Learning Experiences

April 2005 Issue

Learning Experiences: 04/05

Ice In The Desert
Heading to Mesa, Ariz., from Dallas, Texas, we landed my twin Travelair for fuel in El Paso. It was a cool February morning, at about 0200. Weather included scattered clouds with a 30-knot headwind. Talking to a cargo pilot who had just flown the same route in reverse, I learned the winds were strong but there was no ice or other problems.

Off we went. It was a very dark night, with a high cloud layer blocking any moonlight. About 45 minutes after takeoff, I noticed what appeared to be a storm cell ahead of us. I made a slight course change but minutes later showers started to hit the plane.

The headwinds increased to over 50 knots and it was raining hea...

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