Home » News » Daughter Inspired by Magic of Aviation for 1st time with Female Pilot + Tropospheric Ducting

Daughter Inspired by Magic of Aviation for 1st time with Female Pilot + Tropospheric Ducting

Introducing a child to the world of Flying is SO Rewarding!
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Huge thanks to Kerry for helping make this happen!
This flight happened to be during “women in aviation week” 2016!

Tropospheric Ducting – details thanks to Kerry
and William Hepburn: Http://www.dxinfocentre.com

– caused by temperature & humidity inversions
– warm dry air over cool moist air
– 4 types

1. Nighttime Tropo – radiation inversion – most common, caused by radiational cooling @ night, burns off when sun rises

2. High Pressure Tropo – subsidence inversion – causes widespread conditions day or night, caused by sinking (subsiding) air aloft

3. Frontal Tropo – frontal inversion – ahead of warm fronts & behind cold fronts – usually brief

4. Marine Tropo (a.k.a. Lake Effect Tropo in Great Lakes region) – marine inversion – warm dry air advecting over cooler waters, most common in spring/early summer

Ducting will often cause false echoes on radar (a.k.a. “AP” or anomalous propagation).

Today’s ducting was “High Pressure Tropo”.


In a typical airmass, the temperature drops as you go up in altitude and the humidity increases. Sometimes, under strong high pressure, along a weather front, or over an ocean or lake, this condition is reversed. The temperature may increase with altitude; this is called a temperature inversion. If a temperature inversion is also accompanied by a corresponding humidity inversion, then we have the necessary conditions for anomalous propagation, or “A.P.”

On this chart (tephigram), we have cool moist air on surface, with milder and much drier air aloft, in this case 10% r.h. We can see the sharp boundary that separates the two airmasses just below 1500’ above ground. When VHF radio signals, that would normally head straight out into space, hit this boundary they get bent downwards and run parallel to the ground. This results in extended range and, along with that, the potential for increased interference.

This (tropospheric ducting forecast) map highlights the areas where there is a potential for A.P. to develop. In this case, propagation between Ontario and Iowa was possible.

And here are more links for Kerry:
She’s a meteorologist, pilot and awesome photographer.
Check out her stuff!


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I’m a Private Pilot, doing my best to stay current and learn. I fly for fun and might just be the least cocky pilot on the internet! My self analysis videos can seem self deprecating at times, but I am trying to learn from the small mistakes to avoid making a big one; I’m happy to share and find it rewarding to help other pilots or aspiring aviators in any way that I can. How does the saying go? “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”. And in aviation, not all tests are survivable.

My virtual “ride-along” flying videos are aimed and sharing my experiences and giving back to the aviation community which has been so helpful to me. I shoot multi-camera angles, get detailed real time instrument panel shots, and have radio intercom audio. I respect people’s time, so I put a fair bit of work into editing to keep the videos concise and engaging; I add animations and further graphics and voice overs where needed to add context and explanations.

My hope is to continue to grow and evolve the “Flight Chops” project with input and support from the aviation community!

Steve Thorne, aka "Flight Chops"

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I am a “weekend warrior” private pilot, I fly for fun with no intentions of going commercial. I have had my PPL for over 15 years, but still consider each flight a learning experience – I generally take detailed notes after each flight to remind myself what went well or what I could do to improve…. Having the GoPro cameras to record flights like this is invaluable. I find these self analysis videos very helpful in my constant quest to improve, and am happy to share.

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