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Navigating Weather

A Pilot's Guide to Airborne and Datalink Weather Radar

David Ison

184 pages
Aviation Supplies & Acad Inc

Weather radar information is one of the most valuable tools available to pilots to ensure safe, efficient, and comfortable flight operations. Onboard weather radar allows pilots to tactically navigate near and around severe weather with confidence. And with the advent of datalink radar data systems, pilots of all types of aircraft and skill levels can easily access similar vital information. Yet pilots must understand how to use these technologies and their potential flaws to avoid inadvertently getting too close to or penetrating severe weather, which could obviously have detrimental outcomes.

Author Dr. David Ison takes you through the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to operate both airborne and datalink weather radar. With a focus on simplicity and real-world application, Dr. Ison introduces and explains the essential concepts of radar operation and interpretation. Beginning with radar and severe weather theory, he covers attributes of inclement weather phenomena, how they are detected, and how pilots can evaluate these conditions through available radar sources. Airborne weather radar essentials such as attenuation, tilt management, contouring, and gain are explained with real-world examples. The text outlines advanced features including auto-tilt, turbulence detection, wind shear warning systems, and terrain mapping and provides operational strategies for all phases of flight. The detailed sections on datalink radar information explain how the system works, how to use available data, and common pitfalls. Dr. Ison describes the advantages and disadvantages of both airborne and datalink radar systems to help pilots understand the best and most effective use of each.

Each chapter provides case examples, concept questions to test your understanding, and scenarios to assess your judgment and evaluation skills. Regardless of your current skill level—and whether you are just considering adding datalink radar to your toolkit or have been flying with airborne radar for years—this book can serve as a fundamental reference on using radar data in flight.

Author Bio

Dr. David C. Ison has been involved in the aviation industry for over 30 years both as a flight instructor and flying for regional and major airlines. Early in his career, Dr. Ison served as a first officer, captain, and chief pilot for a regional airline flying Embraer-120 Brasilias and Canadair Regional Jets. While flying for a major airline, he was assigned to fly missions all over the world in a Lockheed L-1011, and most recently flew Boeing 737-800 aircraft throughout North and Central America.

Dr. Ison has over 6,000 hours of flight time and holds ATP Multi-Engine Land, Commercial Single-Engine Land and Sea, Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument Flight Instructor, Multi-Engine Flight Instructor, Ground Instructor—Instrument and Advanced, and Aircraft Dispatcher certifications. He has also been honored by the National Association of Flight Instructors as a Master Ground Instructor.

Dr. Ison is the Research Chair and Associate Professor of Aeronautics for the College of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. He holds a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science—Operations Specialization from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a PhD in Educational Studies/Higher Education Leadership with a Specialization in Aviation Education. Dr. Ison regularly contributes articles to the scholarly aviation publications IFR Refresher, Professional Pilot, and Plane & Pilot magazine, and was awarded the 2012 Frank E. Sorenson Award for his outstanding achievement of excellence in aviation research/scholarship.