Mr. Sweetie's Website

The unofficial and tongue-in-cheek website for general aviation in the tri-state area of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.


Home Page

Last update March 20, 2014.check back for improvements and updates!


Site Links


Planning WX

VAD winds

Winds Aloft

 IAPs & Airports

Map Symbols



NOTAM / WX Contractions

Other Links


The website's primary goal is to centralize some local interest aviation sites for general aviation pilots in the Tri-State area plus provide pertinent information about general aviation.

MEDICAL : Migrate to the computer or die seems to be the FAA's unspoken motto.  Now, we must fill out the FAA Form 8500-8. form online that before we got at the doctor's office before a flight physical.  Actually, it's not that bad and it does have advantages.....after the first time you do it.  The information you put in this time will be available next time you have to renew your medical so there's no question in your mind about what you may have disclosed last time.  When you're done filling out the form, you have the option to print or save a copy on your hard drive.  Do both.

Go to, enter your e-mail address and a password, (try to remember it for the future) and you're set to start filling out the form.  The big problem at the moment is that if you do have a problem, the phone service is really clogged by people trying to whine their way out of going along.  877-287-6731 is a private contract service help line, NOT the FAA, and they'll help you in a courteous tone of voice if you have problems.

A few rules...your password much contain 8 to 12 characters, using at least three of the four; capital alpha, lower case alpha, numbers, or special characters like punctuations.  Don't use your name or an old password you've used on the site before.  And don't try to log in or use the site from your iPhone, iPad, or other Mac-type device or a PC running Google Chrome. Use a PC running Internet Explorer Version 7 or higher.  Or, drive yourself nuts and try it your own way.

VAD WINDS BUTTON:  Sorry, but the velocity-azimuth wind displays are a little more difficult to get to at the moment.  They're provided by the College of DuPage and show vertical wind profile at each NEXRAD site at every 1000' interval but getting to them involves an extra step.  After you click on the gray VAD radio button here ( in theleft "Site Links" column on this page) , you'll need to click again on "NEXRAD Sites" on the displayed page to see a map of all the NEXRAD sites themselves.  Clicking a map site on the map will display its current radar image.  One more click on the "VAD" link at the bottom of the left column will pull up the vertical wind profile history for the past couple of hours. 

HUMIDITY VS. DENSITY ALTITUDE:  Most of us were surprised the first time we were told by our instructor that increased humidity reduces air density rather than increases it.  "How much?" you asked.  "Not a lot, but some." replied the instructor in that practiced tone of voice that indicated that you had asked one too many questions.  At last here's a calculator for computing the effect of humidity on density altitude.   Humidity v. Density Alt.

KILLER "ALL-IN-ONE" WX WEBSITE:  Somebody really got it right on this one.  If you want to know what's happening now with aviation weather at any airport, here's the website for you. Current WX   

TOLL-FREE CLEARANCE DELIVERY : Ever have trouble using an RCO to get a clearance?  Click the mike four times and get frustrated instead of FSS?  Click the mike six times and get more frustrated instead of ATC?  1-888-766-8267 is a direct line to Flight Service strictly for clearance delivery.  You do need to give the state you're calling from in this instance because "any" may get you to a briefer on the west coast who doesn't have a clue what ATC center will be handling your flight plan. 

DID YOU KNOW OR DO YOU CARE?:  Statistically, take-off accidents are about ten times more lethal than accidents that occur during the landing process.  It will take the average pilot, not you of course, about six seconds to realize the situation and react to a sudden engine failure during take-off.  Next time you're over safe terrain, start a Vy climb and pull the power back to idle for six seconds without changing the pitch attitude.  You'll be surprised how quickly the airspeed drops off.

What you might add as the last line of your pre-takeoff check list is a self-prep, "If the engine coughs, I'm going push forward like this on the elevator control."  Prepping yourself for an engine malfunction immediately before you power up will significantly decrease your reaction time.

SOMETHING TO ENGAGE YOUR MIND:  Any group of pilots will contain that one who always commands center stage only to tell you how many whiskers Charles Lindbergh had on his left cheek. Now, maybe that's talking aviation, but it's a painful stretch.  Here's a real aviation related question for you:

Why do we routinely make left turns in the traffic pattern?  Don't suggest it's because the pilot's seat is on the left...the pilot sits on the left in a side-by-side cockpit because the standard pattern uses left turns. (Click here for the answer)

HELP WITH THE CROSSWIND GO / NO GO.  How many times do you get the ASOS winds, "270 @ 12, peak gusts 24,...." as you're setting up to land on Runway 31.  Now, are you really going to whip out that crosswind component chart (you know the one with all the arcs, lines, and little teeny numbers along the edges) or are you going to do it like most of us, attempt the landing on Three-One by the Braille method and hope for the best?   How about something in between? Have a look at Mr. Sweetie's Simplified X-Wind Approximator, the product of a misspent technical education. Note: This is not intended for your flight bag, it's intended to go between your ears as a quick memory tool for calculating a working crosswind component using three simple rules. (Crosswind Memory Tool)                  


Planning a local flight and need an airport identifier?  Click the little red button on the right for ASOS information by state.  It lists most airports with ASOS or AWOS observation equipment along with its identifier.  With the identifier found, click the "Calculators" button, and that website link will provide you with a "Distance Calculator" between any combination of two airports or navaids.

Check the Event Calendar page frequently to find places to fly that aluminum Wichita Buick of yours straight and level and eat pancakes in some smoke-filled hangar.  The site page links out to aviation event calendars as well as to ASOS information for Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.




Test Questions

Event Calendar

Fuel Prices


Flight Physicals

Prog Charts

Flight Plan Form

State of Iowa


State of Wisconsin


Wisconsin Airport-Diagrams

WI  Airports

State of Illinois


Distance between Airports


For all you kids out there, don't try this one at home.

Video Clip

Flared out a little high there, Francois?

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