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Met office courses.

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Met office courses.

Old 19th Aug 2012, 15:55
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK
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Met office courses.

Are these any good? Seem quite expensive?
Bottomlesspit is offline  
Old 19th Aug 2012, 18:50
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I attended one in Bracknell several years ago and was frankly disappointed.

The content did not help me understand the weather or assist in my VFR planning. It concentrated on how they modelled the forecast......

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Old 19th Aug 2012, 18:55
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Simon Keeling is your man:


Last edited by Steve N; 19th Aug 2012 at 18:57.
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Old 19th Aug 2012, 19:18
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I found the Met course helpful

I went on one at Bracknell some years ago and found it very helpful indeed, and as a result feel much more at ease in decoding synoptic charts and looking at forecasts with a critical eye. I also learned from experts about what sources of information were available to enable a safe flight. Clearly things are different now with the internet but the experts are still likely to be one step ahead of the rest of us. As I had a VMC only aircraft at the time, that knowledge was very important and added enjoyment (through extra confidence) to my flying. I guess that what suits one person doesn't suit another. I suggest you find out the syllabus and see whether you have gaps in your knowledge on the bits to be taught and take the plunge if you do. The worst that can happen is that you waste your money - but I defy anyone to go and learn absolutely nothing.
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Old 19th Aug 2012, 19:32
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If you can find a course presented by a pilot, that should be well worth attending.

I haven't seen one yet.
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Old 19th Aug 2012, 21:12
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Simon Keeling is a glider pilot.
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Old 19th Aug 2012, 22:26
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: UK
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I attended a course at Exeter a few years back and the attendee's were all levels of Pilot experience and I fitted in within the middle to lower band! The course was totally ruined by a small number of so say "superior pilots " or at least they thought they were! who just wanted to take every opportunity possible to recount experiences of bravery ( many would say stupidity! ) when faced with weather experiences!

The course Tutors ( employed by the Met Office ) had no idea how to control these morons and unfortunately the attendee's were not together long enough to take up a united front so supreme they ruled!

I came away knowing little or nothing and 200+ lighter! It still hurts to this day as it was my worst expenditure to date in Aviation!

I later wrote to the Met Office voicing my disapproval and they didn't even bother to reply so that spoke volumes for me!

Has Steve has said, IMHO weather web and Simon Keeling is your man! It could well be your best saving in Aviation!

Last edited by BWBI; 19th Aug 2012 at 22:28.
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Old 20th Aug 2012, 06:58
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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I wonder who those pilots were...

I have been to only one met course (won't say whose) and found it of little use. It was like every other Met course... you learn wx theory but not how to apply it to real flying i.e. how to relate the data available on commonly used wx websites to what you might encounter enroute.

Having done the Met theory in the UK PPL, the FAA PPL, the FAA CPL, the FAA IR, and the UK IR, I am still not much wiser, and I use my own methods which work very well for me.

For UK VFR, below the cloud, a reasonable rule is to get tafs and metars for the route and GO if the bases are forecast at MSA+500ft for +/-1hr around the ET for each waypoint. The vis requirements will depend on how you navigate; say 5k-10k for DR and down to 1.5k (the legal min since April 2012) if using GPS. I would also avoid flying under CB bases

For IFR, I use the tafs/metars for the two ends, and various things incl. satellite IR images for enroute. This is in my trip reports.

There is definitely a need for better wx courses, IMHO, and it should be run as a workshop where you work out some real routes and the expected wx.

Last edited by peterh337; 20th Aug 2012 at 06:59.
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Old 20th Aug 2012, 09:29
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Thanks for your replies. 2-1 against the MET office then! I might try Simon then!

I have recently planned a few flights during the Olympic nonsense and decided not to go at the last minute and with out fail, the weather improved just as the FP expired! Bugger! So the ability to judge the probability of the improvement is what I'm after really.
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Old 20th Aug 2012, 11:56
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: London
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Simon Keeling - seconded!

I learnt a lot from both of his WeatherSchool courses and would thoroughly recommend him.
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