February 1999 Issue

This Watch Keeps on Ticking

Checking weather en route should be part of your survival kit

The student pilot was headed north-west on one of his first solo cross-country flights. The planned track took him from Dalhart, Texas, to the Denver, Colo., area. Preflight weather contained nothing ominous or unusual. Once airborne, everything was going routinely, except that the clouds began to thicken imperceptibly as he eased across the border into Colorado and a light chop began to develop.

Suddenly, the pilot found a solid overcast beneath him with thickening clouds and even more rapidly deteriorating weather.

On the ground, convective Sigmets unexpectedly appeared as they often can in areas near the significant influence of the Rocky Mountains. Insidiously, two distinct l...

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