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Presentation on theme: "PILOT NAVIGATION Senior/Master Air Cadet. THE WEATHER."— Presentation transcript:

1 PILOT NAVIGATION Senior/Master Air Cadet


3 Introduction Previously you have learnt how the weather affects the hill walker, and the aviator in the circuit We will now see how the weather affects aircraft en route between airfields


5 The Air In order to understand the reactions involved when the air is in motion we must consider its constituents The major variable is water as we shall see

6 Pure air consists of : OXYGEN 20% NITROGEN 79% OTHER 1 % (POLLUTION, OZONE, CO 2)

7 Temperature & Pressure From your physics you will remember Boyles’s gas laws. If you don’t you should know that up high in the atmosphere (such as on top of a mountain) it is very cold and climbers need to carry oxygen This is because the air pressure is very low at high altitudes

8 Temperature & Pressure The air pressure at sea level is caused by the weight of the air above us. The higher you go, the less the weight becomes If a gas is compressed it become hotter, & so the less compressed it is the colder it is

9 Water Vapour A certain volume of air, under fixed conditions of pressure and temperature, can only hold a certain amount of water vapour, which is an invisible gas If this air becomes cooler it will not be able to hold as much moisture and will eventually become saturated with water vapour

10 Water Vapour When the air cools to this point it is known as the dew point It is at this point that dew, mist or fog will form. If the temperature falls below freezing then frost or freezing fog will occur

11 Cloud When unsaturated air rises the temperature drops & the dew point is reached, and cloud is formed


13 Updraft Updraft is the vertical motion in the air

14 Trigger Actions There are four trigger actions that force air to rise: Turbulence - air currents coming together Convection - heating of the air by the sun ??????

15 Trigger Actions Orographic uplift (mountain effect) air hitting mountain ranges

16 Trigger Actions Frontal uplift - when 2 fronts meet Cool Air Warm Front Warm air

17 The height of the cloud will depend on the amount moisture in the air, and the strength of the uplift In extreme cases Cumulo Nimbus thunder clouds form, and these are a severe hazard to aircraft


19 At high levels the clouds (cirrus) consists of ice crystals, but most other clouds are formed by visible droplets of water

20 Thunderstorms A large thunderstorm presents a variety of hazards, both in the cloud and surrounding areas, to aircraft and are best avoided Precipitation - all types are present - the most dangerous being hail Icing - as previously covered

21 but the main danger is to electrical systems- radar, radios etc, and temporary blinding of the crew ! Lighting & thunder the main effect is psychological. Lighting often strikes aircraft


23 - Turbulence the air in a thunder cloud can be in vertical motion up or down in excess of 50 knots and can change from up to down and back again in seconds. This can destroy aircraft


25 Landing hazards all of the above hazards exist under the base of the thunderstorm - the most significant being the risk of a severe down drought just as the aircraft is landing

26 Most modern aircraft carry weather radar’s for detecting thunderstorms & turbulent air

27 Isobars When watching the weather forecasts on TV you will have noticed that the air pressure changes from place to place The normal range of pressure is 930 millibars to 1050 millibars

28 The pressure is shown on the chart by Linking areas of equal pressure by a line called an Isobar 1016 shown thus

29 Pressure in the Atmophere This is measured using Millibars in the UK and Hectopascals in Europe

30 The isobars surround areas of high or low pressure, and show us how the wind is moving - the wind velocity (WV) L

31 The WV is always expressed as where it is coming from in degrees and its strength in knots For example a WV of 200/25 is a wind coming from 200° at 25 knots

32 In the northern hemisphere the wind circulates clockwise around anti cyclones (high pressure areas) & anti clockwise around cyclones ( low pressure areas) L WIND

33 To remember this stand with your back to the wind, and the area of low pressure is to your left This is reversed in the southern hemisphere

34 Isobars – facts and figures Isobar patterns represent the wind at 2000’ above the surface

35 Isobars – facts and figures The direction of the lines give the direction the wind The closer the lines the stronger the wind

36 Isobars – facts and figures At the surface the wind is about 25% weaker than at 2000’ as a result of surface friction. It is also backed by about 25° For example: a wind at 2000’ of 270/20 will be 245/15 at the surface

37 TAFs & METARs The weather forecaster uses many charts & symbols to convey the details of the weather over the whole country For an aviator, who receives info from radio, it must be coded & is standardized world wide (except Canada !)

38 There are 2 formats: T A F Terminal Aerodrome Forecast M E T A R Meteorological Actual Report one records a forecast and the other reports actual conditions

39 TAF Is published for a 9 hour period, and starts with 4 figures eg 0615 introduces a forecast valid from 0600 to 1500 hrs

40 TAF TAFs do not include temperatures or pressures But may include information on expected changes

41 TAF These are prefixed : TEMPO - Temporary BECMG - Becoming

42 TAF If the forecaster is unsure then he gives a probability: PROB 30TS means 30% chance of thunderstorm

43 METAR Gives the conditions at an airfield and is recorded hourly It is normally prefixed by a time - which is the time the conditions where observed It is given to aircraft inbound

44 METAR If the weather changes rapidly a SPECI – (special) report is issued METARs & SPECIs Do not forecast conditions, but do include pressure & temperature


46 Cranwell/ for hrs/ surface wind 260° true at 5 knots/visibility 4000 meters in haze/scattered cloud base at 3000’/becoming “cloud and visibility okay” that is the visibility will be at least 10km and no cloud below 5000’ This translates as CRANWELL / HZ SCT030 BECMG CAVOK=

47 The Code METAR CRANWELL / FEW / =


49 In the USA temperature is give in °F = Means End Of Message Pressure is the QNH at the airfield

50 TAF and METAR codes Time: A 4 Figure Group In Hours/Minutes Wind:Wind Speed In Knots & Direction In Degrees True. In gusty conditions a “G” is added with A higher figure to indicate range – 18G28

51 Visibility: Weather: 2 letter groups to indicate type of weather 4 Figures From 0000 To This Is The Visibility In Meters & Km

52 BRMist FZFreezing DZDrizzle SNSnow FGFog FUSmoke HZHaze HZHaze RARain SHShower TS Thunderstorm -Slight +Heavy

53 These can be mixed in any combination: RASNRain & snow mixed +SHRAHeavy rain shower -FZDZLight freezing drizzle

54 Cloud:6 item code giving cloud amount & height of cloud base Cloud Amounts: FEW1 or 2 eighths coverage SCTScattered 3 or 4 eighths BKNBroken 5 or 7 eighths OVC8 eighths coverage

55 Cloud Base: 3 numbers to indicate cloud base height above airfield in hundreds of feet, eg. 018 = 1800 feet

56 Check of understanding What is a TAF? Terminal Aerodrome Forecast

57 What is a METAR? Meteorological Actual Report

58 What is a SPECI? If the weather changes rapidly a SPECI – (special) report is issued

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