Author Archives: madoxairsports

About madoxairsports

Madox Air Sports was established in The Gambia in 1996 as a Microlight Training School. Today it’s an Aero Club aiming to give Madox pilots and flying enthusiasts an opportunity to fly while on holiday in The Gambia. Over the years Madox has introduced sport flying to thousands of holiday makers who have booked a trial flight while on holiday and taken to the skies over the beautiful country. Many tourist have returned to train with Madox and now fly all over the World. The diverse flying experience offered in The Gambia coupled with the advantage of cheaper costs continues to attract Madox pilots and flying enthusiasts to return. Flying in West Africa is a great experience and a nice enjoyable way to keep your privileges current during the cold winter months in the UK.

The Thunderstorm Threat

By ED BROTAK

The Thunderstorm Threat APRIL 10, 2017 BY GENERAL AVIATION NEWS STAFF 1 COMMENT By ED BROTAK With the onset of warmer weather, pilots face the increased risk of encountering thunderstorms. Although more common in the warmer months, thunderstorms can occur even in the winter, especially in the southern states. It’s estimated that 100,000 thunderstorms occur […]

via The Thunderstorm Threat General Aviation News — Peter Singhatey – Just Love Flying…

 

With the onset of warmer weather, pilots face the increased risk of encountering thunderstorms.  Although more common in the warmer months, thunderstorms can occur even in the winter, especially in the southern states. It’s estimated that 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the U.S. each year. Some locations in southwest Florida have 100 storms a year, but thunderstorms do occur in all 50 states.

Thunderstorms are most common in the late afternoon, but can occur at any time of the day.  Technically called convective cells, a thunderstorm can cover an area from 200 to 1,000 square miles. Storms can range in height from 10,000 feet to over 60,000 feet. Individual cells can last from less than a half hour to many hours.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF THUNDERSTORMS

There are different types of thunderstorms that develop under different conditions. “Air mass thunderstorms” typically develop in the late afternoon and evening due to the heat of the day. Development tends to be random, but they are more numerous over mountainous terrain. Although relatively weak, they can still pose problems and should be avoided. Fortunately, air mass thunderstorms tend to be slow moving.

A greater threat is posed by organized convection. These are stronger storms that often move quickly, up to 60 mph. They are often associated with fronts, especially ahead of cold fronts.

“Squall lines” form when convective cells develop in a line in response to prevailing atmospheric conditions. The line can extend for tens or even hundreds of miles. Although there are breaks between the cells, circumnavigation or remaining on the ground until the line passes is strongly recommended. Individual storms will die out only to be replaced by new cells, with the whole system lasting for hours.

MINIMIZING THE DANGER

It’s a good time to review the risks thunderstorms pose to aviators and what you can do to minimize the danger.  Many things are happening inside a thunderstorm cloud (cumulonimbus) that they pose a wide variety of threats to aircraft.

Lightning can certainly do some structural damage and affect electrical equipment inside a plane.  Hail, which can grow to the size of softballs, can damage windshields and the exterior of the aircraft. The occurrence of hail indicates sub-freezing temperatures at some height in the cloud.  Even with the warmth of summer, towering thunderstorm clouds easily reach and exceed the freezing level. This also means super-cooled water and the risk of icing is present.  One of the more subtle threats thunderstorms produce is erroneous aneroid altimeter readings due to the rapid pressure changes the storm induces. Readings may be off by 100 feet.

But by far the greatest risk is turbulence. Updrafts and downdrafts within the storm can easily reach 50 mph (73.3 feet per second) and can reach 100 mph (146.6 feet per second). Planes can literally be torn to pieces by the turbulence generated between the up drafts and down drafts.  Even if there is no structural damage to the aircraft, loss of control is a distinct possibility.  And obviously within the cloud, IMC exist and the risk of Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT), especially in uneven terrain, is great.

And keep in mind that convection can develop very quickly. What was VMC everywhere can quickly contain areas of IMC.

TROUBLE ALL AROUND

Dangerous weather conditions are not limited to within the storm cloud itself. Turbulence above the cloud top can extend upwards for thousands of feet.

Interestingly, the massive core of the storm can actually act as a solid impediment to the prevailing winds, almost like a mountain. Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) can be produced in the air flow downwind of the storm and extend tens of miles.  Beneath the storm cloud base, conditions can also be treacherous. Blinding rain and even hail can extend to the ground. IMC conditions are common.  Extreme downdrafts, called downbursts or microbursts, can occur even without precipitation. Once these downdrafts hit the ground, they can spread out, sometimes for tens of miles, producing strong, shifting winds that can exceed 100 mph, and the dreaded wind shear.

BE PREPARED

Before you start your flight, your preflight weather check, including TAFs and FAs, should highlight any convective problems.  Particularly note any CONVECTIVE SIGMETS, forecasts that warn of dangerous flying conditions due to convection in the next two hours.

