WEATHER

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Weather

Weather is a key factor in the day-to-day operations of business aircraft operations in the national airspace system (NAS). NBAA works with the FAA, the National Weather Service (NWS), government weather contractors and others in the aviation community to ensure that business aircraft operators have access to reliable weather information that can be applied to business travel decisions.

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News

NWS Begins Production of Extended Convective Forecast Product
Oct. 31, 2017
The National Weather Service recently began production of the experimental version of the Extended Traffic Flow Management (TFM) Convective Forecast (TCF) product, which will make it easier to focus on areas of true concern. "Not every thunderstorm cell will show up on the TCF, we're looking for storms that cover a certain amount of area (square miles) before we will call attention to them," explained John Kosak, NBAA's Air Traffic Services program manager for weather. Learn more.

Tips and Tools to Help Single Pilots Mitigate Weather Risks
Oct. 30, 2017
Weather is a contributing factor in 35 percent of general aviation accidents, and 75 percent of those mishaps involve fatalities, according to the FAA and NTSB. Aviators – especially single pilots of business aviation aircraft – should take steps to mitigate the risks of nasty weather. Learn more about helpful tools and resources in Business Aviation Insider.

Graphical Forecast for Aviation to Replace Text-Based Area Forecasts on Oct. 10
Sept. 7, 2017
The transition to graphical forecasts for aviation (GFAs) for the continental U.S. is set to be complete on Oct. 10, when the current textual area forecasts will be discontinued. The move, in a transition phase since July, will enable National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center forecasters to focus their efforts on maximizing operational benefit to airspace users, resulting in improved weather information to decision-makers, FAA officials explained in a notice highlighting the change. "This is a huge step forward," says John Kosak, NBAA Air Traffic Services project manager for weather. "The graphical forecasts provide much finer resolution than any text-based forecast ever could." Learn more about GFAs.

Four General Aviation Airports Recognized for Exemplary Winter Storm Responses
May 23, 2017
Snow and ice have major impacts on airport operations, requiring preparation and perseverance to keep airfields open and operating safely. Four U.S. airports with a business aviation presence – Laurence G. Hanscom Field Airport, Teterboro Airport, Griffiss International Airport and Columbus Municipal Airport – were recently honored with the 2017 Balchen/Post Awards for their handling of winter-related challenges. Read more.

New Convective Weather Tool for Business Aircraft Operators
May 8, 2017
With summer weather approaching, operators can rely on a new convective weather tool for help in anticipating where thunderstorm activity may impact air traffic flows and where traffic management initiatives may be implemented. The National Weather Service's new Traffic Flow Management Convective Forecast (TCF) provides a more accurate and timely representation of forecasted convective weather than its predecessor, the CDM Convective Forecast Product. Learn more in NBAA's Navigator section of Business Aviation Insider.

Three Tips for Dealing with Hailstorms
April 27, 2017
Spring is finally here, bringing with it balmy temperatures – and hail the size of baseballs. From roughly May to September, hailstorms can occur regularly in certain areas of the United States, particularly in the Great Plains, where “Hail Alley” stretches through Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The best hailstorm strategy for business aircraft operators is the simplest: avoid it. But if it can’t be avoided, experts urge operators to take advantage of the latest technology, collaborate with other operators on weather conditions and know what to do if your aircraft is damaged. Learn more about operating in hailstorms.

New, More Accurate Convective Forecast Product Now Available
Feb. 16, 2017
The National Weather Service is implementing a new convective weather product on Feb. 15 – the Traffic Flow Management Convective Forecast (TCF) – which will allow for a more accurate representation of forecasted convective weather. The TCF will have a look and feel that is similar to the CDM Convective Forecast Product, which it is replacing. "This new product will provide operators with more accurate and timely forecasts," said John Kosak, NBAA Air Traffic Services specialist and staff liaison for the NBAA Weather Subcommittee. "Because this is a return to a human-in-the-loop convective product, the users will collaborate on the final product, which will allow a more accurate representation of the forecast convective weather." Read more about the TCF.

Five Winter Flying Tips for Operations at Smaller Snow-Country Airports
Dec. 30, 2016
Thorough flight planning is essential for business aircraft safety year-round, but flying in winter into smaller airports in snow country poses special challenges. These facilities often have small staffs with less snow removal equipment than larger airfields. Some tips for safe winter flying include: reviewing the FAA's Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment, confirming avionics are compatible with the airport's approaches and handling a cold-soaked plane carefully. Aeronautical decisions must be based on sound knowledge of aircraft performance data and complete weather information, said Jeff Hansen, chair of the Utah Business Aviation Association. "Snow country airports usually equal shorter runways and higher elevations that affect performance." Read more.

Pay It Forward With PIREPs
Dec. 5, 2016
An array of aviation weather forecasting technologies is available today; however, such equipment offers meteorologists little information about actual weather conditions on-scene, and in the air. That's where pilot reports (PIREPs) are extremely valuable sources of real-time information for all stakeholders within the National Airspace System. Learn more about the importance of PIREPs in the November/December 2016 issue of Business Aviation Insider.

Learn About New Field Condition Reporting With Upcoming NBAA Webinar
Oct. 7, 2016
Industry feedback indicates some aviation stakeholders may not yet be familiar with significant changes in field condition reporting standards that went into effect this month. An Oct. 20 NBAA webinar: "Get Prepared for New Field Condition Reporting," will provide a thorough review of the new runway condition assessment matrix (RCAM) at the core of the revised takeoff and landing performance assessment practices. The RCAM assigns runway condition codes (of between zero and six, based upon objective measurements of the type and amount of surface contamination, for each third of the runway. Higher numbers indicate more favorable conditions. Learn more about register for the webinar.

