FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Institute (ASI) has released the first in a multi-part video series covering aviation weather, with an emphasis on preflight planning and en route weather evaluation. As the most complex variable in any flight, weather, and a pilot’s understanding of it, play a critical role in flight safety. The video series is designed to provide “real world” techniques and an understanding of the resources available.
Many weather-related accidents are attributable to inadequate preflight planning. In 45 percent of fatal weather-related accidents investigated in the past 10 years, there is no record of the pilot having received an official weather briefing. While these pilots may have obtained information from unofficial sources, the fact remains that failure to gather and properly interpret weather information has a significant impact on safety.
The first video in the series, “Weather Wise: Gathering Information,” covers critical preflight planning skills, including how to sort through the many sources of weather information to pinpoint what’s relevant to a particular flight. The video, released Sept. 18, also shows pilots how to effectively integrate official reports, forecasts, weather briefings, personal observations, and online weather tools to better cope with evolving weather during flight.
Later videos will cover additional weather topics, including an exploration of the resources available through aviationweather.gov, conducting preflight weather assessments for VFR and IFR flights, understanding the most common weather-related mistakes, making the go/no-go decision, maintaining weather awareness during a flight, and the ways technology is changing weather flying.
“The fact that weather is a causal or contributing factor in so many accidents makes this an important topic for every pilot,” said George Perry, Senior Vice President of the AOPA Air Safety Institute. “Whether you’re new to aviation or have been flying for decades, changing weather prediction technology and the sheer complexity of the weather itself means there’s always something more to learn.”
The video series is made possible with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.
AOPA’s Air Safety Institute is dedicated exclusively to providing continuing pilot education and safety programs for general aviation. It is funded by donations from individual pilots and organizations, which support the cause of improved general aviation safety. Since 1950, ASI has served all pilots and aviation enthusiasts—not just AOPA members—by providing free safety education, research, and data analysis. ASI offers award-winning online courses, nearly 200 live seminars annually throughout the U.S., flight instructor refresher courses, safety videos, accident case studies, and other materials to keep pilots safe and well informed. To learn more, visit ASI at www.airsafetyinstitute.org.
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., Wichita, Kans., and seven regions across the United States. AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.
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