Bulletin: February 5 Data Updates

Data updates are now available to download for the February 5, 2015 – March 5, 2015 period:

  • Airport and Navigation Database
  • ForeFlight Airport Diagrams
  • North American Obstacles

From the FAA:

  • VFR Charts and Terminal Area Charts
  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • Airport/Facility Diagrams
  • Documents

Data updates are also available for our Military Flight Bag customers:

  • Global airport, navigation, and airway coverage from the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Terminal Procedures
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Airport Diagrams
  • EEA High Enroutes, Area Charts
  • ENAME High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Airfield Qualification Program (AQP) diagrams
  • Airfield Suitability and Restrictions Report (Giant Report)
  • Airport/Facility Directory

All customers will be prompted to download these updates inside of ForeFlight Mobile.

Automated Reports of Blowing Snow in a Blizzard

In a bona fide blizzard you would certainly expect to see a fair amount of blowing snow, right? Well, take a look at the conditions for these three airports at the height of the nor’easter that recently pummeled the Northeast with a record snowfall.

KEWB 270539Z AUTO 03030G46KT 1/4SM R05/1600V2200FT +SN FZFG SQ VV004 
     M02/M02 A2958 RMK AO2 PK WND 03046/0538 P0000 T10171022

KTAN 270552Z AUTO 01018G32KT 1/4SM +SN FZFG VV003 M02/M03 A2962 
     RMK AO2 PK WND 04040/0536 SLP031 

KFMH 270535Z AUTO 03032G52KT 1/4SM SN OVC002 M01/M02 A2955 
     RMK A02

In the belly of this storm, these airports observed strong, gusty winds, moderate to heavy snow and even a squall, but no hint of blowing snow (coded as BLSN) in any of these automated reports. This seems rather odd, but an Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) is not designed to report blowing snow in the middle of a blizzard. You read that right; it’s designed to report blowing snow only after the winter storm has departed as seen here for the observation at Worcester, Massachusetts the following morning.

KORH 280947Z AUTO 31020G26KT 2 1/2SM BLSN CLR M14/M18 A2972 
     RMK AO2 PK WND 29028/0913 VIS 3/4V5 T11391178

Before an ASOS can report blowing snow (even when blowing snow conditions are detected by the precipitation sensors), all of the following conditions must also be met –

  1. Visibility must be less than 7 statute miles
  2. Ambient temperature must be less than or equal to 14 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Sky cover must be less than overcast or the ceiling height must be greater than 10,000 feet
  4. Wind speed must be greater than 22 knots.

From the surface observations during the recent blizzard, only two of the four conditions were met, namely, wind speed and visibility. As a result, BLSN wasn’t reported in the automated observation. Keep in mind, at airports or stations with a human observer, the observation may be augmented to include BLSN like it was here for Providence, Rhode Island during the storm.

KPVD 270551Z 01025G34KT 1/2SM R05/3000VP6000FT SN BLSN FZFG VV012 
     M07/M09 A2965 RMK AO2 PK WND 01038/0538 SLP039

Automatically Pack Weather and NOTAMs in ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6.1

ForeFlight Mobile’s Pack feature simplifies your pre-flight preparation and enhances your safety by ensuring that you have all of the current charts, data, NOTAMS, fuel prices, and the latest pre-departure weather information stored on your device for inflight access. ForeFlight Mobile 6.6.1 introduces a refinement to Pack which automatically keeps the most current weather, TFRs, fuel prices, and NOTAMs refreshed and downloaded onto your device during your preparation for flight.

After planning your route, tap the Pack suitcase to ensure you’ve downloaded all the data you will need for the trip:

Tap the Pack suitcase and download the data to initiate the auto-packing feature.

Tap the Pack suitcase and download the data to initiate the auto-packing feature.

After the initial ‘Pack’ is completed, then Pack will continue to refresh every 30 minutes with the latest METARs, TAFs, AIR/SIGMETs, TFRs, fuel prices, and NOTAMs (based on each of these you have selected to Pack). The automatic refresh only runs while you are connected to the Internet and the app is open, not running in the background. If you leave the app and come back, the weather, TFRs, fuel prices, and NOTAMs will update automatically, without the need to manually tap the Pack suitcase again. This ‘auto-pack’ feature will continue to run for 24 hours or until you change the route. The red badge alert for Pack will then only show if you make significant changes to your route.

