Tag Archives: staying current

Just a Little Weather Lesson

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


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