August 2011 Issue

Summertime Flying

You know enough to stay out of thunderstorms, but with high density altitude, reduced visibility and poor aircraft performance, they can be the least of your worries.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, weíre firmly in the season of the bumps, when the sunís angle and proximity help contribute to significant swings of weather. Many a high-temperature record fell well before summerís "official" entry on June 21, as late spring served up conditions more often associated with the dog days of summer. Pilots debate which season treats them worse, but my vote goes consistently to summer. Confirmation and justification come again and again by way of accident reports detailing how a pilot lost a tussle with the seasonís inclement weather.

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