April 2008 Issue

On A Mission: Best Practices On Thunderstorm Avoidance

The best advice when dealing with thunderstorms is “don’t.” The pros offer their strategies on avoidance.

Thunderstorms can impede our progress any time of the year. If we kept the plane in the hangar every time a forecast called for them, however, we’d almost never fly in the spring and summer months. To learn how to safely dispatch and conduct a flight in areas of thunderstorms, we’ve asked pilots "on a mission" to fly in almost all conditions—priority cargo and business transportation—what it takes to make it to their destination on schedule. More important, we also asked when storms are strong enough to sit it out despite the sometimes severe economic consequences. With far less stress to "go" than these commercial and business operators, pilots of owner-flown airplanes can learn from their expert strategy for thunderstorm avoidance.

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