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Private Pilot License Written Test Prep Quiz – Aviation Weather #1

These study notes and the quiz were written to help me pass the private pilot license written test. They are based on the information two books – From The Ground Up, and Private Pilot Exam Prep Guide, by Sharper Edge.


The atmosphere can be divided into four parts. Starting at the surface and going up they are: the troposhere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere and the thermosphere.
The atmosphere

Most flying and most weather happens in the troposphere.

The troposphere is lower at the poles (25,000′ to 30,000′) and higher at the equator (55,000-65,000).
troposphere height

At the top of the troposphere are strong winds called the jetstream.
Polar and sub-tropical jetstreams

Water vapor in the troposphere and vertical air currents, along with heating from the sun and subsequent cooling cause most weather.

The atmosphere is heated from below, not from above. The wavelengths of the sun’s rays are too short to heat the atmosphere (short wave radiation), but when they hit the earth they are reflected back with longer wavelengths. Longer wave radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere.

Heating of the earth is uneven. It heats up differently depending on time of day (day vs. night). Parts of the earth closer to the sun heat up more (summer vs. winter). Different surfaces heat up more (dark areas like forests vs. light areas like glaciers). Water absorbs and releases heat more slowly than land. The sun heats the land at higher latitudes less than at lower latitudes.

Water isn’t just in the oceans. It absorbs heat when it condenses or freezes and releases heat when it vapourizes.

Private Pilot License Written Test Prep Quiz

From surface upwards the atmosphere can be divided into:





Most flying occurs in the:





At the poles the troposphere is _____________ and at the equator it is _____________.





Strong winds called ____________ are found at ______________





Most weather is caused by:





The atmosphere is heated from





Water warms and cools more ______________ than land



The sun heats the earth __________ at higher latitudes than at lower latitudes



Water ___________ heat when freezing or condensing and _______ heat when vapourizing.





My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor and pilot based in Vancouver, BC. I AM NOT A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AND I AM NOT OFFERING FLIGHT INSTRUCTION! I am sharing my study notes and other things I’ve learned while getting my education as a pilot. You’re welcome to make use of this information, but do not treat it as expert advice.

I really enjoy flying, real estate and the Chilcotin.  My company is Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting or concerns selling remote property in British Columbia.


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