The workshop will be organized loosely into four sessions, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Training is presented through the use of five preflight planning scenarios using pertinent weather data captured prior to departure. Two of the five scenarios presented in this workshop are based on aircraft accidents.
For more information about this workshop, please read this overview and review the workshop FAQs prior to registering.
Informal pre-workshop discussion begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday
This part of the workshop is optional. The workshop will open with an informal Q & A session for those that wish to attend. Feel free to come prior to 10 a.m. if you want to ask any weather-related questions that does not have to be directly related to the workshop. Also during this time a demo of AvWxWorkshops.com will be offered. This will give members and non-members the opportunity to ask questions about how to get the most from AvWxWorkshops.com, your best online source for aviation weather education.
Session One begins promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday
(a) Introduction - The presenter of Beyond The Wx Brief will be introduced. A brief overview will provide attendees with any logistical matters or concerns for the weekend. The workshop goals and agenda will also be outlined. During this time the audience will be surveyed as a group to get a sense of the experience level of all pilots attending the workshop. Any general questions or concerns will be taken from the audience.
(b) Elements of a standard weather briefing - For flights not in the vicinity of an airport, all pilots are required to become familar with the weather prior to every flight. A standard weather briefing through DUATs or Lockheed Martin Flight Services offers critical preflight guidance on the location and timing of most adverse weather. These basic elements are often insufficient for some flights. These basic weather products offered on a standard briefing will be reviewed with special emphasis on their inherent limitations.
(c) *NEW* An Introduction to the Skew-T log (p) Diagram - Thermodynamic charts such as the Skew-T log (p) diagram are clearly the best kept secret in aviation. It represents one of the most versatile power tools in the pilot's preflight planning toolbox. Specifically, the Skew-T log (p) diagram allows the pilot to “drill down” over a particular location to identify or describe adverse weather better in time and space than any other single chart or diagram available assuming you know how to unlock its plentiful secrets.
(1) The fundamental properties of air
(2) Radiosonde observations and the base Skew-T log (p) diagram
Lunch will begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
Session two begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday
Introduction to the Skew-T log (p) Diagram continued...
(3) Lapse rates, buoyancy and stability
(4) Dry and moist adiabatic lapse rates
(5) Parcel theory
(6) Stability indices
(7) Numerical weather prediction models and the RUC Soundings Java tool
(8) Cloud bases, tops and layers
(9) Temperature inversions
Session two will end on or before 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Session three begins at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday
Introduction to the Skew-T log (p) Diagram continued...
(10) Airframe icing potential
(11) Turbulence potential
Scenario #1 - Terminal thunder - It's the end of April and you are planning a flight into Charlotte Douglas International Airport arriving from the south. Before departing on this two hour flight, the forecast for Charlotte included good visibility and high-based showers in the vicinity of the airport based on the most recent terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF). Same was true for many of the other terminal forecasts in the area. Seems pretty harmless even to a pilot flying VFR. However, would you believe that this was a forecast for thunderstorms? In this scenario, we'll explore how to read between the lines in a TAF when thunderstorms are a flight risk.
Scenario #2 - Area thunder - It's the beginning of April and you are planning an early morning IFR flight from New Orleans, Louisiana to Corpus Christi, Texas. The evening prior you notice the prog charts are forecasting an area of rain showers and thunderstorms while the terminal forecasts are simply showing the potential for IFR and very low IFR conditions along the last half of your route. Could this be a risk of embedded thunderstorms? In this scenario, we'll discuss how to determine if it is safe to fly with such a forecast in place.
Lunch will begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
Session four begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday
Scenario #3 - Decision to divert - The routing that you get under IFR is often very critical. An ATC-preferred routing may not be in the best interest of the pilot. In this flight from Lincoln Park, NJ to Rock Hill, SC in the middle of November, icing, thunderstorms, low IFR conditions and non-convective low level wind shear are likely. With a deepening area of low pressure developing in eastern North Carolina, the pilot-in-command accepts the ATC-preferred routing which sends the flight right into the middle of the strengthening coastal storm. In this scenario, we'll look at the weather along two different routes to see why the ATC-preferred route ended up forcing a diversion to an alternate airport.
Scenario #4 - Failure to divert - It's the end of September and a fairly intense weather system is developing off the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. A pilot of a single engine aircraft files IFR from Fayette County Airport in Ohio to Grant County Airport in West Virginia. The pilot loses control of the aircraft and crashes while on a standard instrument approach into Grant County. The pilot and passenger survived, however, the pilot blamed the loss of control on a rogue gust of wind while on the approach. Despite only an AIRMET for IFR conditions and mountain obscuration, was turbulence a major factor in this accident? We'll look beyond the basic weather briefing to determine what adverse weather the pilot may have faced on this flight.
Scenario #5 - Icing on descent - It's the end of January in Wisconsin. A pilot of a single-engine aircraft on the second leg of a round-robin flight departs in the early evening with surface temperatures of -15°C. The sky is clear during the departure climb, but eventually is forced to climb 1,000 feet to stay on top of the clouds while en route. However, during the descent into the planned destination, the pilot loses control of the aircraft and crashes killing everyone on board. Was this due to icing on the descent to the destination airport. In this scenario, we'll look at the large drop icing environment this pilot may have encountered despite the very cold temperatures at the surface.
Session four will finish on or before 3 p.m. on Sunday.