Even if you have attended a prior workshop offered by AvWxWorkshops.com, you won't want to miss this one. Weather Essentials for Pilots teaches you how to use the weather planning guidance found on the Internet Wx Brief Roadmap. The focus will be on preflight analysis and learning how to minimize your exposure to adverse weather while gaining the most utility from your aircraft. The workshop will be organized loosely into two parts. Training on Saturday will introduce you to the essential weather guidance. The training on Sunday will teach you how to integrate this data using various scenarios using the archives found in the Internet Wx Brief Roadmap. Lastly, this two-day workshop is accepted as part of the FAASafety.gov Wings Program.
For more information about this workshop, please read this overview and review the workshop FAQs prior to registering.
Informal pre-workshop discussion begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday
This part of the workshop is optional. The workshop will open with an informal Q & A session for those that wish to attend. Feel free to come prior to 10 a.m. if you want to ask any weather-related questions that does not have to be directly related to the workshop. Also during this time a demo of AvWxWorkshops.com will be offered. This will give members and non-members the opportunity to ask questions about how to get the most from AvWxWorkshops.com, your best online source for aviation weather education.
Saturday session begins promptly at 10 a.m. with lunch around noon
Weather Essentials for Pilots - Before any pilot can understand the impact the weather has on a particular flight, you must understand how to properly utilize various weather reports and forecast guidance while recognizing their inherent limitations. This session on Saturday is all about how to properly interpret and integrate these weather products so you can make a confident decision especially when the weather may be challenging.
(a) Introduction - The presenter of Weather Essentials for Pilots will be introduced. A brief overview will provide attendees with any logistical matters or concerns for the weekend. The workshop goals and agenda will also be outlined.
(b) Funnel approach to briefing - Using an approach that starts out by looking at the synoptic overview and then working toward finer details is a method used by most meteorologists when issuing forecasts. While there is no definitive way to do every preflight briefing, such an approach can be used by pilots as well to visualize the weather in four dimensions.
(c) Internet Wx Brief Roadmap - For the remainder of Saturday, many weather reports and forecasts in the Roadmap will be explained in detail. Learning how to read each one of these is critical to piece together the story behind the weather that may affect your proposed flight. Not every weather product within the Roadmap will be useful or important on every flight. However, each one provides unique information that can highlight the location and timing of adverse weather.
(1) Precipitation forecasts - Precipitation areas provide hotspots for concern for pilots. Adverse weather occurs in and around areas of precipitation. Various precipitation forecasts will be covered that provide the best temporal and spatial resolution to determine the time and location of these areas of weather.
(2) Weather Prediction Center - The weather products from forecasters at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) will be discussed. They produce several useful products to pilots to include the surface analysis chart, short and extended range prog charts, 6-hour Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF) and Probability of Precipitation (PoP) forecasts.
(3) Automated precipitation forecasts - Model-based forecasts can be very valuable to the pilot. These provide a very high temporal and spatial resolution for products such as the precipitation potential index and simulated reflectivity.
(4) Constant pressure charts - These charts are seldom used by pilots, but provide an enormous amount of information as to the adverse weather a pilot can expect. A few constant pressure levels will be discussed including how to interpret these to help determine the location of adverse weather even several days prior to departure.
(5) Thunderstorm forecasts - Thunderstorms are perhaps the biggest threat in the National Airspace System during the warm season. Both forecaster issued and automated forecasts for convection are critical for preflight analysis will be discussed. These include forecasts issued by meteorologists at the local Weather Forecast Offices, Storm Prediction Center and Aviation Weather Center as well as several automated forecasts.
(6) Icing forecasts - Icing is perhaps one of the most misunderstood adverse weather element and poses a threat just about any time of the year. Icing analyses and forecasts some in all shapes and sizes and the key is to know how to leverage that guidance in the context of preflight planning. Guidance from forecasters at the Aviation Weather Center and automated icing diagnostic tools will be discussed.
(7) Turbulence forecasts - Pilots get injured in aircraft due to violent turbulence. It's often difficult to completely avoid on most flights, but the goal is to minimize your exposure to dangerous turbulence. They key is to understand what causes turbulence and how to use the forecasts from the Aviation Weather Center and automated turbulence diagnostic tools.
(8) IFR conditions forecasts - VFR into IMC accidents still rank at the top of the list from a weather perspective. Even flying under IFR, knowing the location of low ceilings and poor visibility are paramount to making a safe flight. Several automated tools as well as those issued by forecasters at the Aviation Weather Center will be discussed.
Saturday session ends on or before 5 p.m..
Sunday session begins at 8:30 a.m. with lunch around noon
Preflight scenarios - The entire day will be spent discussing at least four unique preflight planning scenarios that vary with flight rules (VFR vs IFR), time of year, distance and location within the U.S. Each of these mock flights will have challenging weather along some portion of the proposed route.
(a) Objective - Given that these are truly mock flights, the objective is to learn how to visualize the adverse weather better in time and space in order to minimize your exposure to hazardous weather. This will be accomplished using archived weather guidance available from the Internet Wx Brief Roadmap and treated as if it were current. This includes examining weather guidance along the proposed route several days in advance of the flight up to just moments before departing. This gives a pilot the full perspective of how to properly leverage weather reports and forecast guidance over the several day period leading up to the flight. Every attendee will form their own conclusion for a go or stay decision which ultimately depends on their risk tolerance, aircraft capabilities and experience.
(b) Time allotted - Expect that each scenario will take roughly 60 to 90 minutes to fully discuss.