloft is higher than that of the lower atmosphere is generally referred to as
- a low pressure area.
- a reverse temperature condition.
- an inverse convection condition.
Chapter 2: Stability and Lapse Rates page 10.
62. Air masses that are being cooled from below are characterized by
- strong winds, cumulus cloud, good visibility.
- uniform temperature, good visibility.
- continuous rain, freezing temperature.
fog, poor visibility and layer cloud.
Chapter 8 (Air Masses) page 54
63. A front is a
- narrow zone of fog between a cyclone and an anticyclone.
- line of thunderstorms.
narrow transition zone between two air masses.
- mass of layer cloud which is very thick and which covers a wide area.
Chapter 9 (Fronts, Frontal Weather and the Life of a Low) Page 59
64. During the passage of a cold front
- warm air is compressed as cold air rides over it.
- temperature rises owing to increased pressure.
- fog will always form from the interaction of warm and cold air.
warm air is lifted as colder air pushes under it.
Chapter 9 (Fronts, Frontal Weather, and the Life of a Low Page 60
65. The following sequence of clouds is observed at an airport: cirrus, altostratus, nimbostratus. The observer should expect
- the passage of a cold front.
- anticyclonic weather.
the passage of a warm front.
- clearing skies and a decrease in temperature.
Chapter (Fronts, Frontal Weather and the Life of a Low) Page 63
66. Cloud heights in Canadian Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF) are given in
- feet ASL.
- metres AGL.
- metres ASL.
Chapter 17 Aerodrome Forecast (TAFS) Page 137
67. Failure to adjust the altimeter when flying from an area of low pressure to an area of higher pressure will result in the altimeter indicating
- too low.
- the pressure altitude.
- the true altitude.
Standby Airbus Altimeter at Flight Level 370
I didn’t address altimetry to great depth. (This is worthy of chapter) Most pilots know the adage when flying “from a high to a low, look out below.” As your flight enters lower pressure, the altimeter will sense it is higher. So instead of a true altitude of 5000’ your altitude will be 5500’ but you as a pilot will unknowingly descend to compensate for this. The opposite happens when you fly from a low to a high.
68. The average wind applicable to a direct flight from Winnipeg (CYWG) to Brandon (CYBR) at 5,500 ft would be
- 290°M at 30 kt.
290°T at 30 kt.
- 310°M at 31 kt.
- 310°T at 31 kt.
Chapter 20 Upper Winds and Temperatures Page 158.
69. The forecast surface wind will be included in a GFA if it has a sustained speed of at least . . . . . kt.
Chapter 18: GFA (Graphic Area Forecast) Page 144
The center of the low pressure system is . . . . . between 1800Z and 0000Z.
- moving north-westerly
- moving easterly
Chapter 18 GFA Page 18
71. Refer to the Appendix: WEATHER SYNOPSIS # 100 (GFA).
This forecast covers a period of . . . . . hours and includes a . . . . . hour IFR outlook.
- 24, 12
- 24, 6
- 12, 24
Chapter 18 (GFA (Graphic Area Forecast) Page 143
72. CYYQ 071030Z 0711/0811 30010KT WS015/35030KT P6SM IC SCT250 FM072100 26010KT WS015/35030KT P6SM SCT030 SCT100 BKN250 FM080200 33015KT P6SM BKN030 BKN100 TEMPO 0802/0809 3SM -SN FM080900 34020KT 3SM BLSN OVC020 TEMPO 0809/0811 1SM -SN BLSN OVC020 RMK NXT FCST BY 081700Z=
The cloud condition at Churchhill (CYYQ) is forecast to
- remain clear.
thicken and lower.
- remain scattered until 0900Z.
- become overcast at 200 ft.
Chapter 17 TAFs
73. Refer to the Appendix: WEATHER SYNOPSIS # 100 (TAF).
The forecast visibility at Churchhill (CYYQ) between 1500Z and 2100Z is
- 15 SM in wet snow.
