March 2001 Issue

Dogfighting Thor

The view from inside a thunderstorm proves itís really no place to be

Just imagine an early U.S. Mail pilot boarding the train with his mail pouch to continue westbound to deliver the mail. This may have been one of the earliest encounters of pilot vs. thunderstorm, with the pilot being unable to complete the flight as planned.

Have the odds changed with the advent of new technologies? General aviation pilots now have lightning detectors, improved ATC radar and communications, and some even are equipped with on-board color weather radar. Armed with these tools, should pilots reconsider the advice of their first flight instructors, who preached the merits of not even flying in the same county as a thunderstorm?

My first experiences in flying around thund...

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