There are no settings required to make this work and Pack is available to both Basic and Pro subscribers. We recommend that you tap the Pack suitcase one final time before leaving your Internet connection prior to flight. When you see the All Packed! message, you’re ready to fly:

A final check on Pack: All Packed! means you are ready to fly.

A final check on Pack: All Packed! means you are ready to fly.

ForeFlight Mobile Version 6.6.1 Is Available On The App Store

ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6.1 is a free download for subscribers via the the App Store. For additional information, be sure to review our Pilot’s Guide. You can also download the Pilot’s Guide onto your device using the built-in catalog in the Documents view.

We’ve refined the Internet radar color bar

Of all of the weather layers available on the ForeFlight Maps view, the radar mosaic is likely the most frequently viewed. With such a high glance value, even the most inexperienced pilot can quickly identify where the significant adverse weather is located and plot to avoid it. This is because radar reflectivity (or the amount of energy returned to the radar) is strongly correlated to the size and concentration of the hydrometeors (rain drops, snow flakes, hailstones, etc.) present in the radar’s view. Large raindrops or hailstones are indicative of intense updrafts and a high probability of severe or extreme convective turbulence. So it’s important that the radar mosaic be depicted in a balanced way that engenders caution without over-warning the pilot when the weather is benign. To that end, we’ve made a subtle change to the Internet radar color map as shown below.

Internet-Radar-Colors

Comparison of new and old Internet radar colors.

The primary goal was to modify the mid-range reflectivity (dBZ) values. This provides better awareness during the early stages of convective growth that were previously being shown as a dark green. Consequently, we shifted yellow and orange by 5 dBZ. For instance, yellow used to begin at 40 dBZ, but now it begins at 35 dBZ with orange beginning at 40 dBZ. We kept red at 50 dBZ and added a darker shade of orange to fill the void. This subtle modification won’t significantly change the look and feel of active thunderstorm regions, but will help highlight an area of developing convective weather much sooner.

For example, take a look below at this thin line of precipitation just east of Beaumont, Texas. There is a distinct “weak” region in this line just southeast of Beaumont. This part of the line is characterized by mostly green contours with just a hint of yellow. At a quick glance, it may be very tempting for a pilot to flight plan through this thin convective line at this weak region. Take notice of the storm track that has also been depicted within this part of the line. Storm tracks shown by the straight lines denote distinct cells that have been identified by the NEXRAD software algorithm. In this case, this part of the line was beginning to strengthen and was rapidly becoming a significant threat to aviation.

Old-Color-Map-2

As a comparison, below is the same line with the new color map applied. Notice the area looks much more pronounced given the warmer colors of yellow and slight hint of orange now being displayed. While there are still a few “soft” spots along this line, the newest depiction represents the threat more accurately. Notice, however, the more intense cells along the northern and southern extent of this line don’t change appearance significantly preserving the original ForeFlight characteristics.

New-Color-Map-2

Bulletin: January 8 Data Updates

Data updates are now available to download for the January 8, 2015 – February 5, 2015 and January 8, 2015 – March 5, 2015 periods:

  • Airport and Navigation Database
  • ForeFlight Airport Diagrams
  • North American Obstacles

For ForeFlight Synthetic Vision customers:

  • Updated Synthetic Vision data for the United States
  • Updated Synthetic Vision data for Canada

From the FAA:

  • VFR Charts and Terminal Area Charts
  • High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Caribbean High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Ocean Planning Charts
  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • Airport/Facility Diagrams
  • Documents

For our ForeFlight Mobile Pro Canada customers:

  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • High and Low Enroutes
  • Canada Flight Supplement
  • Documents

For our Military Flight Bag customers:

  • Global airport, navigation, and airway coverage from the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Terminal Procedures
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Airport Diagrams
  • CSA High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • PAA High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • D-FLIP Publications such as Planning Change Notices, Area Planning Documents,
  • Chart Supplements, Enroute Change Notices, and Terminal Change Notices.
  • Airfield Qualification Program (AQP) diagrams
  • Airfield Suitability and Restrictions Report (Giant Report)
  • Airport/Facility Directory

All customers will be prompted to download these updates inside of ForeFlight Mobile.

Synthetic Vision and Forecast Weather Guidance with MOS in ForeFlight Mobile 6.6

ForeFlight Mobile 6.6 is now available for download on the app store.

