30 tips for successful cross-country flying
#12: Become your own weather guru
Many pilots in the Germanspeaking world miss Stefan Hörmanns’ subscription gliding forecast called “Gleitsegelwetter”. It was the perfect forecast for meteorology philistines like me, because no prior knowledge or experience was necessary. Green = good, amber = soso and red = rubbish. An epic day in the Valais? Get yourself out there! But if you are involved in the crosscountry scene for long enough, you will discover that the top guys and girls are not only excellent pilots, but also know a lot about the weather. That’s the reason they go to the right site on the right day and make the right decisions during the flight.
How come? They have read the books on meteorology. They go to weather talks organised by their local clubs. They have spent years comparing the forecast and actual weather. They not only save their tracks, but also supplement these with screenshots of the actual weather and forecasts and subsequently analyse flight and weather. The pinnacle is becoming your own weather guru and being able to do your own forecast using charts and other weather info. To fly far, it isn’t essential to have experience and theoretical knowledge of the weather. You can just get lucky. But they‘re a great help to that luck. So back to those meteorology books!