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Understanding The Sky - A Sport Pilot's Guide to Flying Conditions
Author: Dennis Pagen
Paperback, Copyright 1992, 280 pages including the glossary, appendices and index, 140 illustrations, 33 photos, full-color cover
Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.9 x 0.75 inches (150 x 225 x 19 mm)

Table of Contents - 1
Table of Contents - 2
Back Cover

"A pilot needs to understand the sky to fly successfully and safely..."

Overview
This book is a store of knowledge from 20 years of flying sport aircraft. If you've ever wondered why the air behaves as it does, this book is for you. The greatest emphasis is on small-scale effects - exactly where we fly. Details are provided on everything from turbulence to thunderstorms. The chapters on lift sources and flying efficiency alone are worth the price of this book. Understanding the Sky is your key to complete comfort in the air.

Contents

PREFACE

CHAPTER I - THE AIR AROUND US
The Big Picture...The Structure of the Air...Properties of the Air... Pressure in the Atmosphere...Temperature in the Air...Solar Heating...Cooling Cycles...Daily Changes...Seasonal Changes... Water Vapor...Humidity...Water's Amazing Properties...Latent Heat... Summary

CHAPTER II - THE LIVING ATMOSPHERE
The Lapse Rate...Stability and Instability...Indications of Stability... The Stability of Layers...The Moist Lapse Rate...The Standard Atmosphere...Density Altitude...The Wind We Feel...Coriolis Effect...Summary

CHAPTER III - THE MESSAGE OF THE CLOUDS
Cloud Causes...Lifting the Air...The Dew Point and Cloud Height... Cloud Formation...Cloud Bases/Cloud Tops...Cloud Life...Old Clouds... Rain...Visibility...Cloud Types...Altitude Classification... Seasonal and Location Variations...Lesser Known Clouds... What They Tell Us...Flying in Clouds...Summary

CHAPTER IV - THE BIG PICTURE GENERAL METEOROLOGY
Movement of the Atmosphere...Air Masses...The Meaning of Fronts...Front Characteristics--Cold...Front Characteristics-- Warm... Frontal Action...Variations in Fronts...Occluded Fronts...Seasonal Changes...High Pressure Systems...Low Pressure Systems...Local Lows...Highs and Lows Together...Isobars...Isobars and the Wind... Circulation Aloft...A Trough Aloft...The Jet Stream...Steering Winds and Pressure Patterns...Tropical Weather...Island Weather... Summary.

CHAPTER V - WIND PATTERNS
Measuring the Winds...Watching the Wind...Prevailing Winds...Wind Flow Near the Surface...Winds Around Fronts and Pressure Systems...Moving Weather...Areas Beyond the Fronts... Backing and Veering Winds...The Wind Gradient...Winds Aloft...Jet Streams... Diurnal Variation of the Wind...Layering of the Air... Low-Level Jets... Special Winds...North American Winds...Old World Winds... Summary

CHAPTER VI - TURBULENCE UNSTEADY FLOW
The Meaning of Turbulence...The Nature of Turbulence...The Causes of Turbulence...Vortex Turbulence...Rotors...Detecting Turbulence... Conditions and Turbulence Cycles...Surface Conditions...Wind Shadow... Flying in Turbulence...Summary

CHAPTER VII - LOCAL WINDS
Heating and Circulation...The Sea Breeze...Sea Breeze and General Wind...Sea Breeze Prediction...Sea Breeze Strength, Reach and Seasons...Sea Breeze Effects...Sea Breeze Fronts...Complicated Coastlines...Island Effects...Land Breezes...Heat Fronts...From Forest to Field...Upslope Winds...Downslope Winds...Gravity Winds...Magic Air and Wonder Winds...Up Valley and Down Valley Winds...Complicated Systems...Summary

CHAPTER VIII - SOARING CONDITIONS--LIFTING AIR
To Soar...Ridge Lift...Complex Shapes...Canyons and Gaps...Ridge Soaring Problems...Variable Lift...Wave Lift...Wave Properties... Wave Clouds...Wave Dangers...Flying in Waves... Finding Waves... Other Wave Sources...Convergence lift...Flying in Convergences... Frontal Lift...lift Indicators...Summary

CHAPTER IX - INSTABILITY AND THERMALS
The Birth of a Thermal...Thermal Triggering...Lee Side Thermals... Thermal Sources...House Thermals...Terrain Sources...Wet Ground Sources...Thermal Cycles...Evening Thermals...Thermal Rising...Real Lapse Rates...The Lapse Rate Aloft...Thermals and Lapse Rate Variations...Dust Devils...Ideal Thermal Conditions...Lift in a Thermal...Thermal Sink...Summary

CHAPTER X - THERMAL LORE
Thermal Sizes and Strengths...Thermal Heights...Thermal Duration and Daily Variation...Thermals in Wind...Thermal Tracks and Cycles ...Thermal Types...Thermal Spacing...Thermal Patterns...Thermal Streets...Cloud Streets...Cloud Street Behavior...Thermals and Cloud Character...Near Cloud Features...Wind Effects on Clouds...Locating Thermals...Blue Holes...Summary

CHAPTER XI - THUNDERSTORMS
Where and When...The Cause of Storms...A Thunderstorm Life Cycle... Thunderstorm Variations...Thunderstorm Dangers ...Downdrafts and Gust Fronts...Judging the Storm...Escaping a Thunderstorm... Tornados...Summary

CHAPTER XII - WATCHING THE WEATHER
Weather Cycles...Weather and the Barometer...Weather Wisdom... Weather Information Sources...Weather Maps...Soaring Forecasts... Reading an Area...Site Examples...Summary

APPENDIX I - DENSITY CHANGES IN THE ATMOSPHERE

APPENDIX II - CORIOLIS EFFECT

APPENDIX III - DRYING WINDS

APPENDIX IV - THERMAL BUOYANCY

APPENDIX V - TRIGGER TEMPERATURE

GLOSSARY

INDEX
 

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