Do Crickets Ever Sleep?

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It’s been pretty quiet around here. There are no conferences so close to Christmas, and the natives that were living here got to go back to their reserve last week (Friday). So it’s just us students left (28 of us, since the VFR class went home today) plus a few others here for manager training (I think). It’s spookily quiet sometimes, but a nice relief. In fact, I am really noticing the crickets around here! Especially in the main building (not the academic wing, thank goodness, or the residence wing I live in). We hear them during lunch, dinner, all the time! I don’t think they ever sleep. It’s pretty wild how loud they can get later in the evening! By the way, to see some pictures of NCTI and whatnot, visit this link.

So, I’ve been studying and practicing, the usual. Not quite at the breakneck pace of the last 2 months (9 weeks, to be exact), but still reviewing every day. We have a weather observing test tomorrow, and I do need to study a little more tonight, but I’ve been doing quite a bit for the last week. In the test, we get to use some references during the first half, including a book called “MANAB,” which exists only to list approved abbreviations. Some of them are amazing – here are a few favourites:

Relatively – RLTVLY
Subsidence – SBSDNC
Orographically – ORGPHCLY

and the best one of all

Quantitatively – QNTYTVLY

My head hurts just seeing that!! Try to read it! Eoy! So, we’ve been learning how to give weather (wx) to pilots – what conditions are serious enough to require giving the wx out, and what to do if a pilot requests the full wx report. I’d say it takes about 45 seconds to read the weather report in full, and of course, it’s all coded. It’s like learning to read and write another language! I don’t want to scare anyone, but here’s an example of a METAR (wx report):

METAR CYEG 220300Z 18008KT 15SM FEW130 BKN240 00/M03 A2954 RMK AC2CI2 SLP036=

And here is how I would read it:

Weather for Edmonton at 0300 zulu, wind 180 at 8, visibility 15, 13 thousand few, 24 thousand scattered, temperature zero, dewpoint minus 3, altimeter 2954.

That’s a short one!! 🙂 Most of those digits are “spelled singly,” which means you say “zero three zero zero zulu….” There is also an aerodrome forecast, which can be really long if the weather systems are changing. But, it is fun, and not overly hard, once you get the hang of it.

Well, I should get back to the studying!! Take care everyone! And in case I don’t have time to write again –

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

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