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Flight Environment

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Flight Environment

The atmosphere/flight environment is forever in a state of constant physical change, giving rise to weather conditions which vary throughout the range of an extremely large scale.  The airman not only lives at the base of this sea of air, but navigates and flies through it.  The weather, therefore, is a matter of vital concern to him, particularly conditions such as fog, ice formation, thunderstorms line squalls, all of which presents particularly unusual hazards to flying.

To minimize the hazards to air navigation that are constantly being manufactured in the so-called weather factory, a vast world-wide meteorological organization has been built up, to collect, analyze and broadcast information relative to the ever changing flight environment or the upper air.

The pilot can today avail himself of last minute weather reports and forecasts along all the regularly established air routes. In addition, he can secure much valuable weather data with reference to areas located off the organized airways.  He must, however, possess sufficient and adequate weather sense, to be able to size up and deal with sudden changing conditions which may be encountered at any stage during flight.  The brief notes which follow are intended to cover the highlights of the subject only.  The student of aviation will be well advised to include meteorology among the subjects marked for further detailed study and read some of the excellent manuals which are available on the subject.

Sections in this chapter:

Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Atmosphere, Pressure, and Forces
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Properties of the Atmosphere
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Pressure
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Coriolis Force
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Surface Friction
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Centrifugal Force
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Convergence and Divergence
Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Clouds
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Classification of Clouds
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Clouds, Precipitation, and Fog
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Thunderstorms
Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Thunderstorm Hazards
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Dangers of Flying in Thunderstorms
blueball.gif (326 bytes) St. Elmo's Fire
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Thunderstorm Avoidance
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Icing
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Turbulence
Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Hemispheric Prevailing Winds
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Upper Level Winds
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Surface Winds
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Land and Sea Breezes
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Mountain Winds
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Mountain Waves
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Jet Stream
Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Humidity, Temperature, and Stability
blueball.gif (326 bytes) How the Atmosphere is Heated
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Temperature Scales
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Isotherms
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Density and Temperature
blueball.gif (326 bytes) How the Atmosphere is Cooled
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Inversions and Isothermal Layers
blueball.gif (326 bytes)Stability
Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Fronts
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Polar Front
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Development of a Frontal Depression
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Types of Fronts
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Weather at the Cold Front
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Weather at the Warm Front
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Weather at Trowals and Upper Fronts
Blue_Arrow82A0.gif (140 bytes) Ceiling and Visibility
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Ceiling
blueball.gif (326 bytes) Classifications of Visibility
blueball.gif (326 bytes) VMC and IMC


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Updated: 12 March, 2004