Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I was hoping to continue the good flying this past weekend, but home improvement projects prevailed. Saturday was foggy and yucky (technical term!), so our plane was stuck at another airport after its 100 hour. Sunday promised nice weather for flying-- and our plane made it back home, but we were already knee deep in our home improvement project. So I spent the day learning how to wire electrical outlets and standing on ladders installing lights. I was sad to miss flying-- but I know I'll enjoy our newly redone basement once it is finished!

So I thought I might head out for a little midweek flying. I have a client meeting that ends at a time that would allow me to make it to the airport (the client site is closer to the airport than my office)... but alas, these are the METARs and TAF (terminal area forecast) that I found when I looked online to guage my chances for flying.

KJYO 141540Z AUTO 18008KT 2SM BR OVC002 13/13 A2991 RMK AO2

KIAD 141612Z 18004KT 1SM R01R/P6000FT BR BKN003 OVC005 13/12 A2989 RMK AO2

KIAD 141613Z 141612 18005KT 1SM BR BKN003
FM1700 19006KT 3SM BR BKN015
FM1800 20007KT P6SM BKN015
PROB30 0306 5SM -RA OVC050
FM0600 21007KT 2SM -RA BR OVC025
FM1000 30008KT P6SM -RA OVC050

For those not used to reading these... basically, the top line tells me what the weather is currently at JYO, the second line tells me what it is at IAD, and then the bottom section of lines tell me the forecast for IAD over a 24 hour period. So, the weather at JYO pretty cruddy. Two miles of visibility, mist, overcast at 200 feet-- not at all flying conditions. (Minimum visual conditions are 3 miles visibility and 1000 ft AGL ceilings-- in most cases.) However, the thing that caught my eye here is the METAR for IAD (the second line).

KIAD 141612Z 18004KT
The first part of the line just tells me that the wind at Dulles on the 14th at 11:12am EST was out of the south at 4 knots. That part's fine.

1SM R01R/P6000FT
This second piece gets more interesting. 1 SM means one statute mile of visibility (really not good-- I don't fly VFR with less than about 6 or 7-- and that's with a G1000!). R01R/P6000FT means that the runway visual range for runway 01 right is about 6000 ft. That's not much considering the runway is 11,500 ft long. So when you get to the end of it, you can see about halfway down it. But approaching it (which is when you really care where it is since once you're actually over it and landing, you better be on target!)... you can only see the very tip of it as you are on short final. Crazy. I bet the big boys are having fun today.

1 comment:

Scott Schappell said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog, I've linked back to this one.

That is yucky wx, indeed! Though I'm discovering that when I grab weather online it's a far cry from what's actually at the 'drome.

Ah well.