Synthetic Vision Advances ForeFlight Mobile’s Hazard Awareness Platform

We are thrilled to announce that Synthetic Vision plans are available on the iPad with ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6 or later and are available for United States and Canada coverages. ForeFlight Mobile Basic + Synthetic Vision is $99.99/year, ForeFlight Mobile Pro USA + Synthetic Vision is $174.99/year, and ForeFlight Mobile Pro Canada + Synthetic Vision is $174.99/year.

Synthetic Vision takes our hazard awareness platform to the next level with a three dimensional representation of terrain and obstacle hazards, airport markers, runways, and water features. Check out our highlight video narrated by mapping team member and lead developer for Synthetic Vision, Malcolm Toon, and also visit our web page to learn more about Synthetic Vision.

How To Buy Synthetic Vision

For existing customers: As an existing customer, upgrading to a Synthetic Vision plan requires that you renew your existing subscription. When you renew/upgrade on our website, you’ll receive a credit for the unused time on your existing subscription plan which then applies to the combined renewal/upgrade purchase price.

To change plans, login at www.foreflight.com/manage/subscription or go to www.foreflight.com/buy and use the email address associated with your account. iTunes credit or gift cards may not be used towards Synthetic Vision upgrades for existing accounts.

For new customers: As a new customer, you can purchase a ForeFlight Mobile + Synthetic Vision plan via the App Store or via our website at www.foreflight.com/buy. iTunes credits and gift cards may be used towards the purchase via the App Store.

ForeFlight Mobile Expands Forecast Weather Guidance with MOS

ForeFlight Mobile 6.6 also delivers a new forecast weather product called MOS for better preflight weather briefings. MOS enables local weather forecasters to create TAF-like forecasts for airports not served by official National Weather Service TAFs. MOS is great for aviation use because it updates hourly and can be highly tailored for local weather effects. Our Weather Scientist, Scott Dennstaedt, wrote this article to explain more about MOS. The MOS feature is available to Basic and Pro subscribers.

Access the MOS forecast in the Maps view by tapping on an airport.

Access the MOS forecast in the Maps view by tapping on an airport.

Additional updates

ForeFlight Mobile Standard is now ForeFlight Mobile Basic. Same great features and price, just a different name.

ForeFlight Mobile Version 6.6 Is Available On The App Store

ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6 is a free download for subscribers via the Apple Store. For additional information, be sure to review our Pilot’s Guide. You can also download the Pilot’s Guide onto your device using the built-in catalog in the Documents view.

Synthetic Vision Advances ForeFlight Mobile’s Hazard Awareness Platform

Features like luminous terrain, night sky, hands-free declutter, and a brilliant obstacle awareness system make ForeFlight Synthetic Vision a visually stunning and high-performance hazard awareness tool. Synthetic Vision plans are available on the iPad with ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6 or later and are available for United States and Canada coverages. Synthetic Vision takes our hazard awareness platform to the next level with a three dimensional representation of terrain and obstacle hazards, airport markers, runways, and water features. Learn more about Synthetic Vision here.

Watch the Video

In this video, mapping team member and lead developer for Synthetic Vision, Malcolm Toon, highlights some of its stunning features.

Refined Features to Exceed Your Expectations

We think you’ll agree with Malcolm that ForeFlight’s Synthetic Vision goes well beyond the basics by delivering an SV view that is as visually elegant and fun to fly with as it is useful in the cockpit.

Stunning terrain

800x600-refined-terrainWe have learned over the years that what may look good sitting at a desk in front of the simulator isn’t always what will be functional in the cockpit. Our developers took synthetic vision to the air for extensive testing, making real-time adjustments while in flight to refine terrain shading and contours for the best view in all lighting conditions. The shading from peaks to valleys gives depth and realism. The grid lines provide East/West and North/South directional awareness and more clearly define the ups and downs of rolling terrain.

Flexible views

Synthetic Vision works in both split screen and a beautiful full-screen mode. Mix and 800x600-flexible-viewsmatch the split-screen view to present the most relevant combination of information that best supports the phase of flight you are in. For example, while on approach use Synthetic Vision on one half of the screen and plates on maps on the other half. At a glance, you are keeping your eye on potential terrain or obstacle hazards as well as keeping a clear picture of where you are at in relation to the approach path. Recruit a safety pilot and go practice using different screen view combinations to see what works best for you.

