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I've upgraded from a M20C to a M20M Bravo.   I want to be careful of not over estimating the new airplane or my abilities, so I'd like the groups thoughts.  In particular those that commonly fly in weather, IMC, TKS, O2, etc.   

I'm planning a trip from Indianapolis to Denver this week leaving Wednesday and returning Saturday.  Looking at a site like windy.com I can see that winds across the route will be high (10-20kts at the surface), so choosing good runway alignment for a fuel stop is important.  Moreover there could be turbulence, how much at the flight levels?

There are also some thunderstorms forecasted along the route.  Would a northern route work?   How comfortable would you be planning this and picking through this?  Looks like southern Iowa would work.  With this type of forecast would you typically be able to pick through at 18K ft?

The images below are at 1pm (ET), my planned departure.  For those wanting to go through the scenario, it gets worse later in the afternoon.  Making me thing the development of these storms poses increasing risk on Wednesday.  (also seen in the extended convective forecast from NOAA)  Return on Saturday look ok if it is late...after the next system moves through Indy.

I'd really appreciate everyone's thoughts.  I've done a lot of trips with weather in the M20C, and I like the M20Ms ability to get higher, but I don't know that is going to give me much of an advantage the way this storm is shaping up.  Moreover I can't leave until the afternoon, so getting out early isn't helpful.

FWIW, I bought a ticket to fly commercially as I don't like the way this is looking and need a good plan A.  Plan B is to fly myself at this point, looking for your thoughts.

 

 

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I'd be comfortable going based on what you see today. Without looking at winds, I'd like be at an altitude that puts me in clear air, somewhere between 12,000 and FL200. 16,000 would probably be my sweet spot if you're above a layer or between layers at that altitude. You can often see the main cells of the thunderstorms. And the higher you are, the easier they are to see. Then you can deviate slightly north or south to go around the build ups. 

I'd check the turbulence forecast as well. And if it's forecasted to be bad as you get into Colorado, just go lower. It can still be bumpy, but the worst stuff in Colorado is typically 10,000 and above. Just check for Airmets on the turbulence.

If the winds aren't too bad on the ground, then go for the cheapest gas. If the winds are 20+ knots and gusting, then just plan to stop at a big airport like Lincoln KLNK. 

It looks like a good trip for a Bravo.

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5 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

I'd be comfortable going based on what you see today. Without looking at winds, I'd like be at an altitude that puts me in clear air, somewhere between 12,000 and FL200. 16,000 would probably be my sweet spot if you're above a layer or between layers at that altitude. You can often see the main cells of the thunderstorms. And the higher you are, the easier they are to see. Then you can deviate slightly north or south to go around the build ups. 

I'd check the turbulence forecast as well. And if it's forecasted to be bad as you get into Colorado, just go lower. It can still be bumpy, but the worst stuff in Colorado is typically 10,000 and above. Just check for Airmets on the turbulence.

If the winds aren't too bad on the ground, then go for the cheapest gas. If the winds are 20+ knots and gusting, then just plan to stop at a big airport like Lincoln KLNK. 

It looks like a good trip for a Bravo.

I concur with 95% of this.  I think you’ll be ok.  Personally I don’t trust the airmets for turbulence though.  Often they are for 20,000’ blocks or more and the turbulence is in a smaller altitude block or non existent.  If you have strong west winds aloft in Colorado, there can definitely be bad turbulence all the way into Kansas, but I’d look for pireps, listen to the airliners, and ask the controller if there are reports of turbulence or a smooth altitude 14-20k.  
 

Make sure pireps are turned on in foreflight for display on your map.  You can quickly pick up where actual turbulence, icing and wind shear are occurring as a final check.

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use skew t charts to help with tops(youtube is your friend) pireps on foreflight and listen on center for tops,  turb, and Icing encounters along your route, using ads-b radar look at general direction of cells before departure and be aware of time delay of adsb radar it can be 15 min or more,  plan the back side of TS dont try to outrun a TS, give the midwwestern storms a wide berth (20 Miles if able), know the direction of TS travel!! Land for fuel before you need to land for fuel, 

 

Just my .02

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For my cross-the-country trips I highly recommend WeatherSpork. Both an app and website. Route Profile and Grid View give great info on weather along your route. Tons of other weather products to help make your decisions. It is a subscription, but well worth it if you travel long distances. 

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All great advice...

How new is the Bravo to you?   
 

  • Just finished transition training?
  • A month past TT?
  • First long XC with it?
  • First long XC in that area?

