5 Best Practices Used by Aviation Meteorologists on the Day of Operation
This aviation blog post is part of a series on aviation weather and continues from our last post: 6 Best Practices Used by Aviation Meteorologists for Pre-Flight Planning.
Besides having an aviation meteorologist assist with the planning stage of a trip, there are many benefits from using his or her expert knowledge for the day of operations. For example, a comprehensive weather service can help you avoid significant weather and take advantage of upper-level winds (which can be critical in managing a trip). It can also provide tailored day-of-operation weather updates and real-time weather alerts just to name a few. Below are five best practices your aviation meteorologist uses in helping you on the day of operation.
1. Providing tailored weather information
With a meteorologist working with you on your trip, you can expect detailed and tailored aviation weather briefings for en-route, destination and alternate weather. Forecasts can be provided electronically and/or in hard copy. Overviews of significant weather help avoid hazardous conditions such as ice, turbulence, thunderstorms and tropical systems. Additionally, the weather will be factored into equal time point and extended-range twin-engine operation decision criteria. This can all be forwarded to both the crew and flight department via all means of communication, including directly to the flight deck.
2. Providing a full spectrum of weather data
On the day of your operation, your meteorologist will compile a range of customized weather graphics, both route-specific and regional. These can include significant high- and low-level weather charts showing winds, turbulence, icing, convective weather and the flight plan route plot, among other details. When an experienced 3rd-party provider provides your flight planning, you can also expect to receive a weather package that includes satellite coverage, together with route-on-weather overlays. High- and low-level significant charts, as well as all prognostic charts, should also be provided. Some of the larger meteorology departments will also provide daily aviation weather briefs via the Internet (worldwide forecast) for severe weather or weather that might impact your operations.
3. Keeping you informed with time-sensitive weather updates
Weather updates can be an integral part of an active flight. They provide the latest information the crew needs for their next leg. By using a weather service, crew members can receive updates customized to their specifications. Weather updates can also be sent to down-line locations on very short notice and via any means of communication.
4. Providing passenger weather briefs
Tailored passenger weather is another important benefit of using an aviation meteorologist. Your meteorologist should be able to provide standard passenger briefings for both domestic and international weather forecasts between two and five days in advance. This period can even be extended by up to 10 days. Moreover, the information provided can be for one or multiple destinations, per your request.
5. Sending real-time alerts
Crews in flight need to be kept abreast of weather hazards or other changing conditions that affect planned or active flight routes. Aviation meteorology departments will actively monitor weather conditions that may impact your flight and will push alerts to the crew when necessary in-flight via air-to-ground communications. These alerts are an important capability that your aviation meteorologist should offer and aren’t equally substituted by do-it-yourself, online weather services.
The advantages of full-service weather support can be particularly acute, especially while on international trips. Time-sensitive weather updates, passenger weather briefs and real-time alerts improve the safety of operations. Additionally, they help in the event that weather conditions necessitate a flight schedule revision. Remember: It’s always best to maintain close communication with your weather support provider on all international legs.
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