February 2002 Issue
Lightning detectors – aka Strike Finder and Stormscope – help spot thunderstorms, but they also have some serious limitations
[IMGCAP(1)] Thunderstorm. That word causes more angst among aviators than just about any other atmospheric phenomenon. The thought of getting tangled up in the violent bowels of a mature thunderstorm – heavy rain, severe turbulence, hail and lightning – weighs heavily on the mind of any pilot flying or planning to fly when thunderstorms are active.
And that angst is well founded. Every year a number of aircraft, their pilots and passengers are lost to thunderstorms.
A vast array of ground-based and airborne technology, probably worth billions of dollars, is dedicated to helping pilots identify and avoid thunderstorms. The past 20 years has brought a wide acceptance of cockpit-based lig...
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