Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Protecting Your Freedom to Fly

Safety Quiz

AOPA Air Safety Foundation

ASI Safety Quiz

METARs: Beyond Translation

If you think the only trick to a METAR is translating it, you may be missing out on some important information. For example, the local METAR tells you that there's an overcast layer at 1,500 feet. That's good information to have, but knowing whether the ceiling is reported in MSL or AGL will affect cloud clearances. It could mean the difference between sitting in the FBO and being up in the traffic pattern. Or maybe a thunderstorm is reported in the vicinity...but what, exactly, is the "vicinity"? Your go/no-go decision would benefit from knowing if it's five miles or 50 miles away. Once you're aware of these details, the METAR becomes a much more useful tool. Take this Sporty's Safety Quiz to learn more.

1. A METAR covers _____.

2. The two types of METAR reports are _____ and _____.

3. It's currently 4:30 p.m.; the next routine METAR report will be available in _____ minutes.

4. Reported winds in a METAR are in reference to _____.

5. Winds reported as variable vary in direction by _____.

6. In order to qualify as a ceiling, the sky condition has to be reported as at least _____.

7. Cloud bases are reported in _____.

8. The type of visibility reported in METARs is the _____.

9. The visibility reported in METARs is reported in _____.

10. Weather reported as being in the vicinity (VC) is between _____ statute miles from the reporting station.