A little 'shamed to ask this, cuz I feel I should know, but don't... so:
Is it possible to get hit with a downdraft when flying over relatively flat ground? I've always thought downdrafts are only from cold air sliding down hillsides, or waves rolling over the tops, or windshear when at altitude. I surely know there is turbulence nearer the ground, but an actual downdraft??
We had an incident near here recently where a downdraft "was reported" and I think it was over relatively level ground, @ 500', pilot applied full power but pancaked (all walked away). Just doesn't feel/sound right to me. I fly @ 300-1000' and wonder if I should be more concerned 'bout that!
BTW, when in the mtns, I'm always aware of which way I can turn toward lower terrain, etc, but I'm kinda complacent about downdraft when over flat areas. Now I'm not so sure.