But keep in mind, it is impossible to predict exactly when and where thunderstorms will develop in advance. And convection can develop rapidly, sometimes in a matter of minutes.  Closer to takeoff, you can check the latest METARs and PIREPS to see if convection has been reported.

Weather radar is the best tool for locating and tracking thunderstorms. The heavy rainfall rates associated with convection are well depicted as areas of yellow, red, or even purple if hail is present.  Movement and changes in intensity can be determined by tracking storms over time.

Major terminals are well covered by land-based radar. Terminal Doppler Weather Radar can detect thunderstorms and even wind shear near an airport. Larger airports also have specialized wind shear monitoring equipment for the runways. Smaller GA airports are often not as well equipped.

IT’S UP TO YOU

It’s up to the pilot to determine thunderstorm risk…

 

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 7 Hardest Parts About Becoming A Private Pilot

Everyone knows that crosswind landings are usually challenging for student pilots. But beyond landings (and money!), there’s a lot about learning to fly that can be pretty tough. Here’s what you should be ready for.

The 7 Hardest Parts About Becoming A Private Pilot 

Boldmethod

Everyone knows that crosswind landings are usually challenging for student pilots. But beyond landings (and money!), there’s a lot about learning to fly that can be pretty tough. Here’s what you should be ready for…

1) Aircraft Systems
One of the toughest topics for private pilot students is aircraft systems. As less and less people grow up working on cars or around machinery, there’s diminishing knowledge behind what makes that engine turn.Want to know more about the systems and equipment in your aircraft? Dig into your POH and read section 7. Better yet, find a local A&P at your airport and have them walk you through a few systems with the cowling off. Getting hands-on with the equipment behind closed panels is a great way to learn how your airplane flies.

2) The National Airspace System
It’s more than identifying lines of airspace on a sectional chart. You’ll need to know what weather minimums exist at different altitudes (day and night), what your equipment requirements are, and what your communication requirements are.
We can help – give our National Airspace System course a try.

3) Learning Regulations
There are hundreds of FAA Regulations that govern how, where, and when you can fly. Some of them can be pretty confusing. As a student pilot, you’re just as responsible for adhering to the FARs as any fully certificated pilot. Keep yourself out of trouble and learn those regs!

4) Aerodynamics
A huge part of learning to fly is understanding the physics behind how it all works. But how can a strong foundation of aerodynamics save your life? One simple example is the lift to drag ratio for your airplane. At L/D max, or the best lift to drag ratio, you’ll find an approximate best glide speed.

5) Decoding Textual Weather
Whether it’s a METAR or PIREP, it’s your responsibility as a pilot to maintain your skills for decoding textual weather.

Need a refresher? Give our Aviation Weather Products course a try.

6) “Radio Talk”
Learning how to actively listen for your callsign in busy airspace with dozens of airplanes on-frequency is tough. Adding that to learning the correct verbiage provides quite the task for brand new student pilots. Here are some things you shouldn’t say over the radio.

7) Getting Into “School Mode”
First and foremost, getting your brain into a “school mode” can be tough, especially if you haven’t sat in a formal classroom setting in years. Learning to fly is undoubtedly fun, but there’s also a lot of work outside the cockpit.

Categories: Aviation, Flying, Gambia, Microlights | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boldmethod’s Top 10 Stories Of 2016

2016 was a quite a year at Boldmethod, and we have readers like you to thank for it (thanks!).  So to wrap up 2016 and get ready for 2017, here are our 10 most popular stories of the year. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

10) Pitch For Airspeed, Power For Altitude? Or The Other Way Around?

primary

 

You’re high on the glideslope. How do you correct? Do you pitch down, or do you reduce power? Read story…

 Source: Boldmethod’s Top 10 Stories Of 2016, According To You | Boldmethod

 

9) How To Fly An IFR Departure Procedure With A “Climb Via”

primary-pb

 

ExpressJet gave us a flight crew and a jet for the day (how cool is that?). So we went out and flew one of the more confusing things in instrument flying: a departure procedure with a “climb via”. Read story…

 

 

8) How To Survive An Engine Failure Immediately After Takeoff

primary-image

 

An engine failure is always something that will get your blood pumping, but there’s one place where it can be particularly pulse-pounding… Read story…

 

 

Source: Boldmethod’s Top 10 Stories Of 2016, According To You | Boldmethod
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rules of Thumb Every Pilot Should Know 

runway-distance-remaining

When to Abort a Takeoff: The 50/70 Rule

A general rule for GA aircraft is if you haven’t reached 70% of your takeoff speed by the time you’ve reached 50% of the length of the runway, you should abort your takeoff.

Read the full article here.

Why do you need 70% of your takeoff speed by 50% of the runway? As you accelerate down the runway during takeoff, you start chewing up more feet of runway for every second you’re rolling down the pavement. If you haven’t achieved 70% of your takeoff speed by the time you’re halfway down the runway, you may not have enough pavement left to get to rotation speed and lift off.

course-corrections

The 1 in 60 Course Correction Rule

The 1 in 60 rule states that if you’re off course by 1NM after 60 miles flown, you have a 1 degree tracking error. Time to correct that heading!

