AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 102

NEWS & NOTES 

AOPA AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE

Rain or shine

NEW FROM ASI

It's a beautiful day to check the weather
BY ALICIA HERRON

INTRODUCING SAFETY
SPOTLIGHTS
The AOPA Air Safety Institute is
excited to deliver some welcome
news to aviators who appreciate the adage that " safe pilots are
always learning. " Check out the
AOPA Air Safety Institute's new
online Safety Spotlights, which
neatly package critical information on a safety topic in one
place. Each spotlight features a
refreshing, modern, rich design-
easy to access anywhere, on any
device. Immediately engage with
the material as the pages come
alive with images, animations,
and embedded multimedia.
airsafetyinstitute.org/spotlights

THERE I WAS...:
STUMBLING INTO IMC
WE'VE ALL PROBABLY LOOKED at the ter-

102 | AOPA PILOT April 2021

Helicopter pilot Dennis Martin
joins ASI to talk about an incident he had after departing
the AOPA Fly-In at Carbondale,
Illinois, in 2018. While flying his
Enstrom 480B from Carbondale
to Chicago Executive Airport,
Martin experienced deteriorating weather conditions and found
himself in half-mile visibility.
airsafetyinstitute.org/thereiwas

conference in Indiana. What lay between
the travelers and their destination, however, was a large swath of hazardous icing
conditions, IMC, and mountain obscuration. Unfortunately, the pilot didn't obtain
a complete weather briefing, and took off
unaware of just how bad the conditions en
route would become.
Follow the Cirrus along its route in
this accident recreation from the AOPA
Air Safety Institute, which includes a look
at a similar tragedy involving a Beechcraft
Bonanza that occurred only three days prior
to the Cirrus accident.
airsafetyinstitute.org/ACS/
TrappedInIce
EMAIL alicia.herron@aopa.org

CHRIS ROSE

minal aerodrome forecast (TAF) the day
before a flight and seen it call for clear and
a million, only to arrive at that forecasted
time to find the weather is anything but
VFR. Thankfully, the opposite can be true,
too, and a call for low IFR can materialize
into a perfect bluebird day. These last-minute changes shouldn't surprise us-forecasts
are an often-inaccurate best guess.
As the seasons change, pilots see a mixed
bag of weather. The cold of winter hasn't fully
vanished, yet the convective threats typical of
summer approach as well. Planning a flight
when dealing with these types of changing,
variable weather conditions can be daunting, but staying on the ground when the
conditions are a shade less than perfect isn't
realistic for most of us who want to maintain
proficiency and currency, either.
Here are some tips to help set you up for
success where the weather's concerned, and
manage changing conditions:
* Don't underestimate external pressure.
If you're planning a trip, give yourself a
hard go/no-go time that allows enough
time to make it to your destination another
way (driving, airline, balloon, et cetera).
Sometimes, you can make this decision the
day of-sometimes, days before.

* Help manage passenger expectations with
GA flying. Inform them well in advance of
departure that the flight might not be able
to happen, or might not happen as planned.
* Pack a just-in-case overnight bag with at
least a toothbrush and toothpaste. Sleeping
in an unfamiliar hotel or on an FBO couch
is more acceptable when you have one small
comfort from home, and you've already
mentally prepared for that possibility.
* If you have a passing notion that you
should divert, divert right away. Better to
be overly cautious and on the ground rather
than flying into weather you and the airplane can't handle.
Perhaps the most important action we
can take as pilots, however, is to have a complete and accurate picture of the weather
along our intended route. This includes
receiving a weather briefing directly before
your flight, and not just relying on the forecast. Sometimes we can " get away " with
not checking the weather, but it is a dangerous habit to build, and sometimes, as we
know, actual conditions are far worse than
expected.
On the morning of April 19, 2018, a Cirrus
SR22 carrying two occupants departed from
Lancaster Airport in Pennsylvania. The
pilot and his passenger were bound for a


http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/spotlights http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/thereiwas http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/ACS/TrappedInIce http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/ACS/TrappedInIce

AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 9
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 20
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover4
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