Just a Little Weather Lesson

10 Dec

This morning I have a plane reserved to get a little flying time in.  I’m excited.  It’s been a while since I’ve been up flying.  If I want to take passengers up flying with me I have to keep current.  The FAA rules state that if I want to carry passengers when I fly these are the rules:

  • That person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days.
  • The person acted as the sole manipulator of the flight controls.
  • And the required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required).

The last time I was up flying was September 30.  It hasn’t been 90 days since I was flying but almost.  I could carry a passenger this morning legally but I won’t do it because frankly I am probably a little rusty in the landing department. 

I scheduled some time in the 152 for practice.  I will probably stay at the airport in the traffic pattern practicing take offs and landings.  After practicing take offs and landing I will fly to a local practice area to practice manuevers like steep turns, slow flight, stalls and ground reference manuevers. 

Before I can do any of this I have to check the weather.  Here is what it looks like:

Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS)Output produced by METARs form (1227 UTC 10 December 2010)
found at
METAR text: KSTC 101153Z AUTO 30006KT 8SM CLR M11/M13 A2984 RMK AO2 SLP132 T11061128 11028 21106 51015
Conditions at: KSTC (ST. CLOUD , MN, US) observed 1153 UTC 10 December 2010
Temperature: -10.6°C (13°F)
Dewpoint: -12.8°C (9°F) [RH = 84%]
Pressure (altimeter): 29.84 inches Hg (1010.6 mb)
[Sea-level pressure: 1013.2 mb]
Winds: from the WNW (300 degrees) at 7 MPH (6 knots; 3.1 m/s)
Visibility: 8 miles (13 km)
Ceiling: at least 12,000 feet AGL
Clouds: sky clear below 12,000 feet AGL
Weather: automated observation with no human augmentation;
there may or may not be significant weather present at this time

Forecast for: KSTC (ST. CLOUD , MN, US)
Text: KSTC 101138Z 1012/1112 29006KT P6SM FEW020
Forecast period: 1200 to 1800 UTC 10 December 2010
Forecast type: FROM: standard forecast or significant change
Winds: from the WNW (290 degrees) at 7 MPH (6 knots; 3.1 m/s)
Visibility: 6 or more miles (10+ km)
Clouds: few clouds at 2000 feet AGL
Weather: no significant weather forecast for this period


I plan on flying from 9:00-11:00 this morning which translates to 1400-1600 UTC.  I like the part of the forecast that forecasts the winds @290 degrees @ 6 knots.  What that means to me is that there will not be much of a cross wind for take offs and landings.  I will be using Runway 31.  The heading for the runway is 310 degrees so when I take off and land the winds will almost be straight down the runway which is a good thing when you are flying. 

One thing I will have to watch this morning are the clouds.  We have snow moving in later today and the clouds will be increasing as the day goes on which is why I chose to fly this morning and not this afternoon.  Flying under Visual Flight Rules or VFR I need to see the ground  and maintain a certain distance from the clouds.  If I can’t do that, I can’t fly.  This would not be a day I would choose for a cross-country flight because the weather will be unpredictable.  It is a good day for flying at the airport or near it.  

If the weather cooperates next week I hope to go up with my CFI for my final checkout on the Cessna 172.  Once checked out on the 172 I will be able to take both my parents up for a ride.  I’ve put off taking them for a ride because I wanted to take both of them at the same time.  The 152 is a two seat airplane.  The 172 is a four seat plane.  My Christmas present for them is a plane ride to Alexandria for lunch.  If I don’t get everything done before Christmas with the 172 I may have to come up with something else to wrap up under the tree. 

Did I mention I hate shopping?



Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Flight training, Flying Adventures


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “Just a Little Weather Lesson

  1. sunshineinlondon

    December 10, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Oh, Jeanne, I can’t tell you how much it impresses me that you fly! I am in awe, seriously. Hope you have a lovely flight today, and what an outstanding gift you have planned for your parents. Wow.
    Sunshine xx

  2. flyinggma

    December 10, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Thanks Sunshine. I hope I can get everything done with the 172 so I can take them up. I could take them one at a time but I don’t want to choose who to take first. So its taking a little longer to take them up flying. Heading out for some fun….Yeah!

  3. 36x37

    December 10, 2010 at 10:15 am

    It’s really mind blowing when you think about all of the elements that go into a successful flight. It kind of makes it easier to understand flight delays with commercial airlines. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable flight today. And when the time comes, I hope your parents love the flight to Alexandria. I’d say that has to be one of the most outstanding Christmas gift ideas I’ve ever heard!

    • flyinggma

      December 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

      If I were an instrument rated pilot I would have some more options for flying times but that is more training. There are days when the clouds are low enough at the airport so even the big planes can’t take off or land. Not often though.

      Just got back from flying and it was great to be up flying again even though all I did was practice take offs and landings. I just love being at the airport and listening to the chatter on the radio from the other pilots in the area and the control tower.

  4. writerwoman61

    December 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    [smiling and nodding like I have some idea of what you just said]

    Have a safe flight!


    • flyinggma

      December 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Too funny! When I started learning how to fly I couldn’t believe how much I needed to learn to fly the plane. What surprised me the most was the what I had to learn about navigation and weather. Image that- that you would need to know about those things to fly. Jeanne


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