Hiram College
Intimate learning. Global reach.

Aviation Weather

Up Electronic Crime Orgiztnal. Behavior Aviation Weather Aviation WX Northwoods Tuskegee Airmen Bird Photography Aviation Principals Colloquium-Tuskegee Children of the Dump A Children of the Dump B Immigration and Border Crossings Border Xing Teacher Diversity Thru Debate Modeling Future Heroes Human Trafficking Human Traffic Teacher Bird Flight Photo Northwoods

Home Page - Cram's Courses        


Hiram Weekend College
Aviation Weather - a non-lab science (physics)

PHYSICS 210-51

WEC - Summer 2014

May 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25 and July 2
Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Credit Hours: 4

Text: Aviation Weather - AC06

Two tests - 15% each totaling 30%
Attendance - 5%
Research Paper - 20%
Class Presentation - 15%
Final Exam - 20%
Field Trip - 10%

Course Description:  Everyone know that severe weather is hazardous to flying aircraft, but good weather cane be very dangerous as well.  On a hot summer day, for example, the air might be so thin that it will not support the aircraft causing it to crash shortly after takeoff. Landing at a high altitude airport, with a tail wind, or near a microburst can be hazardous as well.  This is a course in weather and how it effects aircraft performance. Meteorology will be studied in detail to a point where each student will be able to forecast the weather. Aerodynamics will be explored so the student not only understands how and why an aircraft flies, but also the many configurations and phenomena that will prevent an aircraft from performing. Trips will be taken to airports where aircraft will be examined and weather-forming terrain will be observed for wind currents and cloud formations. Aviation Weather is a very interesting and enjoyable course. Although it is a non-lab physics course, there is no heavy math allowing all students to understand the concepts presented.

Roger F. Cram
Cell: 330-569-4912  Home: 330-569-7962
Adjunct faculty and FAA Flight Instructor


Session One:  
Text: Chapter One - The Earth’s Atmosphere
Chapter Two - Temperature
Chapter Three - Atmospheric Pressure and Altimetry
Lecture: Introduction to course 
What is Air Pressure?
PowerPoint: Air Temperature and Pressure affecting Aircraft - slides 1 - 26.
Aircraft wing and control surfaces (rudder, elevator, flaps, ailerons)
Airspeed vs. ground speed
         Aerodynamics - lift, thrust, weight, and drag, (roll, pitch, and yaw)             
Air Speed Vs. Ground Speed
Film: Flight
Class Presentation Assigned - 15 minute talk on selected subject - To be presented Session 6
    Choices:  1. What Makes an Airplane Fly
                   2. The Coriolis Effect
                   3.  Airspeed vs. Groundspeed
                   4.  Cold and Warm Fronts
                   5.  Wingtip Vorticies and Wind Shear
                   6.  Cloud Types and Formations
                   7.  Density Altitude Factors On Aircraft Performance
                   8.  ARTCC
                   9.  Altimiter Settings as You Fly
                  10. Forecasting the Weather

Session Two:
Chapter Four - Wind, cross wind
Airport runway markings & compass points
Chapter Five - Moisture, Cloud Formation, and Precipitation
PowerPoint: Fog
PowerPopint: Air Route Traffic Control System & Radar (ARTCC)
Lecture: Altimeters and Airspeed Indicators
Film: Runway incursions - human failure
Exam on Session One and Two -Take home test - issued in class, due next class
Film: Storm Chasers

Session Three:
Field Trip: Garrettsville Library Park playground at the merry-go-round - meet in class first
Research paper issued - double spaced, minimum 750 words
(Weather related aircraft accident) Due Session 5
Chapter Six - Stable and Unstable Air
Chapter Seven – Clouds
PowerPoint: Clouds
Lecture: IFR/VFR/Flight Directions/Density Altitude/Altimeter Settings
Film: Coriolis Effect & Satellite Views
Activity:  Pizza Party

Session Four:
Airspeed Indicator and Altimeter operation
Chapter Eight - Air Masses and Fronts
Film: Aircraft Accidents
Go over first test - review air pressure, ground speed and air speed
Lecture: Aircraft Performance Factors
PowerPoint: Air Temperature and Pressure affecting Aircraft - starting on slide 27
PowerPoint: Aircraft Performance
PowerPoint: Microburst / Wind Shear / Vortices
Film: Tornado, Hurricane, and Flood               

