• Middle River Aviation

Weather ... or Not?

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Got weather? Given today’s tech savvy GA pilots, you probably have the latest and greatest weather information in the palm of your hand. But did you know that depending on the device or the application you use, inconsistencies in information could introduce unintended safety risks? The FAA’s Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) Program is looking at ways to address this issue by incorporating weather and human performance research into the standards and guidance documents that support pilot weather decision making.

Directly quoted from the article, FAA FAA Air Traffic Organization writer, Sabrina Woods, says, “Got weather? I have no doubt that you do. Today’s savvy general aviation population utilizes a wonderful mix of old and new tech. Classic steam gauges and luminescent digital glass screens; gas turbines and single piston engines; wooden frames, fabric wings, aluminum bodies and sleek carbon fiber. Regardless of whatever infinite combinations you might be rocking for aircraft preference, the thing that remains fairly constant is that most pilots want the latest and greatest when it comes to getting the weather. With the vast number of handheld electronic devices that are able to provide weather information in the palm of your hand, most pilots are getting just that.”

This informative article from the FAA Safety Briefing outlines the “inconsistencies” of certain weather apps and the concerns all officials have with this issue. Which one’s can you trust? Which one’s should you use? The FAA’s Weather Technology in the Cockpit Program is a new organization that was created to help assist pilots to using the best technology out there possible:

“One of the primary goals of the FAA’s Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) Program is to incorporate weather and human performance research into the standards and guidance documents that support pilot weather-decision-making. The intent is to address those inconsistencies and start budging that weather-related accident and incident safety needle again.”

WTIC is an official FAA NextGen weather research program that contains various professional research projects concerning how weather info and technology is distributed to all cockpits flying throughout the United States. Their goal is to keep their professional pilots safe at all times. Any gaps or major issues found in weather information or technology from this researched project are identified, this team of weather technology professionals will research, develop, verify, and validate a set of “Minimum Weather Service (MinWxSvc)” recommendations for “14 CFR part 121, 135, and 91” to address those holes. The intention of this organization is to enhance pilot weather decision making before anyone encounters potentially hazardous weather conditions that, essentially, could have been avoided.

Be sure to review this article for yourself and see where our efforts are going. To learn more about WTIC, see the article “Weather ... or Not?” in the current issue of FAA Safety Briefing. Download your copy or read online at 1.usa.gov/FAA_ASB. You can also read a mobile-friendly version at https://adobe.ly/2joWIXr.

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