Last year on big potential day but with definite OD probability in Sun Valley early in the flight out towards the Big Lost Range some big cumulus were getting a little too big for my comfort level. When it started to rain lightly I decided to land. Reavis was just ahead of me and decided he could safely outrun the cell using a combination of in-flight weather tools that I didn’t even know existed, and from the thorough analysis of the day that he’d done before we flew. A couple weeks later we were both involved in a successful rescue of a good friend of ours who crashed in very remote terrain and again I learned some invaluable lessons from what Reavis carries with him every time he flies (see the podcast with Matt Wilkes for a lot more on safety and rescue protocols). Reavis learned to fly a decade ago and to this day has a pretty unusual experience with being in the air- he doesn’t experience fear. But he had a very firm understanding of the risks and wanted to be a safe pilot and took his progression and learning seriously and conservatively. This approach has given Reavis, who is now one of the pilots who regularly sends huge lines in North America a unique flying toolbox to help decipher the weather and more. Reavis is a software engineer and lives on the road chasing flying hours year-round (and BTW he answers the most common question I get from our listeners- how do you change your life so you can fly more?). His analytical mind and passion for flight will help you develop a totally different set of skills that will increase your potential as an XC pilot.
A buck an episode, that’s all we ask.
Show Notes:Reavis has given us some awesome resources. Here they are in no particular order:
- Thermal hotspots: https://thermal.kk7.ch/ To download waypoints click the download icon in the toolbar on the left. The download will be based on your map view any any filters you have applied.
Weather:To access the local AFD (Area Forecast Discussion): Go to http://www.weather.gov/, enter a location in the “Local forecast” search box and click “Go.” Click the link below “Your local forecast office is.” Somewhere on the next page, you should find a link to “Forecast discussion.” Often if can be found under “Forecasts” in the navigation, but each local office page is different.To access point forecasts: Go to http://www.weather.gov/, enter an approximate location in the “Local forecast” search box and click “Go.” Choose the exact location by clicking on the map. For a detailed forecast chart, click “Hourly Weather Forecast” under “Additional Forecasts and Information.”XCSkies: https://www.xcskies.comGOES-16 satellite imagery: http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/exper/Windy: https://www.windy.com/Balloon soundings: http://weather.unisys.com/upper_air/skew/Forecast skew-t: https://rucsoundings.noaa.gov/Aviation winds aloft: https://aviationweather.gov/windtemp
Airband Radio:Information about airband licensing: https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/aviation-radio-services/aircraft-stationsInformation about AWOS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_airport_weather_stationA good tool for looking up airband frequencies TFRs etc: https://skyvector.com/
Amateur Radio:US League:XContest:Worldwide flight search: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights-search/
Mentioned in this episode: Southern California League, Jugdeep Aggarwal, Gavin Fridlund, XCSkies,