Winter weather, freezing temperatures and snow, wind or thunderstorms can add significantly to a flight crew’s stress level. And obtaining accurate and precise weather information is essential, not only for getting there safely, but also for calculating the optimal route in terms of time saved and fuel burned. Many weather tools are of limited use for flight planning because they focus only on the weather that’s happening on the ground.
Universal Weather & Aviation has released a new version of the online UVflightplanner.com service with improved functionality. Users can now accomplish multiple tasks from one window without having to exit to another application.
Without the ability to understand and accurately forecast weather, NextGen technology won’t amount to much. For that reason, industry participants including Baron Services, NCAR and the FAA are not only working to integrate weather into the NextGen technology, but they are also working to improve forecasting techniques.
The focus of the NextGen Air Transportation System has largely been on the development of satellite-based navigation systems, trajectory-based operations and the various technologies that will form the underlying structure of the nation’s future ATC system. But NextGen’s success is not dependent upon new procedures and inventions.
WSI yesterday introduced Pilotbrief Mobile, which provides the company’s aviation weather and hazard information in a format compatible with mobile devices such as the BlackBerry, Treo and iPhone. Costing $9.95 per month, the service does not require installation of an application and is compatible with the Internet browsers found on most mobile phones.
Just in time for the Oshkosh airshow last month, WSI announced FAA manufacturing approval for the company’s InFlight weather briefing system. With an equipment price of just under $5,000, the InFlight AV200’s remote receiver and antenna can display weather information on a variety of general aviation MFDs, including graphic and text TAF/Metars, EchoTops storm tracking, NowRad radar images and airmets and sigmets.
Rockwell Collins has selected WSI InFlight to provide up-to-date weather briefings to aircraft equipped with Collins Pro Line 21 flight-deck displays. WSI Corp.’s InFlight system uses satellite technology to continuously broadcast accurate, up-to-date weather and near-term forecasts to any aircraft equipped with WSI’s special-purpose antenna and receiver.
Avidyne’s FlightMax multifunction displays will soon be able to receive text and graphic weather information, transmitted to the airplane through the Orbcomm low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Using the Flightmax DX50 datalink receiver, the service will deliver weather information to the cockpit using a bidirectional request/reply system that interfaces with any FlightMax display.
As the crow flies, the distance between Baltimore and Newark is only about 160 mi. But during the height of thunderstorm season, when lines of towering cumulus march eastward–often erupting into wide, impenetrable walls of rain, turbulence and lightning–the distance can easily double, while travel times can triple.
CESSNA 208, KOTZEBUE, ALASKA, MARCH 2, 2003–Cessna N205BA sustained substantial damage at about 3:04 p.m. local time when it collided with ice-covered terrain during a VFR approach. The accident occurred a quarter mile from the approach end of Runway 08 at the Ralph Wien Memorial Airport (OTZ).