The University of Georgia Chapter of the American Meteorological Society welcomed speaker Chris Waggoner on September 27, 2016 in the Geography Building on the UGA campus. Chapter-funded food was served as chapter members assembled and Mr. Waggoner prepared for his presentation. The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM. by chapter president Ian Boatman.
President Ian Boatman began the meeting by discussing a few details of the upcoming American Meteorological Society Conference being held in Seattle in January. He welcomed all chapter members to attend an officer meeting set to be held at 2 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016 in the Geography Building. Topics of discussion are set to include hotel plans, airfare, and available scholarships. Then, President Ian Boatman introduced our guest speaker, Chris Waggoner, who was a former pilot for the Navy as well as NetJets and Delta.
Mr. Waggoner began his presentation by discussing the relationship of the Navy and weather. After showing a few models of aircraft, he showed some footage of take-offs and landings on aircraft carriers. He showed a few video clips demonstrating how difficult it is to complete these tasks. Not only does the large sways of the ship present issues, but pilots also have to land in hazardous conditions such as fog. Mr. Waggoner then proceeded to discuss his theory on how a squall line over Japan in the 1970’s accompanied by a brief U.S.-Soviet encounter may have prevented World War III from occurring. Mr. Waggoner then transitioned into discussing the relationship between weather and commercial airlines. He discussed the major weather hazards that pilots often encounter such as thunderstorms, ice, and fog. He pointed out the conditions that pilots avoid when flying, and he described the present thresholds that deem when it is too dangerous to fly. Mr. Waggoner provided some brief clips and photos from severe aviation collisions that resulted from poor weather. He went into more detail on these hazardous weather conditions by discussing the deicing of planes and enumerating winter weather conditions that prevent flights from taking off and landing. Mr. Waggoner also emphasized the critical role that fog plays in aviation. With better technologies, aircraft are able to fly in incredibly low visibilities. He showed some incredible footage of aircraft landing in visibilities near zero. Mr. Waggoner finished his presentation by discussing his experience with weather in relation to mountain climbing. He has scaled peaks all over the world, his highest being Mount Kilimanjaro. He discussed how the bitterly cold conditions severely impact climbing. Mr. Waggoner finished his speech by taking a few questions and taking a group photo.
President Ian Boatman adjourned the meeting at 6:45 PM.
2016-2017 UGA AMS Officers