Session Five: 
Film: Tornado, Hurricane, and Flood     
Text: Chapter Nine – Turbulence
Chapter Ten - Icing
Chapter Eleven - Thunderstorms
PowerPoint: Thunderstorms & Tornadoes
Lecture: Thunderstorms
Lecture: Forecasting the Weather
Weather Charts
Exam on Session Three, Four and Five - take home test issued, due next class
Research paper collected issued in Session 3

Session Six: 
Exams collected from Session 5
Take-home final exams issued - to be turned in last class
Class presentations: 15 minutes each, assigned in Session One
Film: Global Warming
Activity: Appetizers Party

Session Seven:
Final exams collected
Field Trip - Tour of the Cleveland Hopkins Control Tower and Radar Room (must clear security)
Meet at 6:30 pm at the Information Desk at Cleveland Hopkins Airport - Bring Photo ID
Dinner at the 100th Bomber Squadron Restaurant   (optional)


PowerPoint Aviation Weather presentations used in class
(allow time to load)

PowerPoint Presentations Internet Aviation Links

Aircraft Performance

Air Temperature and Pressure





Aircraft Performance Charts

Take Off Ground Roll Chart

Aircraft Performance Charts -1

Aircraft Takeoff Chart video Demo

Take Off Distance Over 50' Obstacle Chart

Rate of Climb Chart

Cross Wind Landing/Takeoff Chart

NASA Flight Training Guide
Bernoulli's Principle
Angle of attack/stalls/wind tunnel
Angle of attack/stalls/wind tunnel 2
Departure Stall
Departure stall 2
Departure stall - angle of bank
Wing string stall demo
Weight / Lift / Thrust / Drag
Approach stall demonstration
Landing Oscillations  / porpoising 1
Landing Oscillations / porpoising 2 / xwinds
Porpoising 3
Exceeding structural integrity of the aircraft
Flaps and spoilers during landing
Aborted crosswind landing
Crosswind landings
Crosswind landings 2
Jet blast on takeoff
Jet blast on takeoff 2
Just for fun
Just for fun 2
Just for fun 3
Just for fun 4
Just for fun 5
Density altitude takeoff
Density altitude stall in turn
Aircraft Icing in Flight
Instrument Landing IFR
Landing in the Hudson River - Bird Strike
One Wing Landing (fake)
One wing landing Fraud Revealed
Weird Weather
Wingtip Vortices 1
Wingtip Vortices 2
Wingtip Vortices 3
Coriolis Effect 1
Coriolis Effect 2
Coliolis Effect 3

Hiram Weekend College
Aviation Weather
Fall 2011 - Sample Test One

QUESTIONS: 330-569-4912

PRINT Name ___________________________________________100 possible points

 SECTION ONE – Matching. 2 points each, total 22 possible points

A. Dew Point Temp.   B. Evaporation   C. Temperature    D. Air Pressure    E. Lightening    F. Condensation   G. Chamber   H. Cold air   I. Hot air    J. Dark, hanging, pouch-like clouds under a thunderstorm   K. Cold front

  1. ____ Heavy, falls.
  2. ____ When water atoms in the air are cooled, thus slowing down their vibration bringing them closer together until they can be seen.
  3. ____ The molecular vibration of atoms.
  4. ____ The weight of the air above you.
  5. ____ You cannot have this without ice.
  6. ____ When water atoms air are heated, thus speeding up their vibration making them farther apart until they cannot be seen.
  7. ____ Advancing cold air on the earth’s surface running into warmer air
  8. ____ The curved portion of an aircraft’s wing
  9. ____ The temperature at which water molecules in the air are cooled enough so they can be seen.
  10. ____ Rises and has less density.
  11. ____ Mammantus

SECTION TWO – Fill in the blank.  3 points each, total 15 possible points

  1.  It cost $150.00 per hour to rent an aircraft. A pilot flies from Cleveland to Sandusky on a westerly course of 270 degrees with airspeed of 100 mph, a distance of 100 miles, and then returns to Cleveland. The wind is westerly at 50 mph the entire time. What did it cost the pilot to rent the plane to fly to Sandusky and return to Cleveland?  _________
  1. What is virga? ____________________________________________________
  1. In the northern hemisphere, low pressure areas have a circulating airflow rotating what direction? __________________ .
  1. An aircraft is landing on runway 18. This means the aircraft’s magnetic heading while on final approach should be ________ (no wind).
  1. Standard barometric pressure is ____________ inches of mercury.

