The Atmosphere | Atmospheric Stability |Clouds, Fog & Precipitation | Weather Systems | Describing the Weather | Thunderstorms | Conditions for Soaring
Weather patterns on Earth are complicated and seemingly chaotic. Weather is a result of the atmosphere's constant attempt to reach equilibrium. This equilibrium is continually upset by uneven solar heating of the Earth's surface caused by cloud cover, the uneven distribution of land and water, and the Earth's tilt and rotation, among other factors.
As glider pilots, we are dependent on the weather. As long as it isn't raining or too windy, or the clouds aren't too low, we can glide. But to soar, that is, to be able to stay aloft and climb, we must be able to find rising air, which we call “lift".
The three main types of lift are thermal, ridge, and mountain wave. Thermals are warm air masses that rise because they are less dense than the surrounding air. Ridge lift results when wind is forced up by a ridge. Mountain wave lift is created when winds aloft interact with low-level winds that have been displaced by a mountain.
The weather can also create hazards for the glider pilot. Certain weather events can damage or destroy a glider, in the air or on the ground. Often, the very conditions that create good lift also can create hazards.
In this course, you will learn about the forces that create the weather so that you will be able to predict good soaring days, and to avoid dangerous conditions.
Russell is the author of two well-respected and widely-used soaring flight training books in the United States - the Glider Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the Flight Training Manual for Glider Pilots.
Russell grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.
He obtained his Private Pilot Certificate in gliders in 1995, in airplanes in 1996, his Commercial Certificate in Gliders in 1998, and his Certified Flight Instructor rating in gliders in 1999. He completed the FAI Silver Badge requirements in 1997, and the Gold and Diamond requirements in 1998. Russell has given over 2,800 hours of primary, cross-country, contest, and aerobatic flight instruction, and has over 4,000 hours total time in gliders.
Russell's passion for understanding and communicating soaring knowledge is evident in his teaching.
Excellent!!! Best discussion of the feared Skew T Log P chart that I have seen. Sample charts with questions really help the student understand the chart and make it useful tool for predicting so...Read More
Excellent!!! Best discussion of the feared Skew T Log P chart that I have seen. Sample charts with questions really help the student understand the chart and make it useful tool for predicting soaring conditions.Read Less