A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard
this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer
statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of
"there are no old, bold pilots.") It's part of what makes aviation
so exciting for all of us... just when you think you've seen it
all, along comes a scenario you've never imagined.
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner,
master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us
-- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators, and as
representatives of the flying community. Some of them, you may have
heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we
might never have considered before, or something that didn't
"stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for
the practical test.
It is our unabashed goal that "Aero-Tips" will help our readers
become better, safer pilots -- as well as introducing our
ground-bound readers to the concepts and principles that keep those
strange aluminum-and-composite contraptions in the air... and allow
them to soar magnificently through it.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you
through the Aero-News Network. Suggestions for future Aero-Tips are
always welcome, as are additions or discussion of each day's tips.
Remember... when it comes to being good pilots, we're all in this
It’s an oldie-but-goodie... FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 00-54, the Pilot’s
Wind shear is any rapid change in wind speed or direction over a
short horizontal or vertical distance. Wind shear quickly changes
airflow patterns over wings and tail surfaces, and can therefore
alter, albeit briefly, the flying capability of an airplane.
About a decade ago a family loaded its A36 Bonanza for a ski
weekend. Heavy storms pushed toward the departure airport from the
northwest; the pilot thought he’d take off, head due south,
then turn west behind the squall. Ahead of the storm a 30-knot wind
blew from the south, but as the Bonanza lifted off the runway the
front hit, blasting the airplane with a 60-knot gust from behind.
The Bonanza stalled and crashed before it could stabilize in the
new air mass and resume flying. This is what AC 00-54 calls a
“Decreasing Headwind Shear” -- defined as
“windshear in which headwind decreases causing an airspeed
One in three windshear events occurs near thunderstorms.
Aero-tip of the day: Don’t let the 1988
publication date or the Smith Corona type style fool you --
there’s a lot of great information in AC 00-54, including
wind shear avoidance, recognition, and recovery techniques.