Chasing in the air

A pilot aquaintence of mine recently mentioned a desire to chase storms in his plane. Southern Ontario storm action being what it is (generally lame *grin*), it would be an OK, but prolly fairly boring event (most of our activity does not have the structure of plains storms). For those of you active in chasing the more dramatic events, what are your thoughts? What other risks would be involved? Would you like to chase in the air if the opportunity arose? Patrick Ware, can you give me a little insight on microburst issues/risks for a small plane/helicopter in close proximity to super cell?

I would think that in a helicopter, with reasonable distance between the aircraft and the action, the risks would be minimal, but the view would be awesome. Easier to chase too...

Any other thoughts?

Be well, TR
 
Let’s hope Transport Canada won't catch on to that. When I went through ground school we were told to stay clear of any towers (Cumulonimbus clouds). Pilots have to be a certain distance from storms, unless you have a special rating.

I personally wouldn't do it. The instability could be a huge risk factor to any small to mid-sized turboprop.
 
ssshhhh! *grin*

Do you remember what was the distance was? Given the technology level of cameras/lenses etc. one would not have to be very close for a good view. In fact, I would think, given the unique perspective that an air view would lend, the closer you are, the worse the view as one would miss the "overall" picture when too close. It would be nice to sneak a couple of closer shots, but....

Thoughts?

Be well, TR
 
id do it.

Just stay south of the storm in the clear, dont fly into it whatever you do, and dont go underneath the anvil where there might be hail a significant distance downstream.

A supercell certainly has the ability to shatter any plane with extreme turbulence, or to send a hailstone through your windshield at 100 knots. The FAA says you should stay 20 miles away from such a storm... that may be a little overcautious if the south flank is clear from large developing towers. Keep in mind hail and turbulence can exist outside the cloud, but probably not 20 miles south(if you go for the southernmost cell)...
 
Sounds all fine and dandy for that "isolated" "textbook" storm... of course we know how often that happens ;). The biggest danger problably lies within additional convective cells developing.

Aaron
 
I would also be careful of CAT or boundary layer rolls which can really mess with you. A midlevel inflow jet could make things kind of sticky as well.
 
Get the government involved. Have them use those fancy expensive UAV's to chase from the air, only to accidentally shoot a missle into somebody's barn.
 
http://wx5gal.com/Archived/2001/august23.htm

Apparently, not all pilots follow those guidelines. :D
A couple of grabs, 6 rows up from the bottom. I was told by another chaser that this particular storm did drop at least one brief funnel.

I was on the wrong side, captivated by the sunset lighting it up, so I didn't see the funnel. :oops:
 
[Broken External Image]:http://wx5gal.com/Archived/2001/august23/photos/08230155.jpg

Yikes! That’s just a Dash-8. Those pilots probably lost their lunch along with a few parts off their plane. :shock:

Trust me, it's not a good idea to get too close. Nav Canada employees sit up in those towers and scour over their radar’s like a bunch of hawks. Then they rat you out to Transport Canada.
I know a pilot that got reprimanded for failing to change her course heading, due to a slight change in the wind direction. She complained that there was communication problems, but that didn't make a deference.
 
woa that sucks. the FAA doesnt do that kind of stuff. I took a cessna straight through a small cell in florida.

flight service is like "howd you get around that storm"

im like "I kindof went under it"

"ive got a plane behind you wondering about the ride?"

"i wouldnt recommend it" ...it had pushed me down to 800 feet...with full power.

that was a tiny storm too.

wont be doing that again... next time i'll go through much higher:p
 
[Broken External Image]:http://wx5gal.com/Archived/2001/august23/photos/08230155.jpg

Yikes! That’s just a Dash-8. Those pilots probably lost their lunch along with a few parts off their plane. :shock:

Trust me, it's not a good idea to get too close. Nav Canada employees sit up in those towers and scour over their radar’s like a bunch of hawks. Then they rat you out to Transport Canada.
I know a pilot that got reprimanded for failing to change her course heading, due to a slight change in the wind direction. She complained that there was communication problems, but that didn't make a deference.

I didn't even realize what it was until I zoomed in as much as the camera allowed. It was just this speck, and I thought "What the heck is that?" Then I thought "that pilot's nuts!" :lol:

That's been a while back, but I think I was about 10-15 miles away from the storm at the time I was taping it. I finally chased on after it when it had passed through Tahoka, but it was getting too dark, and the lightning was dying off by then, so I gave it up.

That plane actually disappeared into some wisps off of the cell once or twice, so they were definitely dancing with the devil.
 
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