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How do I know if the clouds are 2000 feet (horizontally) away from me?

Without extensive manned aircraft experience, it’s tough to accurately gauge how far horizontally you are from clouds because of the visual illusions cloud size can cause.

Clouds pose hazardous conditions because they prevent visibility!

Here are a couple of methods you can use. The first is to look at the area on the ground that the cloud is over. Find a prominent landmark and refer to a map to determine how far away you might be. If you can’t tell exactly what point the cloud is over, look for the shadow the cloud is casting on the ground to get an approximate location.

Another way to judge lateral cloud separation is to think not in terms of distance but time. If you’re traveling 115 mph, it would take you about 10 seconds to travel 2,000 feet. That’s a fun one to try and practice when you get a chance 🙂

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