Friday, August 13, 2010

Aviation Madness

UPDATE 3:  7:40am Saturday. It appears the radar is functioning normally. Radars are cantankerous machines with a number of moving parts along with transmitters and receivers that must be precisely matched in frequency. In my more twenty years of operating a radar we, more than once, took the a properly functioning radar down for routine maintenance and couldn't bring it back up again. That is why routine maintenance should never be done when storms are imminent.

UPDATE 2:  Radar still down at 2:48pm.

UPDATE: 1pm Central.  Radar is still down. Note: Thunderstorms in Wisconsin are headed for Kohler, the site of the PGA Tournament.

--- Original Post ---

What is it with the aviation community these days?

Kathleen is flying to Chicago O'Hare and back out this afternoon and I have been monitoring the weather. I went to the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar for O'Hare and found...

Why is the FAA taking the radar designed to detect microbursts out of service at the height of microburst season with thunderstorms approaching O'Hare...

...and, O'Hare in the severe thunderstorm outlook?
Routine maintenance is what you do with clear skies and no adverse weather forecast.

I suspect that the complacency about thunderstorms and the threat they pose is more widespread than I initially thought.

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