- 15 NM in wet snow.
- greater than 6 NM.
greater than 6 SM.
74. Refer to the Appendix: WEATHER SYNOPSIS # 100 (TAF).
CYGX 071245Z 0713/0723 VRB03KT P6SM IC SKC FM071800 26010KT P6SM SCT100 SCT250 RMK NXT FCST BY 071700Z=
Chapter 17 TAFs page 137
The Gillam (CYGX) aerodrome forecast covers a period of . . . . . hours.
75. Refer to the Appendix: WEATHER SYNOPSIS # 100 (TAF).
CYGX 071245Z 0713/0723 VRB03KT P6SM IC SKC FM071800 26010KT P6SM SCT100 SCT250 RMK NXT FCST BY 071700Z=
The Gillam (CYGX) 1800Z wind is forecast to be
260°T at 10 kt.
- 260°M at 10 kt.
- variable at 3 kt.
Chapter 17 TAFs Page 138
METAR CYPG 071500Z 34010KT 15SM FEW015 FEW250 M20/M24 A3045 RMK SC1CI1 SLP342=
TAF CYPG 071245Z 0713/0723 34015KT P6SM SCT010 SCT020 RMK NXT FCST BY 071700Z=
76. The 1500Z Portage La Prairie (CYPG) METAR indicates that the
- visibility is greater than forecast.
- ceiling is lower than forecast.
winds are weaker than forecast.
- ceiling is as forecast.
Chapter 16 METARs page 128
Chapter 17 TAFs Page 138
77. METAR CYBR 071500Z 29012KT 15SM SCT020 BKN 100 M21/M25 A3043 RMK SLP351=
The ceiling at Brandon (CYBR) at 1500Z is
- 200 ft.
- 1,000 ft.
- 2,000 ft.
Chapter 16 METARS Page 129
78. METAR CYPG 071500Z 34010KT 15SM FEW015 FEW250 M20/M24 A3045 RMK SC1CI1 SLP342=
The 1500Z temperature/dewpoint spread at Portage La Prairie (CYPG) is
Chapter 16 METARS page 130
79. METAR CYWG 071500Z 34008KT 15SM SKC M24/M28 A3043 RMK SLP332=
The altimeter setting at Winnipeg (CYWG) is
30.43 in. Hg.
- 30.43 mb.
- 933.2 in. Hg.
- 1332.0 mb.
Chapter 16 METARS Page 131
80. A METAR describes the weather
- expected at a station at a given time.
- expected at a station over a 12 hour period.
observed at a station at the time of the report.
- observed at a station during the previous day.
Chapter 16 METARs Page 127
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 iy 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...
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.
(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.
(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.
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
(2) on initial hiring and annually.
(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.
Even though I am sitting home idle with a broken leg doesn't mean I put the second edition on the back burner.
Steve Ricketts wrote some kind words regarding my book. Thank you Steve!
A friend of mine was recently flying over Amsterdam and managed to catch this relatively rare noctilucent cloud. In case you are wondering...this is a high-altitude cloud that is luminous at night, especially in summer in high latitudes.
Picture compliments of Jon Blackhurst
Seeing Through Obscurity
My March 11 post depicted my second article in Canadian Aviator regarding the gap (where one could drive a cement truck through) between the weatherman and the pilot. Especially when it comes to their archaic website! Well guess what? Transport Canada addressed it, albeit indirectly by releasing a memo. Progress!
(b) Aviation weather web site (AWWS)—NAV CANADA’s aviation weather web site (AWWS), available at <https://flightplanning.navcanada.ca/>, and collaborative flight planning system, available at <https://plan.navcanada.ca>, offer aviation weather products, NOTAM and the ability to file flight plans. For more information, visit <www.navcanada.ca>. Pilots operating near the border should note that U.S. METAR, SPECI and TAF must be obtained through the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS), available at <www.aviationweather.gov/adds/>.
