NTSB Wants More Comprehensive Weather Info for Pilots

 - May 8, 2014, 2:40 PM

The NTSB issued nine recommendations asking both the FAA and National Weather Service to provide more comprehensive preflight weather information to pilots. “Timely, detailed weather information is critical for enabling airmen to properly balance risks and make sound decisions when determining to fly,” the Safety Board said.

The recommendations–A-14-13 to -16 and A-14-17 to -21–are based on NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering weather conditions such as adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence and low-level wind shear. Although information on these conditions might already exist, the NTSB pointed out that this data is not always provided to pilots through NWS products during preflight weather forecasts.

“What’s difficult to understand is why weather advisories from the National Weather Service to the general public, at times, provide more comprehensive information about weather conditions than the advisories they provide to pilots experiencing the same conditions,” said NTSB member Earl Weener. “Why pilots would receive less information makes no sense, and increases the risk of flying in severe weather conditions.”

Though the NWS routinely advises pilots of turbulence and weather patterns associated with mountain wave activity, there are currently no requirements for the NWS to do so. Thus, the NTSB is asking for this to be required as part of the preflight weather briefing, among other recommendations.