SECTION THREE – True and false.  2 point each, possible 10 points

17.  _____ true _____ false     Elevators control roll.
18.  _____ true _____ false     The rudder controls yaw and is turned by the control wheel or yoke.
  _____ true _____ false     Ailerons control pitch and are manipulated by using the aircraft’s control wheel or yoke.
20.  _____ true _____ false     A westerly wind means the wind is blowing out of the    east and toward the west.
 _____ true _____ false     An aircraft taking off on a hot day with low pressure will need less runway length than on a hot day with high pressure.

SECTION FOUR – Multiple Choice:  2 points each, possible 14 points

22. An aircraft’s wing has an angle of attack formed by (a) the upper camber and the cord line (b) the lower camber and the upper camber (c) the relative wind and the flight path (e) the chord line and the relative wind  (e) None of the above.
23. An aircraft is flying due west at 6,000 feet. At this altitude, the wind is blowing from west to east at 50 mph.  The aircraft is traveling at 200 mph through the air. What is the aircrafts airspeed? _______ 
24. In 24 above, what is the aircrafts ground speed? _______
25.  Circle all that apply. An aircraft has a high angle of attack when (a) Flying fast (b) Flying slowly (c) Landing (d) Taking off (e) very heavy and overloaded
26. A hot-air balloon is at 6,000 feet above the ocean.  The wind is westerly at 35 mph.  What is the balloon’s airspeed? (a) west bound at 35 mph  (b) east bound at 35 mph. (c) zero (d) west bound at zero mph (e) east bound at zero mph (f) none of the answers are correct.
27. If an aircraft’s transponder is squawking 7700, it means the pilot is
(a) experiencing an emergency (b) experiencing radio failure (e) being hi-jacked (d) flying on his own without contacting the controllers
28. Once an aircraft lands at an airport and taxis off the runway, the pilot is asked to contact for further instructions (a) ground control (b) control tower (c) departure control (d) clearance delivery (e) approach control

SECTION FIVE – Identification – 2 points each, possible 12 points

29.  Aircraft Parts Identification

A ____________________ B ___________________ C ___________________

D ____________________ E ___________________ F ___________________



30. Clouds Identification, 2 points each, possible 12 points
A ____________________ B ___________________ C ___________________

D ____________________ E ___________________ F ___________________


31.  3 points - Based only on the wind direction, what runway would pilots select for takeoff and landing at the below airport? The wind is westerly (270 degrees) at 20 MPH.  Runway number____________


SECTION 6 – Short Essay – use extra sheets of paper if needed – 4 points each, possible 12 points

32. Explain what makes an airplane fly discussing Bernoulli’s principle. 

33. Explain how a barometer works during high and low pressure areas.  

34. What make a rubber suction cup stick to a window?


Pictures of hurricane Katrina and other stuff for your enjoyment and wonder:

Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina
Double Rainbow Rainbow Rainbow on Cirrus Ice Crystals
Thunderstorm Cloud Shadow Cloud Shadow

Aviation Weather
Weekend College
Sample Test Two

Name (PRINT)____________________________________________Possible 100 points

SECTION ONE: FOG - 2 points each = 10 possible points.

Write in the name of the fog as indicated by the description.

  1. Moist air advancing from a body of water over colder land = ________________
  2. A clear night with no clouds = ___________________________
  3. Moist air being cooled as it is blown up hill = ____________________________
  4. Moisture evaporating from a wet forest floor after a rain = __________________
  5. Water evaporating from a lake saturating the air forming fog = _______________

 SECTION TWO: 2 points each = 12 possible points. Fill in the blank.

  1. The standard lapse rate is ____ degrees Fahrenheit per 1,000 feet of elevation.
  2. Lines on a weather chart connecting points of equal pressure are called ________ bars.
  3. The stage of a thunderstorm when the rain hits the surface is called the ___________________ stage.
  4.  _____ true ____ false  On an airplane the red navigation light is located on the left wing.
  5.  _____ true ____ false  An airplane flying east bound from Chicago to Cleveland is allowed to be at an indicated altitude of 10,000 feet.
  6. _____  true ____ false  An aircraft’s altimeter is connected to the static vent, but the airspeed indicator is connected to both the static vent and the pitot tube.


14. Place a checkmark next to EACH phenomenon that would reduce an aircraft’s performance and require a longer runway for takeoff.

