Everything Explained
Flying|June 2017

Aviation in Plain English.

THUNDERSTORM AVOIDANCE, PENETRATION AND SURVIVAL

MILLIONS OF WORDS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT THUNDERSTORMS. HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW.

RELEVANT DISCUSSION:

AIM 4-3-7, 7-1-10, 7-1-22 through 7-1-30, P/C Glossary, FAA-H-8083-25, AC-00-6, AC 00-24, AC 00-45, AC 00-63, FAA-H-8083-6t

THUNDERSTORM AVOIDANCE WITHOUT ONBOARD RADAR:

1. Maintain VFR conditions on top as long as possible to observe and avoid buildups. If getting on top is impossible or becomes impossible to maintain, the best option is to descend as low as possible to what may be VFR conditions below the clouds.

2. Maintain VFR conditions below the bases to observe obstacles and avoid the rain shafts. Never fly directly below a cell.

3. Daytime: Don’t go where the sky is dark. Talk to ATC and get pireps.

4. Night: Don’t go where the lightning is. Talk to ATC and get pireps.

NTSB SAFETY ALERT:

In-Cockpit Mosaic Imagery

The actual age of Nexrad data can differ significantly from the age indicated on the display.

The NTSB cautions pilots to be aware that in-cockpit next- generation Nexrad information can be as much as 15 to 20 minutes older than indicated on the display. Relying on such information for separation can be hazardous when aircraft are transiting fast-moving weather systems.

In-cockpit Nexrad displays depict where the weather was, not where it is. The age indicator does not show the age of the actual weather conditions but rather the age of the mosaic image.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine