The National Weather Service (NWS) released a tool last week to allow airspace system users to input real-time turbulence and icing Pireps electronically. The Pireps, as well as other weather observations, will be immediately distributed to users throughout the aviation system, including dispatchers and schedulers. The updated information will also be fed into NWS computers to help improve the accuracy of forecasts.
National Weather Service
NBAA launched a weather subcommittee, which will focus on improvements in aviation weather information and flight safety, yesterday at the Friends & Partners of Aviation Weather forum in Washington, D.C. Among those on hand for the launch were FAA NextGen assistant administrator Ed Bolton, National Weather Service aviation branch manager Cyndie Abelman, FAA Air Traffic Organization senior meteorologist Kevin Johnston, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen and NBAA weather subcommittee chairman Dr. Bruce Carmichael.
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 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.
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.
A helicopter emergency services (HEMS) weather summit will be held tomorrow in Washington, D.C. The event is sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in conjunction with the National EMS Pilots Association, FAA, National Weather Service and the International Helicopter Safety Team. An inaugural summit, held in 2006, resulted in the development of the aviation digital data service HEMS weather tool.
A new turbulence-detection and -avoidance system now operating at Juneau International Airport (JNU) in Alaska is expected to be adapted for additional U.S. airports beginning with those most often affected by dangerously unstable air. Juneau often closes during bouts of significant turbulence to avoid risk to people, cargo and aircraft.
Because of the popularity of tablet computers like the Apple iPad, as well as a variety of glass-cockpit displays capable of showing Next Generation Radar (Nexrad), the NTSB has issued a Safety Alert cautioning pilots about the limitations of the mosaic weather radar data displayed in these new delivery devices.
Weather was not my best subject in flight school, though I readily accepted its importance for pilots. On the FAA written exam for my ATP, six of the eight questions I got wrong were about weather.
Honeywell won a $49 million contract to upgrade the National Weather Service’s ground-radar, wind-profiler network that will predict severe storms earlier and provide more accurate warnings of upcoming storms. Honeywell’s work on the production phase of the next-generation NOAA wind-profiler network includes upgrading the NOAA network of wind profilers that provide upper air wind data for crucial weather forecasting tasks.
- Page 1