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  • I'm visiting the US and will get my foreign licence verified, but this means that I won't have a US license or medical. I understand that it is a requirement to sign up for Duats and Duat?! Any idea...

  • Without relying on winds aloft or LLWS data, can pilots identify wind shear conditions visually, by watching clouds or otherwise?

  • METARs, TAFs, the area forecast (FA), and flight service briefings are great tools, but if I'm planning a flight with an overnight stay (or a flight that itself might take me a couple of days of travel time) I often feel that the weather picture I'm getting is a little too short-term for my liking. Aside from watching The Weather Channel are there any supplementary weather sources I can look at which are useful for aviation/flight-planning purposes? I'm interested mainly in resources for the USA but answers for other countries would be interesting too.

  • Korean Air Flight 801 crashed during bad visibility conditions in Guam because the ILS was out of commission and the pilot thought it wasn't. My question though is why he even tried to land there in the first place. Wouldn't an airport be closed during bad visibility conditions in that scenario? Or is it possible to land without ILS in bad weather conditions? I seem to remember someone talking about a step-chart or something like that as an alternative to ILS, is that what would be used in a case like that?

  • I'm not a pilot, so I always wonder when I'm flying why does it happen... Is it because of bad weather, or something else?

  • On SIGWX charts, it shows pairs of symbols with, say, */** or **/**. I know what the symbols mean on either side, but why are there two, and what does the slash indicate? Would love good resources th...

  • I've often noticed that planes flying on more or less the same track, headed in the same direction leaves different contrails. By different I mean how long they stay visible and the length of them. Why is this so? Is it weather related?

  • Automated airport weather observations can be produced by several types of equipment: AWOS-A, AWOS-1, AWOS-2, AWOS-3, and ASOS are the ones I've seen mentioned. What are the differences between these reporting systems? Are the older systems still prevalent, or have they been mostly converted to the new systems?

  • I did my initial training in a high altitude area, where it got pretty hot in the summer, so I'm not at all surprised when I hear an ASOS annouce "Caution: Density Altitude (a few thousand above fiel...

  • So let's assume that I'm the sole manipulator of the flight controls in an aircraft in which I'm rated and that I fly an instrument approach. What weather does the FAA require (assuming that I'm not wearing a view limiting device) in order to log the approach for currency requirements? For instance, if I am cleared for an ILS in visual conditions, can I log it? What if I start the approach in the clouds and break out at 1,500 ft and continue the approach? 1,000 ft? Before/after the outer marker? 150 feet above minimums? I think that you get the idea....

  • If conditions at a towered airport are not IFR, can pilots request a special VFR clearance? For example, at a Class D airport, ceiling 1300 broken, 10 sm visibility is technically too low to remain in...

  • As temperatures here in New York plunge toward (and below) freezing it's time for those of us without nice heated hangars to start thinking about pre-heating our aircraft before we turn the key. Lycoming SI 1505 tells me that "The use of pre-heat will facilitate starting during cold weather, and is required when the engine has been allowed to drop to temperatures below +10°F/-12°C (+20°F/-6°C for –76 series engine models)", but the general recommendations I've been given are to preheat if it's been below freezing in the last 4 hours. At what temperature does it start to become beneficial

  • 135.293(a)(7)(iii) requires that pilots be tested on: (iii) Operating in or near thunderstorms (including best penetrating altitudes), turbulent air (including clear air turbulence), icing, ha...

  • Is there a technique anyone has to make it easier to give PIREPs (mnemonics, etc?) I'd like to be able to give them while I fly but I can never find the expected format handy, so it ends up being a h...

  • So the other day as I was flying, I started to wonder: All pilots should be familiar with basic VFR cloud clearance requirements in 14 CFR 91.155 (and if not, then go study now!). When flying pist...

  • Also wondering which agencies regulate weather modification activities? Any idea where I can find more information about this?

  • Are the broadcasters private individuals, governments, companies? Are they required to function 24/7 and if they don't, are the owners fined?

  • I know that they certify airplanes for lightning strikes (at least some of them anyway), but does it cause any damage to the airplane or to the electronics? Are there any required inspections if an a...

  • If you fly low, air is dense so you can get more thrust from your engines, but you get more drag. On the other hand if you fly higher you have less drag but the output of engine decreases as well. So...

  • Under what conditions do I need to have a takeoff alternate airport listed on a dispatch release? How far away can my takeoff alternate airport be? Do I need to worry about this in part 91 operation...