According to the most recent Joseph T. Nall Report, in 2010 there were 43 accidents involving weather, and 28 of them were fatal. In fact, weather accidents are the most consistently fatal types of accidents.
To help raise awareness, and reduce those numbers, the NTSB has added “General Aviation: Identify and Communicate Hazardous Weather” to its Most Wanted list. The Air Safety Institute will continue to promote weather education and highlight the various courses, quizzes, and videos pilots can find on weather topics by visiting airsafetyinstitute.org. Join us in this weather education campaign by dedicating a safety meeting with your flying club to a weather topic…air masses and fronts, for example.
When you look at a prog chart, trying to connect the dots of the weather pattern to an upcoming flight, do you wonder if your assumptions are correct? Did you consider all the factors? Might things change at your destination? Can you reliably predict the weather for your return flight? It’s likely your fellow club members have the same questions.
Weather is the most critical and complex variable affecting your flying. And accurately interpreting weather charts depicting frontal movements and associated weather patterns to formulate a clear, big weather picture ahead of a flight can often be difficult to do. To ease the process and get that picture, take the Air Safety Institute’s Weather Wise: Air Masses and Fronts free online course. The interactive scenes and visual cues explain weather in a simple and effective way, so you’ll know what to expect when frontal boundaries collide. Work with your club members to tackle the quiz, test your knowledge, and review subjects that are still fuzzy. Your new-found skills will make a world of difference in effective preflight and in-flight decision making.
Once you’ve mastered air masses and fronts, check out the other online courses in the “Weather Wise” series. Other topics include VFR into IMC, Ceiling and Visibility, and Precipitation and Icing.
Safe pilots are always learning, and the Air Safety Institute’s goal is to ensure pilots have a wealth of information to keep flying safely. Our educational programs are funded through donations from pilots dedicated to forwarding that mission. Show your support by donating to the AOPA Foundation today.