Something has prompted the really good question...  just me wondering what has you asking, in case somebody can give more details in that area...

PP thoughts only, Go MS!

Best regards,

-a-

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10 hours ago, Boilermonkey said:

I've upgraded from a M20C to a M20M Bravo.   I want to be careful of not over estimating the new airplane or my abilities, so I'd like the groups thoughts.  In particular those that commonly fly in weather, IMC, TKS, O2, etc.   

I'm planning a trip from Indianapolis to Denver this week leaving Wednesday and returning Saturday.  Looking at a site like windy.com I can see that winds across the route will be high (10-20kts at the surface), so choosing good runway alignment for a fuel stop is important.  Moreover there could be turbulence, how much at the flight levels?

There are also some thunderstorms forecasted along the route.  Would a northern route work?   How comfortable would you be planning this and picking through this?  Looks like southern Iowa would work.  With this type of forecast would you typically be able to pick through at 18K ft?

The images below are at 1pm (ET), my planned departure.  For those wanting to go through the scenario, it gets worse later in the afternoon.  Making me thing the development of these storms poses increasing risk on Wednesday.  (also seen in the extended convective forecast from NOAA)  Return on Saturday look ok if it is late...after the next system moves through Indy.

I'd really appreciate everyone's thoughts.  I've done a lot of trips with weather in the M20C, and I like the M20Ms ability to get higher, but I don't know that is going to give me much of an advantage the way this storm is shaping up.  Moreover I can't leave until the afternoon, so getting out early isn't helpful.

FWIW, I bought a ticket to fly commercially as I don't like the way this is looking and need a good plan A.  Plan B is to fly myself at this point, looking for your thoughts.

 

 

image.thumb.png.9c120b360d81412d441e08fcddf83095.png

image.thumb.png.42c5edb62e47befdc956fe56bd2ea145.png

 

Weathermap is my preferred long range prediction app showing every 3 hours out to 6 days ahead. It shows weather all over the world and was very useful for flights over the Indian ocean and middle east / Europe.  Pricy at $10 but only a one time fee no stupid subscription so deal of the century. 

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+1 for weather spork. I fly pretty conservative with weather to this point, but it’s got great visuals and the data is drawn from the legit sources. I try to embrace new weather opportunities when it’s clear there is safe escape within a reasonable distance. Not a turbo driver but endorsing the spork plug. 

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26 minutes ago, Will.iam said:

Weathermap is my preferred long range prediction app showing every 3 hours out to 6 days ahead. It shows weather all over the world and was very useful for flights over the Indian ocean and middle east / Europe.  Pricy at $10 but only a one time fee no stupid subscription so deal of the century. 

9F500503-C2FE-4DAC-9BD1-6BD530543429.png

7001BD0A-F945-4BEE-AF11-74B5D4AB93BE.png

2417B9D0-88DA-43E8-A82E-C95A35F665A8.png

86C90CA0-0CDD-47CE-8380-79BE11510D30.png

EE310BC5-1941-4B1B-AB19-E8F4B35D05AE.png

Thanks for the point-out.  I wouldn't have spent $10, but it was only $2.99...so, I think I still maintain my CB status:D

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3 minutes ago, MikeOH said:

Thanks for the point-out.  I wouldn't have spent $10, but it was only $2.99...so, I think I still maintain my CB status:D

Ha guess it’s gone down since i bought it over 10 years ago. Nice to see them not gouging for more money like so many other apps. 

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Another wx app i use is rainaware. Its really for golfers to know what the conditions will be for the next 3 hours but i find it perfect for should i wait inside for the down pour to be over in the next 15 mins or hurry up as the its only going to get worse etc. really good at predicting how much rain in the next 3 hours based on your phone’s gps location. Used to recommend darksky but in the past year it has not been as accurate at my position as it has been in the past so I can’t recommend it at this time. Also darksky only does the next hour instead of 3 hours. 

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I find it usually pretty easy to pick your way through thunderstorms... in the day time... and at middle to higher altitudes. You'll be going west and the storms are moving east, so there's no need to "out run" anything. I'd just go up and take a look. The Bravo gives you speed, range, and altitude. With those three, you shouldn't have any problem.

Oh, and go VFR with flight following, unless you want to be over FL180. That will give you max flexibility to go around what you see in front of you. 

 

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What tools do we have to work with on this fine ship?

O2 sensor

CO sensor

ADSB-in

Strike finder?

IR with currency in the Bravo?

Visually avoiding thunderstorms is a good idea...

Trying to visually avoid embedded thunderstorms is a bit too challenging...