Podcast: Filing PIREPs Can Improve Safety
Sept. 19, 2016
Pilot reports – or PIREPs – are vital for safe operations, said John Kosak, program manager, weather, NBAA Air Traffic Services. The real-time weather updates are, “A fantastic way to get weather [information] out,” he said. “It really is the best way while we’re in the air to communicate information.” The NTSB has said improving PIREPs is on its list of most wanted safety improvements, and “it really is potentially a matter of life or death,” Kosak said. Learn more about the importance of PIREPs in this week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast.

Aviation Weather Center Experiments with Color-Coded Grid Showing Conditions
July 13, 2016
The U.S. National Weather Service’s Aviation Weather Center is inviting feedback from pilots, flight planners, traffic managers and air traffic controllers on a new, at-a-glance, color-coded “experimental impacts” Terminal Aerodrome Forecast Board for visualizing expected weather conditions at destination airports. Learn more.

PIREPs: Potentially a Matter of Life and Death
June 30, 2016
"We cannot control the weather but we certainly can plan for it when we receive reports about conditions experienced by others along our intended route," NTSB member Robert Sumwalt, said at a recent forum on pilot reports (PIREPs). "PIREPs done right have enormous untapped potential to make aviation safer." John Kosak, NBAA's project manager for weather and a symposium presenter, said one concern is that pilot weather reports are not being utilized as they once were. Another is that PIREPs are often submitted with incorrect information, usually regarding the time, location and weather intensity. NTSB is developing an investigative report on PIREPs, and is asking for stakeholder comments. Learn more.

Help Improve the Pilot Weather Reporting System
June 24, 2016
The NTSB is seeking input from business aircraft operators on the current process for creating, submitting and disseminating Pilot Weather Reports (PIREPs). What works, what doesn't and what could be done better? Improving the PIREP system could yield immediate safety and efficiency benefits, and the operators’ comments will be used to help create an NTSB Special Investigation Report. Remarks are due to the NTSB by July 1 and NBAA encourages members to share their feedback.

NBAA Members: NWS Requesting Feedback on Online PIREP Submission Form
April 12, 2016
A new, experimental Pilot Report (PIREP) submission form will be available to pilots and dispatchers, which will allow them to submit their PIREPs electronically. "NBAA is excited about the new electronic submission form that should streamline the PIREP process, and allow the information to get to the FAA air traffic controllers and the NWS Aviation Weather Center (AWC) forecasters sooner," noted John Kosak, program manager, weather, NBAA Air Traffic Services. Learn more about the new PIREP submission form.

NWS Developing Improved Graphical Forecast Products, Seeking NBAA Member Input
Feb. 17, 2016
The National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center (AWC) is replacing the textual products from the legacy area forecast product with improved graphical forecast products that should make interpreting the information easier, which should improve safety and efficiency, said John Kosak, weather project manager at NBAA's Air Traffic Services. Though the current product will remain available for the foreseeable future, the AWC is asking for comments on the new product through April 11, offering an opportunity for NBAA members to provide input on an important weather forecast tool. Learn more.

NBAA's Free Webinar Provides Opportunity to Review Weather Chart Basics
Aug. 7, 2015
Anyone whose job depends on the weather will benefit from a free Jeppesen-sponsored weather charts webinar. The course, hosted by NBAA, will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. EDT, and will not only reintroduce the charts and symbology that some aviators may overlook, but also will show how those tools, when used together, can paint the big picture of a weather system. "Pilots and planners may only look at one or two charts they're comfortable with, rather than all of them," said Jeremy Vincent, training center manager at the Jeppesen Academy. "Like a pro baseball player, you need to come back to fundamentals or you'll get rusty." Learn more about the webinar and register now.

NBAA's Weather Subcommittee Celebrates First Anniversary by Looking to Expand
July 27, 2015
Since weather is responsible for more than 60 percent of the delays in the National Airspace System, the question becomes, "What can NBAA do to help bring this number down?" In part, the answer lays in participation in the new NBAA Access Committee's Weather Subcommittee, according to John Kosak, NBAA Air Traffic Services (ATS) specialist. "NBAA established the Weather Subcommittee last year to provide opportunities for business aviation operators to collaborate with the broader aviation weather community on finding solutions to the most important weather challenges facing the aviation community," Kosak said. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on the NBAA Weather Subcommittee.

Operators: NBAA Can Help Prepare You for Hurricane Season
June 1, 2015
While the 2015 hurricane season is forecast to be relatively quiet, NBAA Air Traffic Services (ATS) Weather Specialist John Kosak said no one should be complacent about hurricane season, in spite of the low number of predicted storms. "I encourage all NBAA Member operators to subscribe to NBAA Airspace/Airport Alerts before we enter prime hurricane season," Kosak said. When a large storm is expected, the FAA stands up its Event Management Center (EMC), a facility that coordinates a number of federal, state and local agencies during and after a disaster or other significant aviation-related event. When the EMC becomes operational, ATS personnel send out storm-related airspace alerts, and closely monitor EMC activities in order to keep NBAA Members informed. Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast on preparing for hurricanes.