"Two friends of mine died in a plane crash 3 weeks ago, the reason was an unexpected snow storm very local and embedded, and the pilot could fly only VFR. Can you give tips to avoid this accident?'" - Marc D.
“A tragic accident, but one that occurs far too often. I recall a similar accident where a pilot went out to get some night landing practice at his local airport where the weather was good and decided instead to fly to a nearby airport. Enroute, he encountered fog and immediately lost control of his aircraft. He too, was not instrument qualified.
While it seems like a common sense item, the answer is quite complex. The Federal Aviation Administration included it in its REGULATIONS. “Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight.”
We MUST, ensure that we do not encounter situations that exceed our capabilities. That requires planning, planning, and more planning. And even after planning, we need to leave ourselves an “out” if we encounter unexpected conditions.
The days of looking out the window to determine the weather for pilots are over. Having said that, never have we had more resources available to us to determine weather conditions, both near and far! If we use them all, plan accordingly, and exercise good judgment, we will avoid these types of accidents.”