PP thoughts only, not a CFII...

Best regards,

-a-

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Thanks for the weather tips and experiences with these missions.   It good to have validation that the airplane can do this mission.   ...and I will do this mission regularly, but not this week.

Now on to the pilot...Carusoam asked how the transition training has gone.  It has gone well and I feel comfortable in the airplane.  I've flown about 15hours so far, some in IMC, some xwind, but not as much as I've done in the C.  One 300nm cross country.  With hundreds of hours in the C, I felt like it was an extension of me.  The Bravo...not yet, the only piece I'm still working on is the flare.  

I'm going to go commercial, there's too many links in the chain that are breaking.   #1, my allergies are crazy and I had to take cold medicine this morning...even if it clears up that is a no go for tomorrow.  #2 a weather forecast that is honestly too much for only having 15hours in the Bravo.  #3 02 is INOP, limiting available altitudes.      

 

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50 minutes ago, Boilermonkey said:

Thanks for the weather tips and experiences with these missions.   It good to have validation that the airplane can do this mission.   ...and I will do this mission regularly, but not this week.

Now on to the pilot...Carusoam asked how the transition training has gone.  It has gone well and I feel comfortable in the airplane.  I've flown about 15hours so far, some in IMC, some xwind, but not as much as I've done in the C.  One 300nm cross country.  With hundreds of hours in the C, I felt like it was an extension of me.  The Bravo...not yet, the only piece I'm still working on is the flare.  

I'm going to go commercial, there's too many links in the chain that are breaking.   #1, my allergies are crazy and I had to take cold medicine this morning...even if it clears up that is a no go for tomorrow.  #2 a weather forecast that is honestly too much for only having 15hours in the Bravo.  #3 02 is INOP, limiting available altitudes.      

 

I don't think anyone here will fault you for good, sound aeronautical decision making.  With your three reasons given, any one of those would be satisfactory for me to cancel the flight.  I think you are making a good decision.

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I recently put in XM weather in my Bravo and I’m very happy with its utility in my long cross countries.  For the cost (around $30 a month) it gives me a lot more features for planning and working with ATC on alternate routes once in the air.  I especially like the feature that allows me to see speed and direction of cells.  Yes, it’s not free but for about 8 gallons of fuel per month, more than worth the money.

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34 minutes ago, Davidv said:

I recently put in XM weather in my Bravo and I’m very happy with its utility in my long cross countries.  For the cost (around $30 a month) it gives me a lot more features for planning and working with ATC on alternate routes once in the air.  I especially like the feature that allows me to see speed and direction of cells.  Yes, it’s not free but for about 8 gallons of fuel per month, more than worth the money.

What system is it connected to? What XM system did you have to buy?  I have a XM weather receiver in my Bravo, but not hooked up/functional/activated from previous owner.  I believe mine fed into the 430/530..

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Wind is a friend of the plains in springtime.... its just how it is. Thunderstorms? Probably will not be a huge issue in spring (i.e. long solid lines). Stay VMC, see, avoid, no big deal. Deviate early = not that big of a way around. Make that decision the day-of, not based on a theoretical forecast days out. Deviate late = more of a pain in the ass. In other words, look at the weather an hour before you takeoff and decide which way you'll point the nose to start out. Maybe its direct, maybe its north, maybe south. Pick out a refuel stop (if needed) and go from there.

Have a good trip.

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32 minutes ago, daytonabch04 said:

What system is it connected to? What XM system did you have to buy?  I have a XM weather receiver in my Bravo, but not hooked up/functional/activated from previous owner.  I believe mine fed into the 430/530..

I installed the GDL 52R along with my G3X.  It's another benefit of the G3X, the 52R is $700 while the GDL 69 which works with all the other Garmin products is nearly $4K.

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As well as MOD turbulence, icing, and 35kt surface winds enroute.   All probably manageable with a bit more seat time.  ...and even then it might still be a better idea to burn up FF points from decades of business travel when the route looks like this.  

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I'm late to the discussion but a great one it is!  Kudos @Boilermonkey for factoring in not only what the airplane is capable of but where your limitations are the day of the flight.   I'll add that departing toward your destination (when headed westbound) and stopping mid route to let the line of storms pass overhead can be a great way to stay safe, have lunch or just meet interesting people at the airport doing the same thing.  I did that two weeks ago on a flight from KEWN to KPIB.  I stopped in KMCN...

here's the view just prior to landing:

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Just after:

 

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View as I was leaving....

 

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Front of the line...

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