Checking wx too much

DX Rick

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I have been flying with a friend for a while now. He's constantly checking the weather. The last few days it has been clear and a million and forecasted for severe clear. During pre flight he checks the wx computer, then calls for a briefing. Thats fine, I respect that.

Then before we get in the airplane he calls all the local awos and asos in the area just to make sure. At first I thought he was joking, but he's not. When listening to ATIS and he hears the winds have changed or picked up from what the briefer or METAR reported, I see a look of concern on his face.

When airborne he is constantly listening to ATIS of airports as we pass them, and other wx reporting services in route (which again I respect) and then our destination airport he listens to thier ATIS until we contact tower, and he will let it continously play.

I have more time, which doesn't mean I'm a better pilot, but it's his plane and he is PIC so I don't say anything about it.

I agree to check wx, and on bad thunderstorm days I would check the weather like that myself, but he does this on severe clear days.

I would like to mention it to him, but I don't want him to get offended. How would you go about telling someone to tone down on this? Maybe educate him more on weather?
 

LAXSaabdude

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Just curious, what is his demeanor? This reminded me of a couple of students I had. One of them was working on his commercial/multi. It was our first lesson, we were going to do some basic VFR intro to the Apache. It was a crystal clear VFR day. He showed up a little early, and by the time I had finished with my previous student, he had printed out a weather report covering the entire west coast, including various weather maps.

When we taxied out, he was listening to the ATIS at PDX which was about 4 miles away. At the time, we did not have to call PDX to get cleared out of their airspace, nor were we planning on landing there, but this guy was diligently writing down the entire ATIS, including runways in use, and NOTAMS. I asked him why he was going into such detail, and he said "Well, I figure I'm going to be flying a Metroliner for Horizon pretty soon, so I have to get used to this." I explained to him that he was going to be instructing for quite some time first, and that he should learn to keep it simple so as not to overwhelm his students. Plus, I told him he would be better served learning the Apache first. Anyway, to make a long story short, this guy was "all about the image". He had a pre-concieved notion about what "commercial pilots" do, and he wanted to live the part.

Another guy, totally opposite. He was terrified, almost to the point of paralysis in even light turbulence. We were flying along in clear, smooth VFR weather, and we tuned the ASOS to an airport we were going to be landing at. He listened to the weather, and when it got to the remarks section, it said "Thunderstorm information not available." As soon as he heard the word "Thunderstorm", he looked at me and said "UH-OH!" Now I could see the airport from where we were at that point, and there was not a thunderstorm within 200 miles in any direction, but he got so freaked out by the mere mention of the word, that he didn't notice the rest of the remarks.

Over-absorbing yourself in any task is not good for any pilot. Is he doing it out of fear or trying to create some image? Either way, it may help you to remind him that his first duty is to "fly the airplane first". Getting wrapped up in extra unneccessary tasks is asking for trouble. Kind of reminds me of the old adage "Don't drop the airplane to fly the microphone".

LAXSaabdude.
 

TriJet

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these guys wouldn't last 1 day in the 135 world.
 
T

TDTURBO

Don't bother checking that stuff anymore if you wait till Oshkosk and get the new Lawrence 3000 or the Garmin 396 with terrrain and XM WX Nexrad uplinked satalitte image overlays with freezing levels, cloud tops, winds aloft, everything for 2500 bucks.
 

DX Rick

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LAXSaabdude said:
Is he doing it out of fear or trying to create some image? Either way, it may help you to remind him that his first duty is to "fly the airplane first".
LAXSaabdude.
I wouldn't go as far to say fear. Maybe uncomfortable because he isn't experienced. He has 230 hours, all VFR. He doesn't like turb. he hates it. I have to remind him the airplane isn't going to fall out of the sky, or fall to pieces.
 

midlifeflyer

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If I was going to bother educating this guy, I'd start with educating myself by asking him why he checks it so often. Maybe it's lack of understanding - gets the briefing, but doesn't understand the forest so he concentrates on trees. But maybe it's just one of a hundred habits we purposely get ourselves into just put us on automatic for more stressful situations. Or maybe something in between.
 

nosehair

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midlifeflyer said:
But maybe it's just one of a hundred habits we purposely get ourselves into just put us on automatic for more stressful situations. Or maybe something in between.
Deeeep!, but true.
 

Goose Egg

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I would like to mention it to him, but I don't want him to get offended. How would you go about telling someone to tone down on this? Maybe educate him more on weather?
I don't think that the weather itself is the problem. More likely it's his confidence in his ability to deal with said weather. Address that first and see if it helps at all.