Hazard awareness coloring

800x600-hazard-coloringTerrain and obstacles are dynamically highlighted in yellow and red, like the Hazard Advisor layer and the Profile view, depending on the relative height of your aircraft. By default, the dynamic coloring alerts you at a glance when you are within 1000’ to 100’ (yellow) and less than 100’ (red). The altitude levels for the color alerting can be adjusted in the Profile view settings.

Hands-free declutter

As pilots, we understand that there are enough things going on in the cockpit to keep you 800x600-declutterbusy. For one less distraction, our Synthetic Vision view has an automatic, built-in declutter that proactively filters the screen for a more relevant view of information. Airport markers, obstacles, and runways smoothly and automatically fade in and out of view based on relative aircraft altitude and distance. Obstacles fade in at around 10 nautical miles and within 2500 feet. Airport markers fade in at approximately 20 nautical miles.

Elegant transition to night-mode

To preserve night vision, the transition from day-mode to night-mode gradually occurs over twenty minutes and is based on local sunrise and sunset data. The terrain dims and the stars begin to come out. When fully transitioned, enjoy a unique starry night view. Similar to the declutter feature, the switch from day to night and back to day happens automatically so you don’t have to think about it.

Realistic runways

800x600-realistic-runwaysAirport markers and realistic runways make it easy to find the airport on a hazy day, at night, or during an instrument approach. Runways are rendered in high fidelity detail with asphalt, grass, dirt or water texture.  And the runway numbers are even prominently labeled with an FAA-styled font. The synthetic vision runway views are a great way to cross-check that you are lined up to land on the correct runway. Together with ForeFlight Mobile’s aural and visual runway proximity advisor alerts and geo-referenced airport diagrams, synthetic vision runways greatly enhance your ability to maintain situational awareness in the terminal and airport environment.

Back-up instruments

The center of the Synthetic Vision view displays GPS-derived ground speed, altitude, 800x600-backup-instrumentstrack, and an HSI display with course deviation indicator. The menu bar along the top also provides navlog information including distance to destination, active leg, and estimated time enroute. The standard HUD options may also be overlaid along the bottom of the screen.

 

Stratus Enhances Synthetic Vision Experience

800x600-precision-attitudeWe continue to develop and create more functionality for the Stratus platform. The Stratus 2’s built-in AHRS drives a super responsive pitch and bank instrument in the center of the Synthetic Vision view. In an emergency situation, you’ve got a backup glass cockpit on your iPad that can help you stay aware of your position and surroundings.

How To Access Synthetic Vision

Synthetic Vision replaces the blue-over-brown Attitude Indicator view. Navigate to the Maps view and tap on the Attitude Indicator button along the top menu bar:

Access Synthetic Vision in the Maps view

Access the Synthetic Vision view by tapping on the Attitude Indicator button.

Turn on the Synthetic Vision download setting for United States, Canada, or both as applicable to your subscription in the Downloads view:

Select Synthetic Vision in the Downloads view

Select the Synthetic Vision data in the Downloads view.

How To Buy Synthetic Vision

Synthetic Vision plans are available on the iPad with ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6 or later and are available for United States and Canada coverages. ForeFlight Mobile Basic + Synthetic Vision is $99.99/year, ForeFlight Mobile Pro USA + Synthetic Vision is $174.99/year, and ForeFlight Mobile Pro Canada + Synthetic Vision is $174.99/year.

For existing customers: As an existing customer, upgrading to a Synthetic Vision plan requires that you renew your subscription. When you renew/upgrade on our website, you’ll receive a credit for the unused time on your existing subscription plan which then applies to the combined renewal/upgrade purchase price.

To change plans, login at www.foreflight.com/manage/subscription or go to www.foreflight.com/buy and use the email address associated with your account. iTunes credit or gift cards may not be used towards Synthetic Vision upgrades for existing accounts.

For new customers: As a new customer, you can purchase a ForeFlight Mobile + Synthetic Vision plan via the App Store or via our website at www.foreflight.com/buy. iTunes credits and gift cards may be used towards the purchase via the App Store.

