I live in the Deep South, and I emerge from summer begging for a massive cold front to clear the Florida/Georgia state line and bring some much-needed relief from the blistering heat and stifling humidity. Come the end of September, I am aching for sight of high cirrus, introducing a phalanx of low cumulus, chased by a sneaky layer of stratus, followed by a boisterous wall of classic embedded frontal thunderstorms. This is the only cure I know for summer in the South.
As that first front arrives, I’ve just about had my fill of limiting the bulk of my flying to early mornings and the occasional evening, which is when the daily tropical-air-mass thunderstorms that build along the meeting point of Florida’s east coast and west coast sea breezes are less prevalent around here. By September, my ADS-B Nexrad skills analyzing the trails of thunderstorms are polished to a fine sheen. Weather latency? I can see where the real weather is by watching where the ADS-B traffic is going on a particularly active day (for the most part, they are avoiding it, even if it looks like they are flying through bright red). Beyond that, I can predict where the storms will be next by looking at the prevailing winds in the mid-altitudes. I’ve had plenty of practice.
What I haven’t done much of since summer set in (that’s early May around here) is fly real IFR, the kind with nothing but pure gray in the windscreen right down to approach minimums. October means it’s time for me to brush up, so I can be ready for that first layered-stratus sky and those foggy mornings that fold into all-day gray.
Fall and winter around here rarely involve in-flight ice, but they definitely trigger fog season. We have ground fog (formed when the air is cooler than the earth) and sea fog (same thing, only over the water). Ground fog around here tends to be shallow and burn off quickly, but sea fog can linger in a thick, wet blanket all day, forcing anyone who wants to fly in or out into an IFR flight plan ending in an instrument approach.
The Sim’s the Thing
When I first earned an instrument rating in the early 1980s, there were not a lot of options for getting recurrent in IFR. Unless you were with the airlines or a big corporate flight department, you didn’t have access to realistic flight simulation. To get your IFR currency, you were going to be spending some hard-earned cash to get airborne with a safety pilot or flight instructor, concentrating on approaches, holding and navigating.
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Sudden Surprise Trouble
What the FAA taketh away, it giveth back.
LIFE IN THE AIR: Living the Dream
The journey from M X to CFI
Doc, David, Herb and the Cops
A once-in-a-lifetime B-29 flight
WHEN THE MUSIC DIES
VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC
WE FLY: FLIGHT DESIGN F2
AN ALL-AROUND ALL- COMPOSITE TREAT
What works on one airplane might not work on another.
THE FLYING STATION WAGON
Blame for the 737 Max
The FAA designee program is too big to fail.
Leaving the flight deck amidst a pandemic
An Aviation Mentor
Why it’s so important
FLORIDA HOUSE OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVES CONSUMER PRIVACY BILL
The Florida House resoundingly approved a consumer privacy bill, giving the public an opportunity to regain ownership of the personal data collected by companies and the right to sue companies for mishandling information in a marketplace where consumers themselves have become lucrative commodities.
SPYKE AND MIKE
SPYKE & MIKE GO TO THE PET STORE
A Healthy Berry Very Easily Turns Decadent
SIGNS of the SEASON
You Say Tomato, We Say Florida’s Finest
Is Olive the New Orange?
Florida Growers Court New Alternative Crop
Florida-Grown Coffee? How UF Scientists Are Using AI To Serve Up the Possibilities
MOST OF THE WORLD’S COFFEE is grown in tropical regions. However, a changing climate could allow coffee to grow farther north — for example, in Florida. In April, all HCYCP participants pick up their tree kits to start their project.
HERO NEVER GAVE UP ON MISSING GIRL, 13!
Clever cop goes motel to motel in search of perv who allegedly took her
Health and Happiness Have No Age Limit
Everybody wants to live a fulfilling life, age gracefully and enjoy the golden years. Maintaining your physical and mental health plays a crucial role in that endeavor. That means it’s important not only to eat right and keep your body moving but also to keep your mind stimulated as well. In this Senior Edition of Central Florida Health News, we touch on some of these very important issues.
National Infant Immunization Week
Many have received immunizations throughout their lifetime, but it’s often taken for granted how much of an impact these vaccines have on the lives of those in our communities, counties, state and even country. The Florida Department of Health in Polk County recognizes April 24-May1 as National Infant Immunization Week. This is an annual observance promoting the benefits of immunizations for children from birth to age 2.
DATA: FLORIDA'S TEXTING WHILE-DRIVING LAW RARELY ENFORCED
A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy was heading east on Interstate 4 in his red Dodge Charger on a brilliantly sunny afternoon in Florida when he saw him: A young driver behind the wheel of a Jeep texting on his phone.