Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By Fellsteruk
Parrrrp, sorry couldn’t help it :evil: :evil:

Actually a valid question, got me MET exam next week and I’m feeling pretty good for it mock tests going well etc but two question types keep tripping me up and I wanted to ask if there is a good way to remember these things?

1. The questions about wind vector at 2k is x/y it’s the summer in land what’s the surface wind and some times talks about being at night.

No matter how much I read about the wind backing and the backing and speed reduction day vs night I’m not getting it.

2. Them long drawn out questions, look at 214/215 flight planned X to Y, depart at 2pm, which is the correct statement.

I seem to be getting these right 50/50, I can read both charts and METARs pretty well but they seem to catch me out.

What’s the best process for these questions, is it just process of elimination, which statements are wrong then which statement is most correct? That’s how I’ve been trying to do it but as I say 50/50 success.

Also am I likely to get at least one of these flight planning questions.

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By David Wood
I'm not a meteorologist so excuse any inaccuracies in the following. There are some better qualified people around who may come along and answer you more fully.

For my tu'penny worth: basically the wind flowing over the surface of the earth is caused by the pressure gradient in the atmosphere but is influenced by the movement of the earth beneath it (Coriolis effect) and by the 'drag' effect that the wind experiences as it flows over the rough surface (hills, building, woods etc). The effect of the latter gives rise to a reduction in wind velocity the closer you get to the ground (or alternatively, an increase in wind velocity over the first first couple of thousand feet as you get further away from the ground). That effect is less pronounced over the smoother sea. The effect of the former in the Northern Hemisphere is to back the wind (ie, bend the direction from which it is coming) by around 30 degrees to the left at you descend (ie, if the wind aloft is coming from the North then the wind at the suface will be coming from around 330 (from further to the left) and will be less strong. That's the theory in outline.

Where night comes in is that power of both these effects depends upon the mixing of the air vertically. In other words, if the layer next to the earth does not mix much with the layer 100' up then both effects will be reduced; the converse is true if they do mix. In the daytime, the heat from the sun warms the earth and causes the layer of air next to it to warm also and rise, which causes it to mix with the layer(s) above. So the backing and slowing effect is more in daytime than at night when the mixing is much less. That's also why it often seems less windy at night on the surface, yet when you look up at the sky you see clouds moving across the moon, meaning that it's still windy up there.

WRT to the questions on the Form 214/215 they are generally around getting the candidate to recognise that the data is shown in snapshots of time so if your flight does not coincide with one of those snapshots you need to interpolate (dreadful word; it means take an intermediate value). The same is true of the wind-aloft data which is given for various Lat/Long intersections. Unless your flights takes place at or around one of those then again you need to interpolate. That's all. Hope that helps.
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By Irv Lee
The question about the 2k wind shows how far divorced the question setter (who is probably flying with the Angels now and insisting they use 1960s raf techniques and no GPS) is from the reality of students learning to fly.
The one wind vector that you can find out is the wind on the ground. The one thing a student would love to know is an accurate 2000' wind so they could check whether to believe the 214 wind vector, or whether they should throw it in the bin. So the question posed a situation where the wind at 2k is actually known! Sadly many students are taught to always believe and use the 214 wind, which is why the occasional navex is a real problem, apparently randomly, destroying student confidence.
A really useful question, if Met exams were in any way related to checking if students know something REALLY useful, would be the wind at an airfield in non frontal conditions during the day is 270/10kts. And then give a question of "which would the 2000' wind vector on 214 over this UK airfield have to approximate to, in order for you not to shred it?
David Wood, AndyR, Rjk983 and 1 others liked this
By T6Harvard
Brilliant! Well done.

I daren't even look at met yet! Am Ok on deciphering TAF and METAR but as to weather charts etc.... not yet.

Soon be Thunderbirds are go . Advice? Think calm thoughts. :D

Good luck!
By Fellsteruk
I started MET months ago and gave up As I really struggled with it, just wouldn’t go in and stick.

I personally found it harder than the other exams however I also started NAV and gave up on that but I was trying to learn on my own in lockdown and my flying school said a few hours of ground school makes all the difference with NAV.

Stick in there with MET, you’ll get it, if your struggling put all the chart symbols and terms on little cards with the name on the back that really helped me.

As for the charts, I think that comes with time and is subjective, I got one wrong on my MET exam, I only knew which one because they said “only one wrong, the last one” which was one of them “look at the 215, this tag and metal and pic which statement is correct”

I selected the option to not fly and wait for another day because there was a trough moving in very close and cloud base was 2k broken and flight had to be no lower than 1,500.

I was like, that’s too risky don’t fly yet the correct answer was “your good to fly”

One wrong ain’t too bad but I’m aiming for 100% on every test.
By t1m80
I found met hard too. The whole met thing becomes way more useful if you take up Simon Keelings excellent weather school offerings. Be careful though, it can become addictive :-)