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Guest forever.flyer

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Guest forever.flyer

i have a question i was hoping someone could help


is it true that the higher you fly the smoother the ride?


thanks in advance for your help



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Guest TOSGcentral

In general terms - yes it is smoother.


Near the ground (say to 1000' agl) there may be mechanical turblence from wind and this may be aggravated by mixing with the convective turblulence of thermals forming.


When in convective conditions the general turbulence band is then up to cumulus cloud base (including inside the clouds). Once again generally the higher the cloud base then the stronger the thermals (so you can get a good shake from them if you hit one flying fast, but the more spread out they are and the easier they are to avoid and/or you hit less of them.


With a lowish cloudbase (say 4000' agl and below) the thermals are closer together and you can have quite a rouugh ride on many flying days in Australia - particularly during the summer.


If you climb above the cloud you are then generally free of turbulence. You then may find that your visual map reading is impaired (depends on how much cloud) and you have to be careful you do not get trapped on top and having to make an IMC descent without the instruments or training to do so safely or legally.


There are some notable exceptions to upper air turbulence but these tend to be far rarer. They include rotor from lee waves (that can give you a very rough ride); wind sheer (interface of two air masses moving in different directions with one above the other; a very common one is if there is a strong temperature inversion and weak thermal bubbles gather just under the inversion level (this can also give you a rough ride but climbing or descending 500' usually fixes that one).





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