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You are flying at FL330 and there is a thunderstorm in front of you. Where should you move the tilt angle?
  • A
    4º up
  • B
    5º down
  • C
  • D
    15º up

Refer to figure.

LOs Describe appropriate tilt settings in relation to altitude and thunderstorms.

Manual Tilt Management

The tilt refers to the angle between the antenna beam centreline and the horizon. The flight crew should regularly scan the area ahead of the aircraft. In order to identify the strongest weather returns, the flight crew should tilt the weather radar antenna up and down. To obtain a correct display of a storm cell, the flight crew must use the tilt knob to point the weather radar beam to the most reflective part of the storm cell.

At high altitude, a storm cell may contain ice particles that have low reflectivity. If the tilt setting is not correct, the ND may display only the upper (less reflective) part of the storm cell (over scanning). As a result, the flight crew may underestimate or not detect a storm cell at all.

  • The pilot would normally keep the tilt at 0º to 0.5º down during high altitude cruise. However, if there is a thunderstorm in front, the pilot would want to turn the tilt down (significantly, about 5º down) to see where the worst part of the storm is and how severe the core of the storm is. We believe this is the point they want to get across in this question.
Use of the Weather Radar in Accordance with the Flight Phase
Flight Phase Tilt Control
Taxi Away from ground personnel, set the ND to the lowest range – as a rule, set 15º up.
Take-Off In the case of suspected adverse weather conditions, manually and gradually tilt up to scan weather (maximum 15º up). In all other cases, set the tilt to 4º up.
Climb Adjust the ND range as required and decrease the tilt angle as the aircraft climbs.
Generally, set the tilt 5º to 7º up initially, possibly steadily reducing with altitude.
Level flight/Cruise Adjust the ND range as required. Regularly modify the tilt to scan weather ahead of the aircraft. When the weather scan is completed, adjust the tilt so that the ground returns appear on the top of the ND.
At high altitude, tilt is set to 0º to 0.5º, except under adverse weather conditions.
Descent Set the tilt to about 5º up.
Approach Set the tilt to 4º up – which prevents the display of too many ground returns.

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