Saturday, November 08, 2008

IMC Prevents IR Lesson

Go figure! I'm stuck on the ground here at Wilmington (KILG) in Instrument Meteorological Conditions since I have no Instrument Rating which means, no lesson. No lesson because I can't get out of here to get to Brandywine Airport (KOQN) for the darn lesson. Wilmington is stuck with this mess for most of the day. I pasted the Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) for KILG below. Notice all the OVC designations meaning overcast, ranging from 200 feet to 1500 feet and hanging around from 8 am to 4 pm, just plain yucky. Here is an abbreviated lesson to help the non-pilots understand all the letters and numbers listed.

Present Weather and Obscurations:
BR Mist, VC In the Vicinity, RA Rain, SH Shower(s), - Light Moderate , Cloud cover is noted; SCT ( 3/8 TO 4/8 cloud coverage, BKN (5/8-7/8 coverage), and OVC (8/8 Coverage). Always add two zeros to the number following the sky condition to get the height. (BKN 004 = Broken cloud layer 400')

041656Z-Time and Date:
The 04 represents the day of the month.
The 1656 represents the time at which the observation went out. The Z represents that the time is in ZULU or UTC (Universal Time Code).

The 190 (the first three numbers) is the direction of the winds in degrees from 0 to 360 degrees (although you will never see 360 because after 350, it goes back to 0). The 20 (next two numbers) is the speed of the winds in knots. The G26 represents the wind gusts. In this case the gusts are 26 knots. The KT simply means knots. It will always be at the end.

The 6SM simply means 6 Statute Miles. Occasionally you might see visibility up to 20 or 30 SM but for the most part it will go from <>

KILG 081303Z 0813/0912 17008KT 3SM BR VCSH OVC004
TEMPO 0813/0815 1SM BR OVC002
FM081500 19006KT 3SM BR VCSH OVC005
TEMPO 0815/0818 2SM BR OVC002
FM081800 22007KT 5SM -SHRA BR OVC015
FM082100 22005KT P6SM BKN025
FM090200 29006KT P6SM BKN050
FM090800 27004KT P6SM SCT080

I'm scheduled again on Tuesday, November 11th, I hope the wx is looking better by then. For now it's practice approaches online with


AdamB said...

That really stinks Gary.
At least you got some ground school in.
Have you been able to get much actual during your training so far?
Probably the only downside of you having to fly to your lessons.
That was one thing I regret about doing the quick route during the late winter. The times we could have flown IMC there was too much icing risk. Thus I ended up with 0 at checkride time.

I actually ventured out with one of the clubs CFII's today on a whim when he said he was going out to shoot approaches.
We shot 3 approaches 1 me, 2 him to minimums.
Quite a site to just barely get a glimpse of the approach lights at 200-300 ft. above the ground.
Also keeps you on your toes as a safety pilot when your making sure the plane is still right-side-up.

Gary said...


I'm in the same boat. In order to use my plane I have to fly to the school. Needless to say IFR conditions means no go for my 10 minute hop. I talked to my CFI about using the school plane in these conditions in order to get some actual, that's our plan. It's only a 20-30 minute drive.

I can't wait to breakout and see everything where it's supposed to be, very rewarding I'm sure!