ForeFlight Synthetic Vision is Coming

Luminous terrain

We are excited to unveil our visually stunning, high performance synthetic vision platform for ForeFlight Mobile. With features like luminous terrain, night sky, FAA styled runway numbers, and a brilliant obstacle awareness system, we believe you will find flying with ForeFlight Synthetic Vision a joy. Synthetic Vision plans will be available on the iPad with ForeFlight Mobile version 6.6 or later and are available for United States and Canada coverages. ForeFlight Mobile Basic + Synthetic Vision will be $99.99/year, ForeFlight Mobile Pro USA + Synthetic Vision will be $174.99/year, and ForeFlight Mobile Pro Canada + Synthetic Vision will be $174.99/year. Synthetic Vision plans will be available soon after the Christmas holiday. Start the New Year with a significant upgrade to your flight bag! Until then, enjoy the ForeFlight Synthetic Vision highlights shown below or on our Synthetic Vision web page:

Synthetic Vision Comes Alive with Stratus

The Stratus 2* has a built-in AHRS that drives real time pitch and roll indications on the attitude indicator within the SSV-iPad-with-Stratusynthetic Vision view. The award-winning Stratus also delivers subscription-free weather, ADS-B traffic, and GPS position and attitude information—all from a wireless receiver that fits in your pocket. Because Stratus is made for ForeFlight, it delivers seamless app integration and simply works the right way.

It’s Not Too Late! Give yourself a last minute gift and be ready for Synthetic Vision. Order Stratus 2 by 5pm Central Time on December 23 for delivery on Christmas Eve. Order by Friday, December 19 to avoid expedited shipping costs.

Buy-Stratus-Now-button

 

 

Stratus is Made in the USA.

*Stratus is not required to run Synthetic Vision.

ForeFlight Mobile Expands Forecast Weather Guidance with MOS

What is MOS?  No, it’s not that green stuff that may grow in your garden. But you will find MOS in the latest release of ForeFlight Mobile. MOS stands for Model Output Statistics. As the name suggests, MOS is derived from the output of weather prediction models developed and run by research meteorologists at NOAA. The use of MOS has actually been around for decades, but has only recently been introduced for aviation use.

MOS Makes Model Forecasts Better

MOS in the Maps viewWeather prediction models provide forecasters with long and short term guidance in the form of various meteorologically significant variables like pressure, humidity, temperature, and wind. Meteorologists compile this information and other derived data and display it on standard charts and diagrams to make a forecast.

These models are certainly useful, however they do not automatically produce a point forecast for a specific town or airport as pilots would expect to see for preflight planning. Enter MOS! The job of MOS is to take the “raw” model forecast and attempt to improve upon it using a statistical method to produce an objective and more useful site-specific forecast that also attempts to quantify uncertainty.

To make the original model forecast better, MOS takes into account an historical record of observations at forecast points (such as airports), removes any known systematic model biases, and quantifies any uncertainty (like precipitation or thunderstorm chances) into probabilistic forecasts.

MOS Makes Model Forecasts Useful for Aviation

MOS transforms the model data into weather elements that the model does not directly forecast. This includes sensible weather elements basic to aviation such as sky cover, ceiling height, visibility, wind speed and direction, the probability of precipitation, and the precipitation type.

MOS is such a great tool that it’s used by local NWS forecasters all over the US to create more accurate local forecasts for specific towns or cities. These forecasters also rely on MOS as one form of guidance to construct and amend a TAF. While TAFs provide the official forecast for 635 airports throughout the US and its territories, MOS provides weather guidance for over 1800 airports including some military air bases.

MOS is especially accurate in the first 6 hours and, since it is location specific, will usually provide you with more detailed guidance than using the area forecast (FA) alone. One thing to note, however, is that MOS should never be used for legal requirements such as determining an alternate on an IFR flight plan (more on that below).

Another distinct benefit to pilots is that MOS is updated hourly. You’ll get a refreshed forecast at an airport that will tend to track better with the actual weather than with the area forecast. Moreover, MOS is highly tailored for each airport. So if the airport is in a valley or near an ocean or next to a river, MOS is aware of the nearby terrain features and local effects of the weather for that airport.

Mind the Limitations

MOS is a great tool for better understanding the local weather picture during your flight planning, but there are some important limitations you should be aware of when it comes to MOS producing a TAF-like forecast. MOS cannot forecast multiple cloud layers as you see in a TAF. Except for when the forecast is shown as clear, a single fixed cloud layer is the best MOS can do. It cannot directly forecast showers in the vicinity (VCSH), thunderstorms in the vicinity (VCTS) or fog in the vicinity (VCFG), nor can it forecast precipitation intensity. Additionally, MOS cannot forecast non-convective LLWS and no significant weather (NSW), both of which can appear in a TAF. MOS is also unable to predict a variable wind and can’t tell the difference between rain and drizzle or mixed precipitation including freezing rain and ice pellets. Currently, MOS only provides domestic forecasts -so you won’t see MOS forecasts for airports outside of the US.

