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Another odd question

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Another odd question

Old 11th May 2019, 12:43
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Another odd question

I came across this very odd PPL question:

Which statement is true concerning squall lines
  1. They are associated with frontal systems only
  2. They offer the most intense weather hazards to aircraft
  3. They form slowly but move rapidly

Apparently the answer is 2. What about icing? Or tropical revolving storms? Or in fact IMC which seems to kill a lot of pilots!


Any thoughts on this strange question?
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Old 11th May 2019, 13:44
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DB, focus on the word "intense", that's the key in this question. Icing can very dangerous, though generally accumulates predictably, and not with intensity. Similarly IMC, or tropical storms, they don't spring up intensely, you know they are there as you enter, and, unless you're walking, they won't engulf you!

I'm not sure about the UK, but squalls in Canada can come and pass in 20 minutes, and do high wind damage not unlike minor tornado damage. A half hour later, calm and sunshine again - they're intense, and very hazardous to planes.
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Old 11th May 2019, 14:48
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This is a typical CAA exam question designed to test your decision making and rationalisation skills. You just need to recognise the slightly odd way they are worded and answer accordingly. Get used to the style, the CAA love it. However it can be turned to your advantage as even if you don't know the correct answer you can usually eliminate one option and very often two as plain incorrect - leaving you with the correct one.

As ever, the mantra is RTQ.
Which statement is true concerning squall lines

1) They aren't "only" caused by anything. You know squall lines can occur due to katabatic winds, for instance. ELIMINATED

2) They do offer the most intense wx hazards to aircraft. All the most intense wx hazards can be found in squall liens. It's not suggesting all of the most intensive hazards are there, just that a squall line can contain any of them. A TRS is not an individual wx hazard, its a massive weather system containing all sorts of things including icing and IMC, many of which are also found in a squall line. But this question is Which statement is true concerning squall lines, not TRSs, icing or IMC.

3) They certainly do, but does that mean they have to? Always? An answer that appears to be an absolute or definite statement is always a suspect for close examination. (#1 is in this category too). On first reading of the questions I'd be doubting 1 and 3 straight away because of their absolute answers and rather than seeking to agree with #2 I'd be looking carefully for a way of discrediting it, and in failing to do so conclude it is the most correct of the three.

You have to learn to play their game. It's actually quite a searching way of teasing out your knowledge in what otherwise is no more than a multi-guess questionnaire.

Again, RTFQ!

Last edited by meleagertoo; 11th May 2019 at 15:04.
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Old 11th May 2019, 15:22
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Answer the question in the context of information given in that same question.
Donít rationalize outside of the box youíve been given.
of course there are many other threats not in the least the pilot hisself.
But thatís not the question.
The answer is either the most correct or the least incorrect from the choices provided.
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Old 11th May 2019, 15:32
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
You have to learn to play their game. It's actually quite a searching way of teasing out your knowledge in what otherwise is no more than a multi-guess questionnaire.

Again, RTFQ!
Yep. You are right about learning to read the game.

And in fact, as well as RTFQ, RTFA!!!

In one Q there's a METAR to decode. At 1st glance both answers A and B are obviously in there and answer C is off the wall.

On closer inspection answer A says wind is xxx degrees magnetic and answer B says ceiling is yyy feet MSL! Very sneaky and a bit irritating.

The correct Answer C is an extremely obscure remark at the end of the METAR and with the time recast in the answer.

It tests my ability to watch for such traps, but not sure it tests my meteorology.
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Old 11th May 2019, 16:53
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It tests my ability to watch for such traps, but not sure it tests my meteorology.
You are supposed to know that ina METAR wind is given in degrees true not magnetic, and cloud AAL not MSL (common sense tells you that can't be right).

No trap at all.
That one is as simple and un-tricky as it gets.
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Old 12th May 2019, 08:49
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Sorry, another one!

METAR remarks include:' 6/////'

How on earth does that get to mean an indeterminable amount of precipitation has occurred over the last 3 hours?!
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Old 12th May 2019, 13:58
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How does that get to mean...?
Because that's the code that was allocated to it. 'How did that get to mean' is not the correct way to approach decodes. They are what they are.

I've been a professional pilot for 35 years and never seen that one so it's hardly mainstream knowledge and certainly not something a PPL would be expected to know. If you saw it though you'd just look it up.

Was that actually the answer to a question though? If it was I'd bet the other two were so daft they couldn't be right so tis one wins by default.

Can you post the quote in context?
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