September 1999 Issue

Boxed in by Weather

There are a whole sleeveful of tricks VFR pilots can use to keep themselves out of the soup

The accident involving JFK Jr. has focused a lot of attention on the plight of VFR pilots flying in marginal visibility and at night because it is a common cause of fatal accidents.

Getting boxed in by weather is easy to do, but preventing it is almost as easy. Dealing with it, while a little more difficult, isnít that hard either.

For non-instrument rated pilots, the first consideration is the pre-flight weather briefing. Despite the fact that a 1,000-foot ceiling and 3 miles visibility is legally VMC, it is not practical to attempt VFR flight beyond sight of the airport in such conditions.

Outside of the obvious problems of navigation and aircraft control, your ability to spot...

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