NTSB Recommends Weather Forecast Improvements

 - May 12, 2014, 11:10 AM

The National Transportation Safety Board last week published nine specific recommendations to the FAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) that are intended to deliver more comprehensive pre-flight weather information to pilots. The recommendations—A-14-13 to -16 and A-14-17 to -21—are based on the findings of NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence, and low-level wind shear. While this information currently exists, it is not always provided directly to pilots by NWS 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.”

While the NWS also routinely advises pilots of turbulence and mountain wave activity, there are also no specific requirements to brief pilots about these items.