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What's the best way to learn weather?

rumpletumbler

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I'm getting back into flying after getting out of it 20 years ago. I had several really bad instructors who convinced me that no one who had a job in aviation had any respect for safety and or regulations. I'm currently working on my CFI and realize that when I do qualify to get a job doing anything else I'll probably still be 20 years out of instrument currency. I don't see the CFII as much of an option as even if you fly actual teaching your really not going to go up in the kind of weather you would face flying checks, freight, etc. So while I have my own opinion on how to gain real world experience and possibly even (gasp) have someone teach me something while doing it I'd like to hear from you. I'm assuming and or kind of hoping that most folks don't just get instrument current and go jump in a cherokee six with a sack of checks with no wx avoidance capability and just go at it. I'm sure this happens but there has to be a better way. Ideas?

Thanks!

RT
 

V-1

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Things have probably changed for better a little over the last twenty years. When I flew freight not long ago, there was some form of graphical weather display, PanAm, WSI, DTN, Weathermation, etc. at nearly every FBO (all of them along our route). That was very beneficial to check before calling flight service for the briefing.

I might have been in a sheltered part of the world, but I think most of the serious freight haulers flew twins, and they all had either radar or a stormscope aboard. Though limited in capability, those pieces of equipment usually will help you stay out of the heavy stuff.

Air Traffic Control always did a good job working with us freight guys. Their equipment is limited, but helpful.

Don't forget about flight watch and pireps. One of the biggest eye-openers for me was how many different levels of braking action there are between the officially sanctioned "poor" and "nil"! Flying in N. Michigan you heard stuff like "very poor", "almost nil", "exceptionally poor", etc. when the runways got really bad and no one wanted to "shut the airport down" by calling it "nil"! Strongly consider avoiding an airport if you hear an adjective in front of the word "poor". ;)

Most piston freight runs will keep you in the air less than an hour and a half, from what I've seen. Usually a good briefing and examination of cell positions, intensities, direction, and speed should give you help in forming a plan of action to deal with the challenge. Always remember, no operator wants you to bring back a beaten-up, hail-damaged airplane.

Regards
 

avbug

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RT,

I am confused by your post. At 450 hours total time, you have experience in Metroliners and Citations, but don't understand weather or how to fly instruments. You believe all pilots are unprofessional and unsafe, but want a professional pilot to teach you to fly instruments.

First and foremost, seek qualified and competent instruction. Then keep your recent experience current, and begin applying it in a working environment.

You can't act as PIC under IFR for a certificate holder (eg, Part 135) until you have at least 1,200 hours total experience. You have a little time to develop some of the skills you'll need before embarking on extensive instrument flying.
 

V-1

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I just reread your post and thought I'd add that I think most operators would encourage you to ride along (you might have to volunteer your time) on some of the runs for a bit to help you get proficient again.
 

rumpletumbler

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I have about 70 hours in a Metroliner that was all PIC. It was a part 91 operation and I was working line service at the time and knew the crew. The captains wife went to work for Piedmont and so he took me on freelance and let me do a lot of flying. It was a great experience although in that time we didn't run into what I would consider weather that needed to be dealt with. I have about 30 hours SIC in Citations. It was a part 135 operation where I was able to fly SIC on part 91 legs with the owners. We took the owners somewhere and I got the deadhead home. It also was a great experience but I didn't get much weather there either. I don't consider ALL pilots unprofessional or I wouldn't be getting back in. I did have some really bad experiences with some really bad instructors and at the time I was young and that was all I had as a frame of reference. I'm not instrument current because I can't afford it. I'm getting the CFI because it's the only way I see back into aviation. I can't afford it either, I'm getting a Sallie Mae loan are we are doing well to hold onto our home. Not whining here just trying to give you some information.

RT
 

bobbysamd

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Weather experience

Instructing instruments in actual is a good and time-honored way to get weather experience. Depending on where you live, you can take your students into (safe) actual to shoot approaches, enroute, hold (with ATC's cooperation), and build up your experience gradually. You can take an approach from time to time to demonstrate to your students and build and maintain your proficiency. Of course, you don't want to make a habit of taking approaches from your students.

Also, go up with an instructor friend and take turns shooting approaches. I had some great times going up in actual with other instructors to shoot approaches. In those days, ten-fifteen years ago, we'd sign off comp checks for each other, so we got something tangible out of the deal besides actual in our logbooks. The rules for IPCs were a little different then; now an IPC is a virtual instrument checkride.

Getiting your CFI and instructing is a great way, and maybe the best way, to get back into the ballgame. Good luck with your efforts.
 

flydog

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Doesnt a Metroliner require a type rating?
 

rumpletumbler

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I imagine some do. This one was was under 12,500lbs. It was an older plane and I think had the Dash 7's with water methanol on it. I have no idea what the weight difference would be but I know most of the other 226's that I saw had Dash 10's. I have no idea if this makes much of a weight difference but I would think it would. I believe the gross weight of the aircraft was 11,000 something.

RT
 

SDdriver

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You might seriously check that SA226 situation, because I have never seen a metro that didn't require a type, so 91, 135 no matter if you don't have the type, you don't have the PIC. Now if it was a Merlin, they are under 12,500, but I have flown metros and never have see a SA226 that didn't require a type. Just letting you know this so that at your first interview the guy doesn't look at you crazy when he see's that you have PIC turbine time in a type required aircraft and no type. Even if it is iffy I would not log it PIC cause if it was for some chance a special aircraft that didn't require it, you will have a tough time making some interviewers believe it. I know in the aircraft I fly, we have diferent motors for some and it doesn't make a huge difference in weight so I don't know about different motors making the difference. CHECK it out, it will save you some pain later!

SD
 

rumpletumbler

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It was an SA-226 in the manual. Also called a Merlin IV. I believed the Metroliner to be a nickname and not a plane type but from what you are saying it sounds like it might be a different bird. I know for certain that the a/c I flew didn't require a type. So I'm guessing there is a difference?

RT
 

rumpletumbler

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I hate to be the most frequent poster to my own thread but can we get back to the original question now?

RT
 

MetroSheriff

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The SA 226 and SA 227 are both Part 23 a/c. The SA 226 had a MAX gtw of 12,500 depending on engine and props, and required NO type rating. The SA 227 had a mgtw of 14,500 or 16,000 depending on mods (mainly ldg gear) and required a type rating.

I would have to agree with the previous poster however, in terms of "all" PIC. While in comparison to transport category jet airliners, the Metro is just another turbo-prop. However, it is complex enough and there are alot of folks that flew them in their regional heyday that you may come across at an interview. You may want to be cautious about logging all PIC. For a turbo-prop it is a complex, and convoluted design that does not lend itself to someone jumping in and acting as PIC without some pretty thorough training.

Just some food for thought. These are the basics, if you want to get into specifics, I could talk about the old "sewer pipe" all day...lol
 

rumpletumbler

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The flying I did in the SA-226 was 20 years ago. I never went to a class nor did I know the systems. It was part 91 and there wasn't a legal requirement to do so. I would have love to have done so had the training been provided. I did fly all I logged though. There were many trips that I didn't log. I wasn't alone there was someone plenty qualified in the other seat but I was sole manipulator of the controls. I knew enough about the systems to know when to turn the bleeds on and off, the methanol (your nose will let you know if you get the bleeds to soon after turning this one off) in my case it only took once to know to wait a few more seconds. I was to be trained formally in the a/c if hired full time but that never happened. They went to a single pilot operation after figuring out it would cost them some $18,000 a year to hire someone full time. My guess is that his wife had done it for free but I couldn't afford to.

RT
 
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