Finding MOS in ForeFlight

The MOS forecast option is available to all subscribers with ForeFlight Mobile 6.6 and to find it in the app, simply select an airport or weather station from the Maps view. In the pop-over window, tap the Forecast tab at the bottom. Then press the MOS button to reveal this new forecast product.

Access the MOS forecast in the Maps view by tapping on an airport.

Access the MOS forecast in the Maps view by tapping on an airport.

Similar to the way Terminal Area Forecasts (TAFs) are translated, you will see one or more sections that represent an aviation forecast for that airport over the next 24 hours. You can also view MOS forecasts in the Airports view. Tap on the Weather tab, then MOS:

You can also view the MOS forecast in the Airports view by tapping on the Weather tab.

You can also view the MOS forecast in the Airports view by tapping on the Weather tab.

Next time you plan a flight, take MOS for a test drive!

PIREPs: Not Just For Pilots

Pilot weather reports or more simply PIREPs are not just a private conversation between you and a Flight Watch specialist – they are a broadcast to the world. As such, PIREPs are not only consumed by fellow pilots, but they are essential to many other stakeholders in aviation. This includes air traffic controllers, dispatchers and weather forecasters.

In fact, forecasters at the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City, Missouri, are alerted anytime an urgent PIREP is filed. They affectionally call this alert the “Kmart blue light special” since an audible alarm is sounded along with an alarm button that turns blue on their monitor (see below). Moreover, they have to acknowledge that alarm to silence it.

Blue-Light-Special

What you probably were not taught during your primary training is that SIGMETs for severe or extreme turbulence and severe ice live and die by PIREPs. While a forecaster at the AWC can issue a SIGMET solely based on their own detailed weather analysis before any PIREPs begin to surface, such a SIGMET is rarely issued until pilots begin to report those severe conditions. This is evident by reading the SIGMET text. That is, you will often see “RPTD BY ACFT” as shown in this SIGMET for severe turbulence:

WSUS06 KKCI 111855
SFOW WS 111855
SIGMET WHISKEY 2 VALID UNTIL 112255
SIGMET 
OR CA NV AND CSTL WTRS
FROM 40W BKE TO 30N BTY TO 60SW SNS TO 120W ONP TO 40W BKE
OCNL SEV TURB BLW 150. DUE TO STG LOW LVL WNDS AND STG UDDFS AND
LLWS. RPTD BY ACFT. CONDS CONTG BYD 2255Z.

PIREPs are also ingested into two popular automated weather tools, namely, the Current Icing Product (CIP) and Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG) product. You can find both of these analyses in the icing and turbulence ForeFlight static imagery collections. PIREPs of icing and turbulence are combined with many other meteorologically significant parameters that help bolster the algorithm’s confidence of the presence or absence of icing conditions and turbulence to produce the hourly CIP and GTG analyses, respectively. Essentially, your PIREPs can help both man and machine.

CIP-GTG

Speaking of PIREPs, when filing one through the En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) better know as Flight Watch, be sure to be as specific as possible when reporting turbulence or even airframe ice. Use specific radials from a navaid and avoid guesstimating by using cardinal directions such as “northeast” which can result in a large geographic area especially when you are far from the navaid. Try to provide specific altitudes and avoid general reports such as “icing in the climb” or “icing on descent.”

When you are reporting turbulence, imagine that you are holding a cup of coffee. When the turbulence is light, the coffee may slosh around a bit but doesn’t spill. With moderate, the coffee may spill out quite a bit. In severe turbulence, the entire cup of coffee ends in your lap. And extreme turbulence…well, you’ve got more to worry about than a lap full of coffee.

Lastly, when you file a PIREP for turbulence or ice, make sure you report whether you are within or outside of the cloud boundary. This not only helps pilots know if the hazard is associated with clouds, but may also help researchers at a later time. Researchers are often using PIREPs to fine tune a new tool or technique that may one day help you avoid a nasty turbulence or icing encounter.

Keep those PIREPs coming and get your ForeFlight on and fly safe.