Weather Planning and Briefing is the subject of Issue 17 of Sunny Swift. Good planning and weather briefing is important to make sure you don’t get caught out by the weather.
In the days before a flight, make sure to review the synoptic charts to get a feel for the weather you are likely to expect:,
- where is the airmass coming from
- what time of year is it (and what type of weather could you reasonably expect)
- how might the geographical features on the route affect the weather?
On the day of the flight, start with the low level area forecast and the GAFOR (if available) to check the expected weather, visibility and cloud as well as wind speed and direction. Look also at the TAFs for any relevant airfields and the METARS to complete the picture. Reviewing weather radar and satellite imagery adds another dimension to planning.
Always have your own personal minima in mind and never be afraid to stay on the ground if things don’t look good. Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground.
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