May 1, 2014
By Sarah Deener
From simple crosswinds to severe storms sweeping the country, weather is a top concern for pilots. A new safety campaign announced May 1, “Got Weather?,” aims to help general aviation pilots prepare for weather challenges they may encounter during 2014.
The AOPA Foundation’s Air Safety Institute is joining the FAA and more than a dozen general aviation stakeholders for the safety campaign, which will feature resources on a new weather topic each month on the Got Weather? campaign site through December. The Air Safety Institute and other partners will contribute content for each topic, such as turbulence, thunderstorms, icing, or crosswinds, so that pilots can get fast facts and links to videos, safety seminars, quizzes, proficiency programs, online training, case studies, and more, all in one place. May's topic is turbulence.
"Weather is the one variable in flight that we haven’t certificated, and Mother Nature’s performance is capable of overriding forecasts and aircraft specifications. The best preparation is a full understanding of what you’re up against," said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Foundation.
In announcing the campaign, the FAA noted that weather is the most lethal of all major causes of GA accidents and cited Air Safety Institute findings that nearly 75 percent of weather-related accidents are fatal.
“GA pilots have an opportunity to make a real difference in improving safety this season by asking friends and family to get engaged in the campaign, being prepared, and fine tuning their pre-flight decision making skills,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a media release. “The Got Weather? campaign takes advantage of the tremendous resources our GA partners have for pilots to improve their skills and knowledge.”
The FAA noted in the release that the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” list includes “GA: Identify and Communicate Hazardous Weather,” as an advocacy priority, and that the board sees the outreach efforts as an encouraging sign of the FAA and aviation community’s commitment to improving GA safety.
Huerta and GA leaders will officially kick-off the Got Weather? campaign May 4 at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering. Pilots can stay up to date on new resources by visiting the website and following the campaign on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Managing Editor Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated private pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.
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