____Strong headwind 
____No headwind
____Cold outside air temperatures
____Warm outside air temperatures 
____ High barometric pressure 
____ Low barometric pressure  
____ Hard surface runway  
____ Grass or gravel runway
____ Runway clean
____ Runway with snow or puddles of rain water
____ Aircraft heavily loaded
____ Aircraft light in weight
____ High altitude airport
____ Sea level airport
____ Upslope runway
____ Level runway 

SECTION FOUR: Multiple Choice 2 Points each = 10 Possible Points

  1. Why does all weather move across the United States from the west toward the east? (a)  Because of the earth’s tilt on its axis (b) Because of the prevailing winds (c) Because of the coriolis effect (d) Because of the hot air at the equator (e) Because mean ol’ Roger makes it do that!
  2. When will an airplane stall? (a) Anytime the pilot is careless (b) Anytime the pilot’s ground speed is to too slow (c) Anytime the aircraft exceeds the critical angle of attack (e) Anytime the pilot turns into a tail wind too quickly (e) Anytime a bird get sucked into a jet engine.
  3. What are the dangerous, spiraling, horizontal, tornado-like phenomena training each aircraft’s wing tips? (a) vortices (b) pressure degradients (c) spiraling slipstream (d) asymmetrical thrust generators (e) evil little flying spirits
  4. The problems with aircraft taking on ice while they are flying is: (a) Ice adds to the weight of the airplane (b) Ice changes the shape of the wind making it less efficient (c) Ice reduces the smooth airflow over the top of the wing endangering lift (d) All of the above (e) None of the above
  5. Water in the air will not freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit unless it has something to freeze onto. Such items are dirt, dust, birds, and airplanes. The technical name for anything in the air that water vapor can freeze upon or cling to is: (condensation nuclei (b) receptor residue (c) freeze-point particles (e) low-temperature collectors (f) funny little cute freezie things

SECTION FIVE: Use the Two Performance Charts and the pictured runway found at the end of this test):  4 points each = 12 possible points

  1. From the Cross-Wind / Head Wind Component Chart and the pictured Airport Diagram: An aircraft is landing on runway the runway pictured. The wind is blowing 310 degrees at 30 knots. What is the headwind component?   ______ knots.
  1. From the Take-Off Chart: The pressure altitude is 4,000 feet, the outside air temperature is 20 degrees C., the aircraft weight is 2,500 pounds, the headwind component is 10 knots. What is the needed takeoff distance to clear a 50 foot obstacle?    ______ feet.
  1. An aircraft is landing on runway 09, its airspeed is 100 MPH. The wind is 40 degrees at 20 knots. What is the aircraft’s ground speed? _______________ MPH


SECTION SIX:  Short answer:

  1. 5 - points   Circle the letter next to the term most commonly associated with the characteristics of warm fronts.

A. Good visibility    B. Poor visibility    C. Heavy showers short in duration   D. Steady, long-lasting drizzle    E. Rime ice    F. Clear ice    G. Smooth air    H. Turbulence    I. Mostly cumulus clouds     J. Mostly stratus clouds    K. Fast moving   L.  Slower moving   M. Tornadoes   N. Possible freezing rain 

  1. 10-points - List the factors that determine the severity of a thunderstorm.

a.       _______________________________________
b.       _______________________________________
c.       _______________________________________
d.      _______________________________________
e.       _______________________________________ 

  1. 20-POINTS - What eight factors, other than stupidity, most likely contributed to this aircraft accident?  See the airport diagram pictured below. The more detailed your answer, the more points it is worth.  A 4-seat plane occupied by four, big, college football players attempts to take off on runway 27 at an airport having a field elevation of 4,500 feet, but shortly after liftoff  the plane crashes just past the end of the runway.  The runway was slightly uphill, wet, and grass (not paved). The wind was 90 degrees at 20 knots. The temperature was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the barometric pressure was 29.20 inches of mercury.


Airport Diagram for Question 25


You watched a PowerPoint presentation and a film on Global Warming. The film is presented from an unbiased point of view discussing the pros and cons of such an event. Write a paper discussing both views: (1) Global warming is coming for sure and it is cause from man’s pollution and lack of conservation (2) Global warming may or may not be coming, and if so it is a naturally occurring phenomena. (3) If global warming increases the average Earth’s temperature by 5 degrees, how will this affect aviation performance? Requirements: No less than 750 words. Illustrations are encouraged, but may not substitute for the amount of text.

 Aviation Weather Term Paper Assignments

  Informative Links to Help in Research
Student's Name Web link to Aircraft Accident for Research Paper
Ackley, Stacey http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2011/AAR1101.pdf
Clitis, Randy http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2010/AAR1004.pdf
Reese, Alex http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2008/AAR0802.pdf
Stanton, Michael http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2007/AAB0702.pdf
Whitehead, Quinn http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2007/AAR0706.pdf