Another tip: If you’re 60 miles away from a VOR, and you’re off course by one degree, you’re off course by one mile. Last thing: if you fly a 60 mile arc around the VOR, you’d fly a total of 360 miles…talk about a long instrument approach!

Here are the other rules, and how to use them.

63-degree-glidediagram-night

Source: Rules-Of-Thumb Every Pilot Should Know | Boldmethod

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To Make A Perfect Crosswind Landing | Boldmethod

You’re picking up ATIS on your way in to land. The winds are 23 knots, 40 degrees off runway heading. And your passengers are expecting a landing they can walk away from.

Crosswind landings can be one of the most stressful things for pilots, especially if you haven’t practiced them in awhile. And whether you’re a new pilot just learning to fly them, or a 20 year pilot who hasn’t gotten a lot of practice recently, a little review can go a long way.

When it comes to crosswind landings, there are a couple methods you can use: crab, and wing-low. And there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Flying The Crab Method

With the crab technique, you fly final approach crabbing into the wind to prevent drifting left or right of centerline. You maintain the crab all the way to your flare, and just before touchdown, you step on the rudder to align your nose with the runway, and use ailerons to prevent drifting with the wind.

The crab technique can be an easy way to maintain centerline on final approach, but it requires quite a bit of judgement and timing to “kick out” the crab just before touchdown. This is the same technique that jets use to land. But there’s a big difference between a 737 and a single-engine piston, and that’s inertia. If a 737 isn’t perfectly aligned with the runway on touchdown, it straightens itself out as the wheels touch down, and it keeps rolling smoothly down the runway. But if your 172 isn’t aligned with the runway at touchdown, you’re going to jump and bounce across the pavement until you are aligned with it. So unless you’re out practicing your crab-to-landing a lot, it can be a tough method to perfect in a light plane.

rudder-usecrab

Flying The Wing-Low Method

In most cases in light aircraft, the wing low method is an easier way to accomplish a smooth touchdown in a crosswind landing. To fly the wing-low method, you use your rudder to line your nose up with the runway, and ailerons to correct for left/right drift all the way from final approach to touchdown. Essentially, you’re slipping the plane through the crosswind in order to keep yourself lined up with the runway from final to touchdown…

crosswind-procedurewheel-order

Source: How To Make A Perfect Crosswind Landing | Boldmethod

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Load, Balance and Performance notes. — s4337253 — peter singhatey

Load Factor Operating above the maximum weigh (wt) limitations compromise the structural integrity of the aircraft and impairs performances… Load factor is the ratio of max load that the aircraft can sustain to the gross weight of the aircraft… measured in G’s (the acceleration of gravity)… excessive G-forces can be experienced in steep turns or […] […]

via Load, Balance and Performance notes. — s4337253 — peter singhatey

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The 5 Most Common Checkride Failures For Private Pilots | Boldmethod

Checkrides can be scary, especially your first one. But there’s good news: a lot of other people have taken them, and you can learn from their mistakes.

Source: The 5 Most Common Checkride Failures For Private Pilots | Boldmethod

1. Weather: Who loves weather reports and forecasts? Not too many people. Unfortunately, you’ll need to know it all. METARs and TAFs aren’t so bad, but when you start digging into AIRMETs, Winds Aloft forecasts and Area Forecasts, things can get ugly. Need some help getting prepped on weather for your examiner? We can help with this one too.

awtxt-animation

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should You Use Trim In A Steep Turn? | Boldmethod

over-control-steep-turn

So whether you’re learning to fly, teaching people to fly, or just trying to keep your skills sharp, the question is still the same: should you trim in a steep turn?

First off, trimming your plane is almost always a good idea. It helps relieve your control inputs, keeps your plane going in the direction you want it to, and helps keeps your passengers from using their sick-sacks in flight (you remembered to pack those, right?!).

But steep turns aren’t normal, every day wings-level flying. They’re a specific maneuver intended to help you understand how your plane behaves when your wings aren’t level. And things like attitude control, accelerated stall, overbanking tendency, AOA/load factor, and power requirements are all part of the mix when you’re executing a steep turn.

And hopefully by learning all of those things, you’ll recognize what your plane can, and can’t, do when you get into a situation that could require a lot of bank, like a tight base-to-final turn.

So should you use trim to help yourself on your next steep turn? Before you decide, it helps to understand the most common problems when it comes to steep turns, and then figure out if trim will help you eliminate them.

Problem 1: Over Controlling The Turn

Over controlling is one of the biggest problems in steep turns. If you over control, you’ll be constantly chasing airspeed and altitude, and your flight path will look like a yo-yo…

Source: Should You Use Trim In A Steep Turn? | Boldmethod

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.