Learning Experiences

February 2003 Issue

A Wave Here?

I knew airspeed was everything and Id rather fly into a tree than fall into one.

I am an 1,100-hour instrument pilot flying an A-36 Bonanza. The other night, my friend Bill (a student pilot) and I were flying along in the Pittsfield, Mass., area and encountered a situation I had never seen before.

We were cruising along northbound VFR on top at 7500 ft. in smooth air and unrestricted visibility with autopilot engaged at 154 knots IAS. There was a broken layer below us with tops estimated at 6,000 feet. The winds at our altitude were from the northwest at approx 65 knots. Outside air temperature was right around 0 Celsius. The highest terrain in the area was about 4000 ft. The nearest weather front was a strong low hundreds of miles to our south.

In front of us we s...

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.