|Posted by Aaron Harrington on June 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM|
Well, it sure has been a while since my last post and to my faithful followers (Duane, Rob, Mike, Roy, etc) I have a new post! (and there was much rejoicing).
If anyone is excited for summer, it is definitely a pilot. No more icy mornings spent removing the frost from the top of the wings of a high wing airplane. No more frozen fingers durring preflight (for those of us who always seem to forget our gloves....yeah, im guilty) and now we can use the grass runways! However, summer does present its own challenges as now the afternoon thunderstorm becomes the new norm. These storms are generally not related to frontal activity, but are known as convective thunderstorms. Convective thunderstorms are produced by instability in the atmosphere (remember ground school?) which is a result of advection of low level warm air. Convection is a scientific term (here comes my inner geek) which is used to describe the movement of a fluid (in this case air) where hotter (less dense) fluid rises through a colder (more dense) fluid. This is why you seen convective thunderstorms rising and rising and rising. BTW, if you live near mountains, you might get "convective" activity caused by warm air rising as it goes up the slope of a mountain. In the winter mostly (but also in the summer) you can see lenticular (lense shaped) clouds over mountains, but in the summer especially, this process can cause thunderstorms. The geek in me has to tell you once again the scientific term for this being Orographic Thunderstorms.....
Anyways, I am excited about summer flying and although I wont be able to see the skyline of Atlantic City from 3,000 ft above Harford County Airport anymore due to severe haze (laughably 'light' for our California friends out there) My flying possiblities are increasing. I actually have a few 'real' trips to go on as my cousin's graduation party is in July and I'll be flying to that. They live in upstate NY so that will be a nice trip. My parents want me to fly them down the Hudson, another nice trip. Hopefully i'll be the proud co-owner of an airplane come mid fall and I can start my instrument training, but in the mean time, practice and fun flying are my summer goals. Do some SFRA, maybe go into the FRZ, go to the beach, and land in the grass! If you have any summer flying plans, I would love to know. Post a comment below!