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Jet WX radar ops

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by scooter2525, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. scooter2525

    scooter2525 Well-Known Member

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    Someone in another thread mentioned something about their radar not working more then 50 miles out and that being a challenge. So I'm curious to how far out you jet jocks keep it pointed?
  2. TFaudree_ERAU

    TFaudree_ERAU Mashin' dem buttons

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  3. higney85

    higney85 Property of Scheduling

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    Step 1, know where the storm is before departing. Pre-plan as needed to avoid (elicit dispatch if needed)

    Step 2, paint it enroute (using ATC and other reports as needed to pinpoint) in addition to on board radar.

    Step 3, use common sense and experience to avoid the problem areas.
    Autothrust Blue and ctab5060X like this.
  4. TFaudree_ERAU

    TFaudree_ERAU Mashin' dem buttons

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    Easier said than done in MOST of the world. Ever departed a desolate Caribbean island with limited or no internet or phone access (after laying over there for 3 days and losing "the big picture"), followed by 3 hours of cruising in WATRS airspace and no one playing nice on 123.45 when you ask for weather reports? Not a good time to be unsure about your radar usage technique.
    dasleben likes this.
  5. higney85

    higney85 Property of Scheduling

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    I thought the default answer was "don't hesitate, penetrate"?

    That's the problem with "techinique" around here.....
    highalt41 likes this.
  6. BobDDuck

    BobDDuck Gone whale watching...

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    The radar in the CRJ (and I'd guess the newer Challangers) is good out to about 80 miles for general avoidance. For actually penetrating weather I think about 10 miles is the max useful range. You can see big stuff up to 160 miles out but that is for planning purposes only. The newer multiscan radars are much better and in auto mode do just about everything for you.
  7. scooter2525

    scooter2525 Well-Known Member

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    I know how to use a radar and understand the concepts of using one enroute, but I'm thinking with the speeds jets are flying at vs my paltry king air, I imagine keepin an eye out a 100+ is advised?
  8. TFaudree_ERAU

    TFaudree_ERAU Mashin' dem buttons

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    I posted the article because it pretty much says what works best.

    "Perhaps the most obvious technique then, is to periodically alternate the tilt and range. This may slightly increase pilot workload, but it is not nearly as workload intensive as diverting to the nearest field with aircraft damage and injured passengers. The default setting when weather is anywhere near the aircraft is a shorter range - say, 50 miles to 80 miles - and a tilt setting that puts ground clutter on the outer one-third of the display, approximately."

    I look at 100 occasionally if I suspect something is out there. But for the most part, it's 50 and less.
  9. higney85

    higney85 Property of Scheduling

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    Just make a "game plan". I do it as a CA in an RJ the same as I did solo in a Cessna. Figure out where the weather is, make a plan, and use the radar to verify. Always keep an alternate in the pocket "in case" things don't go as planned.
  10. dasleben

    dasleben a> run "dasleben's_email"

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    We're usually looking out 160+, but as TFaudree said, there are areas of the world where the forecast may be completely incorrect (or missing). Also, I've seen storms in the Caribbean paint very poorly, lulling you into a false sense of security.
  11. typhoonpilot

    typhoonpilot Well-Known Member

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    In cruise 1 pilot in 160NM with autotilt it will be -1 degree, the other pilot in 80 mile at -2 degrees. Multi-Scan radars can be very misleading because they will continue to show weather that is well below the aircraft. If there is actually weather around it is necessary to switch to manual in order to make good decisions on the actual height of the weather and the need to deviate. Try to go-around everything of course but if it is necessary to pick one's way between or through areas of weather then switching to 40NM is good to get turbulence predictions.

    Dave Gwinn is one of the world's leading experts on airborne weather radar and it's use. Before him it was Archie Trammell.

    Here's a link to a guest chat we did with Dave Gwinn over at PPW

    http://forums.propilotworld.com/sho...-Weather-Radar-Expert&highlight=weather radar



    Typhoonpilot
  12. BobDDuck

    BobDDuck Gone whale watching...

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    Gwinn posted here fora bit too but I can't seem to find the thread.
  13. Maurus

    Maurus The Great Gazoo

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    Can't forget that dish size is an important factor. A 767 can paint a storm further out and more accurately than a King Air 200 because of the size difference.

    What I have found is my radar likes to die when a nasty night of storms arrive. I've been in level flight in smooth air and had radar just randomly decide to move the cells 5+ miles to one side or the other every time it swiped. Luckily I didn't get stuck in a stupid overcast layer that seems to always form around 16000 and go up to 230 when storms are around.
  14. C150J

    C150J Well-Known Member

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    I'm really lucky now: 18" Collins antenna with MultiScan, 300NM range (while still "painting" all storms within that range), and an AUTO mode that makes manual tilt unnecessary. It also removes virtually all ground clutter automatically and has climatic data in the receiver that adjusts gain for geographic location/relative humidity.

    Used it all of August and was incredibly impressed.
  15. TFaudree_ERAU

    TFaudree_ERAU Mashin' dem buttons

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    I have a CBT for that system. Pretty incredible technology.
  16. higney85

    higney85 Property of Scheduling

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    Without the new toys... I typically put the scale to 40/80 coming out of 10K and 80/160 into the flight levels. I can't talk about the carribean stuff, I'm spoiled with a "last glance" on the iphone or ipad before pushback to see where the "junk" is. Once airborne, I'll paint it and use a mix of visual cues (daytime) and reports from pilots ahead. Thankfully, in the Delta system, the "chop" is reported about a hemisphere away so the reports work well. Once a "spot" is known, I make sure to paint it and track it as I pass. Being paid by the minute, I don't mind "5 left for 80 miles". Not trying to burn up the pay clock, but I fly like I vote, conservative. I was "blessed" in surviving flights with CA's (as an FO) that believed in "don't hesitate, penetrate". If it can be avoided, I'll do it. I have never heard a pax complain for being 5 minutes late to avoid bad Wx. I had a CA truly "penetrate" severe weather once, that was enough for me. Nothing like the A/P clicking off and the CA saying "OH S**T" to realize this is a mistake to learn from.

    FWIW, the corp folks I know with all the "toys" seem to file around it, or go above it (FL410+). Without those luxuries, and a dispatch group that believes in "shortest distance between 2 points", some extra fuel and common sense has kept things calm...

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