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Outfly the wind



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 5th 05, 11:04 PM
Doug
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Default Outfly the wind

Although it may SEEM like there is always a headwind both ways, a good
pilot can usually figure out ways to outfly the wind. The biggest tool
in the pilots arsenal is choosing altitude. I fly east from Colorado, I
climb to catch the tailwinds. I fly west and usually the strategy is
fly fairly low (1000' AGL or so) and avoid the strong headwind. I can
also choose the time of day to fly. Winds tend to increase in velocity
as the day goes on. Flying into a headwind? Plan an early start. There
is, of course, a statistical disadvantage to flying and winds. The way
to understand this is envison flying due north in a plane with 100 knot
cruise speed. If there is a wind from due west, one has to crab into
the wind. Turn around and fly due south, and with the wind still from
the due west, you have the same crab into the wind, truly creating
"headwinds both ways". The faster the airplane, the less the effect, so
it is difficult to say just how much of a disadvantage we are at
(although it would be an interesting problem to solve for any of you
mathmaticians out there assume a 120 knot airplane and 20 knot west to
east wind, and equally random direction routes). Bonus points for the
correct answer!

Then there is the decision on whether to divert to the north or south
around a low on an east west trip. Usually the winds around the low
will rotate counterclockwise so north is the winner, if all else is
equal (which it seldom is).

Another difficult problem is to decide if it is worth the climb to
catch a tailwind. Call Fligh****ch and get the forecast winds and then
have fun trying to decide if it's worth it to climb 4000' to catch a 10
knot tailwind for a one hour flight. It usually is, but as they say,
your milage may vary. As an aside comment, it is almost never worth it
to climb in zero wind if your are seeking the fastest speed between two
points, because you never can make up your lost time climbing by
lowering the nose and speeding down (although it may be fun trying).

I have flown east west north and south from my home base in Colorado,
and although I can't proove it, I believe I have, overall, made the
wind to my advantage. Thank goodness the tradewinds from west to east
coincide with the time zone changes giving me that extra hour or two a
day. If it was the other way around, I dunno what I'd do!!

I'm sure there are other outfly the wind tricks, feel free to chime in
with your favs.

Fly safe!

Ads
  #2  
Old July 5th 05, 11:25 PM
Jose
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Default

I'm sure there are other outfly the wind tricks, feel free to chime in
with your favs.


Disregard the wind, fly low, enjoy the view.

Jose

--
You may not get what you pay for, but you sure as hell pay for what you get.
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
  #3  
Old July 5th 05, 11:29 PM
Bob Noel
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Default

In article ,
Jose wrote:

I'm sure there are other outfly the wind tricks, feel free to chime in
with your favs.


Disregard the wind, fly low, enjoy the view.


just fly and enjoy the view. :-)

--
Bob Noel
no one likes an educated mule

  #4  
Old July 6th 05, 12:14 AM
Paul Tomblin
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Default

In a previous article, Jose said:
I'm sure there are other outfly the wind tricks, feel free to chime in
with your favs.


Disregard the wind, fly low, enjoy the view.


Disregard the wind, and climb above the lowest cumulus clouds to get a
smoother ride and better visibility. Plus if you go above 3,000' AGL, you
have a WAY lower chance of encountering other traffic.


--
Paul Tomblin http://xcski.com/blogs/pt/
"I love the smell of burning components in the morning.
Smells like victory." (The ******* Operator From Hell)
  #5  
Old July 6th 05, 01:18 AM
Doug
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Default

Most relevant for long trips where you are trying to make time, not so
much enjoy the view.

One other comment. I have found, flying east to west over the midwest,
it is bumpy below the cumulus, especially on a hot afternoon. It is
smooth high up, but I encounter the stiff headwinds. Another tradeoff,
this time between bumpy and fast vs. smooth and slooow.

  #6  
Old July 6th 05, 04:26 AM
John Gaquin
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Default


"Doug" wrote in message

....If there is a wind from due west, one has to crab into
the wind. Turn around and fly due south, and with the wind still from
the due west, you have the same crab into the wind, truly creating
"headwinds both ways".


it is difficult to say just how much of a disadvantage we are at
(although it would be an interesting problem to solve


We played with this some 35 years ago when I was first working on my
commercial certificate. IIRC, in a light single with "moderate" or greater
winds, you need the wind to be 12-15 degrees aft of the wing before you
start getting any "tailwind" benefit at all.


  #7  
Old July 6th 05, 03:03 PM
Nathan Young
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Default

On 5 Jul 2005 15:04:23 -0700, "Doug"
wrote:

I'm sure there are other outfly the wind tricks, feel free to chime in
with your favs.


A lot of my trips are North / South, starting in the Midwest,
departing on one day, returning on the next.

If you time a trip to coincide to leave before a frontal passing, and
return shortly afterwards - you can get a tailwind in both directions.

Also, I study the winds aloft maps to determine best cruising altitude
prior to each flight. I also have XM Sat weather in the plane, which
displays winds aloft info, this is good for making enroute decisions
on altitude selection.

-Nathan

  #8  
Old July 6th 05, 03:18 PM
Dave Butler
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Default

Doug wrote:

I'm sure there are other outfly the wind tricks, feel free to chime in
with your favs.


Look up "pressure pattern navigation". It's not something I'm competent at, but
it looks interesting and I'd like to learn more about it.

DGB
 




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