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Aviation Learning Center Document Flying in Flat Light and White Out Conditions
Author: FAA Date: 2001
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To help pilots avoid becoming a statistic, the following are suggested "tools" or resources to utilize when planning a flight and potentially encountering unfavorable atmospheric conditions:

  • Local Fixed Base Operator (FBO)
  • Airmen Associations
  • FAA Flight Service Station
  • Pilots who frequently fly in the area you plan to travel and are familiar with the local conditions

Transport Canada serves as Canada's Aeronautical Commission; be sure to use their experience to your benefit.

Check All Available Weather Sources

  • Study the weather trends regularly
  • Understand the meanings of these weather trends in relation to your geographical area of travel
  • Be aware of the effects of high thin overcast from approaching weather systems
  • Good pilot reports (when given frequently) provide great reliability. Ask for and give them often.

Set (and Use) Personal Minimums

  • In the event of adverse weather conditions, be aware, that the closer you are to your destination, the less likely you are to turn around and go back.

Never Take Off in a White Out Situation

Realize that in flat light conditions, it may be possible to depart but not to return to the departure area. During take-off, make sure you have a reference point; do not lose sight of it until you have a departure reference point in view. Be prepared to return to the take-off reference if the departure reference doesn't come into view.

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