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Ep 12 – Weather Radar Tips. Interview with Radar Subject Matter Expert Erik Eliel

Weather Radar, Podcast | June 6, 2019

Author: Brent Fishlock

In Podcast 12, we talk with airborne weather radar Subject Matter Expert, business owner, and pilot, Erik Eliel. Erik is the founder and president of Radar Training International and has been involved in aviation since 1979. In addition to accumulating 15,000 hours, Erik’s weather radar seminar has been presented both domestically and internationally to professional pilots representing the flight departments of Fortune 500 companies, aviation associations, airlines, and the military, as well as dispatchers and meteorologists of aviation-related companies. He has been called on by the manufacturers of airborne weather radar systems to consult in the design, operational employment, and evaluation of their systems.

In the podcast, we talk about:

  • Tilt function techniques as they relate to operating altitude
  • Tilt as it relates to the cone of energy and interaction with detectable precipitation,
  • The fact that proper tilt techniques will also annunciate radar failure and radar shadows
  • The latest next generation automated radar systems and which concepts transcend both the traditional systems as well as the newer automated systems
  • Whether newer weather radar systems degrade our radar skills
  • Whether you should be performing a radar self-test before every flight
  • Whether a radar failure could go unnoticed if a self-test is not performed

We also discuss two inflight occurrences where ice crystals have been referenced in the final reports. In 2009, an Airbus 330 operating as Air France 447 crashed in the Atlantic, and in 2013, Etihad had an Airbus 340 divert due to erroneous air data.

These aircraft flew into hazardous weather in IMC at night. The Air France aircraft stalled due to erroneous air data that was followed by the crew. The Etihad crew regained control and diverted.


In the News

In the News is a segment of the podcast and blog where I talk about other happenings in business aviation.

According to the FBI and the FAA, business type aircraft make up 25% of the total aircraft hit by laser strikes. From 2005 to 2018, the percentage of laser strikes increased by more than 1,100%. In 2017, the FAA received more than 6,700 laser strike reports. That’s more than 18 per day in the US alone.

In Canada, the penalties for intentionally interfering with an aircraft by using a laser include up to $100,000 dollars in fines and/or up to five years in prison.

Also, in Canada, you cannot possess a hand-held laser with a strength of over 1 milliwatt outside of a private dwelling within the greater Montréal, Toronto, or Vancouver regions or within a 10-kilometre radius of an airport or certified heliport.

You CAN possess a laser in these areas if the laser is being used for a legitimate purpose, such as for work, school, or educational purposes. I’m generalizing, so please refer to your country’s rules.


  • Shielding your eyes seems obvious, although I’ve been hit twice, and it’s easy to say but hard to do when the light first appears.
  • Report the laser strike to ATC right away so aircraft behind you are aware and can prepare. Also, report it once you are on the ground. Data is needed in order to catch these people. I will be discussing laser strikes more in a future podcast and blog.

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