I taught an airframe icing class a few weeks ago to about 30 students thirsty for aviation knowledge. During the class, I was given a copy of 80 questions from Transport Canada's website, the TP 10643, which I was told to hand out. These are great questions, but I am having a difficult time finding reference material or even better the answers. I did scan the "When in Doubt" write up but that doesn't have many of the answers. For example, the very first question: Frost, ice or snow on top of deicing or anti icing fluids....MUST be considered as adhering to the aircraft and a take off should not be attempted. I knew the answer but where the heck is it written? Again, great questions, but where is all the material?
On March 11, 2017 the windiest city in Canada lived up to its reputation and then some. As we meteorologists say, "the bottom to an intensifying low pressure system fell out." If you look at the six-hour surface analysis's history you will see it went from: 977 to 967 to 952 to 948 millibars and then began to fill (weaken). Because the rate of change of pressure was so great, an extra component to wind development ensued. This change in pressure tendency is isallobaric wind. This is the same phenomena thought to have sunk the Great Lakes freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, on Lake Superior November 10th, 1975. Torbay's winds peaked at 85 knots. See the METARs below.
Most aviation weather books don't mention this phenomena. Another reason to buy Canadian Aviation Weather.
Check out this VIDEO explaining this phenomena.
This article tended to be a little contentious but the publisher kept most of it intact.
You might find yourself in the Caribbean on vacation or your first flying job may see you island hopping on a Twin Otter or Dash-8. For me, it recently entailed intermediate sailing lessons.
You may read this month's enRoute and you will find my column on this very topic. And better get a copy, this month marks my last contribution.
Captain D at the Helm. Actually this boat had dual helms just like an airplane.
Below is my enRoute submission.
A semi-permanent high-pressure system, called the Bermuda High, sits just north of the Caribbean, but dominates the weather southward. Air moves clockwise and outward spreading northeast to east winds throughout the Caribbean called the Trade Winds or Northeasterlies. Within this high, air also slowly subsides downward hindering cloud development with little rain occurring. It’s why your vacation weather is usually a carbon copy of the day before with some puffy white cumulus cloud dominating. Sometimes a little shower is thrown into the equation due to daytime heating.
Fact. The peak month for a hurricane is September flanked by August and October. February is almost entirely void of these storms in the Caribbean.
Fact. The term trade winds stem from the early fourteenth century term 'trade,' meaning "path" or "track.” Many think it is because of the ensuing trade due to the favourable sailing winds.
Fact. The high-pressure belt itself is associated with light winds and deemed the Horse Latitudes. During sailing of yore, ships would lighten their load and the demand on water by throwing horses overboard.
Fact. Winds in southern Canada and northern USA are from the west called prevailing westerlies. But when landing in the Caribbean pilots will be landing into easterly-northeasterly winds. (Remember winds are named from where they are coming from).
Fact. Captain Doug will be learning to sail in St Lucia this February capitalizing on the northeast trade winds on route to Martinique.
Fact. The east side (windward) of the Caribbean islands will encounter stronger, more direct winds and higher waves.
Fact. At the southern portion of the Caribbean (about 10 to 15 degrees north of the equator) lies the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone). Because of hot, humid and converging air it is where daily thunderstorms prevail. Hence the rain forest area.
Number: 29: Average daytime temperature in Celsius for the Caribbean in February.
30: Approximate degrees of north latitude where the Bermuda and Azores high-pressure belts reside. This latitude also marks the world’s deserts north and south of the equator.
9 to 22: Approximate south and north of the Caribbean boundary in degrees north. Bermuda does not make up the Caribbean.
And to prove the winds mostly blow from the east or close to it. Here are some recent METARS.
Barbados TBPB 082200Z 10020KT 9999 SCT018 26/21 Q1014 NOSIG
St Lucia TLPL 082200Z 10020KT 9999 BKN026 27/21 Q1015 NOSIG
San Juan Puerto Rico TJSJ 082156Z 12008KT 10SM FEW035 29/19