-Goose
 
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avbug

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He may show a little excess, but I certainly wouldn't lift a finger to discourage him. He will seek his own level with time, but his concern for safety is certainly commendable.

Someone who is concerned with safety, even to excess, can certainly last a long time in the 135 world.

It seems that many operators just aren't capable...
 

Flyin Tony

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Don't bother checking that stuff anymore if you wait till Oshkosk and get the new Lawrence 3000 or the Garmin 396 with terrrain and XM WX Nexrad uplinked satalitte image overlays with freezing levels, cloud tops, winds aloft, everything for 2500 bucks.
I just got the Echoflight GPS with all that stuff, Its nice. But toooooo many wires!!
 

CLECA

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The only thing I see potentially wrong with this is getting distrracted by a continuouisly running atis when in critical phases of flight. In the terminal area you should be focused on what the controllers are saying and flying the plane. Enroute though I say "to each his own". Yeah its a little strange but, Oh well. After your initial contact with approach they will let you know of any changes. When I first saw the title of this thread I thought "good for him" always checking is a good thing but constantly letting it run might be a pre cursor to something bad happening because you were distracted. Just my opinion though.
 

satpak77

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sounds kinda overboard....

checking ATIS at every airport? what if he misses an ATC call?

what I typically do is during the enroute phase, 50% to my destination, call FSS and get a "major weather" update, such as rainshowers, convective activity, icing, and I always get currect observ at my destination.

I also put ATIS on Comm 2 when I am maybe 100 miles out, then if radio traffic allows, I will get the ATIS and swtich to monitor the destination tower just to get a "picture" of whats going on locally.

later
 

PGH STEEL

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1) Dont hesitate penatrate !!!!!
2) Why check WX your going anyway
 

satpak77

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penetrate dont be late

turn that off it scares me
 

DenverDude2002

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Hes probably just paranoid, maybe obsessive complulsive disorder. I know around here it seems like storms can pop up outta nowhere, good old Colorado for ya. Honestly id give it time but i wouldnt get on his case to much, hes just trying to be safe, im sure he'll get better about it sometime. I think a lot of students/low timers like to double check things to makr sure, better to be safe than sorry. if hes not doing IFR, tell him to get a cell phone that you can get weather radar on. Sprint has that option with the internet, brings up live dopplar for any area and wx forecasts.
 

Flyin Tony

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I flew back from KCOS to KAPV last night and man I must say Thank You Flight Watch!!!!!!!
 

casper1nine

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avbug's right, this will work itself out as this person's understanding and comfort level meet. other posters are correct about this as a distraction in critical phases of flight. perhaps as a gift you could buy your friend the following two classics:

aviation weather-for pilots and flight operations personnel

and

aviation weather services

both make excellent toilet reading! other than being annoying, i don't think that your friend is at too much risk. it sounds as though he probably won't be flying anywhere near any hazardous WX conditions, and on the list of stupid SHIZNIT that pilots do, this rates pretty low.

my favorite is the opposite, the cool guy cfi who doesn't get weather briefings prior to his lessons and thinks that a day with low level wind shear and severe turbulance is a good day to practice x-wind landings with a pre-solo student. way to teach your students responsibly!!!!!!! sun's shinin'..... let's go fly!

casper1nine
 

learflyer

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Maybe you can take and fly him around some isolated t'storms (non-imbedded), and make him realize that HE is in control, and it's ok if thunderstorms are forecast. Tell him that t'storms are not always there when forecast, etc.
 

Flywrite

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TDTURBO said:
Don't bother checking that stuff anymore if you wait till Oshkosk and get the new Lawrence 3000 or the Garmin 396 with terrrain and XM WX Nexrad uplinked satalitte image overlays with freezing levels, cloud tops, winds aloft, everything for 2500 bucks.
There is nothing wrong with being careful about the weather, but when it runs to the extreme in this pilot's case, coupled with the equipment above in the cockpit you have the makings of a midair. This is compounded by the fact that a pilot with this much insecurity with the weather is most likely to be out and about on a gorgeous day when everyone and their brother is out VFRing.

You say you dont feel right saying much since it is his airplane and he is PIC. How about next time you rent/borrow/steal an airplane YOU take him for a flight, perhaps on a day when some thunderstorms are forecast, or it's a bit windy, etc. Show him how you check the weather (assuming you do it in a safe, cautious, but reasonable way), and that everything will work out OK without a live weather feed.
 
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