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Latest survey says pilots should file more weather reports

AOPA’s sixth annual weather survey indicates more work is needed to encourage filing pilot reports, and to be familiar with the FAA advisory circular on self-conducted weather briefings.

The survey is designed to better understand how pilots obtain and use weather data when planning and conducting their flights. The 2022 survey was sent by email to more than 30,000 AOPA members across the country including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Nearly 2,500 survey responses were collected.

“The Weather Survey data is primarily used to inform our advocacy,” AOPA said, “but is also shared with government and industry stakeholders to allow them additional insight into how the products and services they provide are being utilized.”

One category explored in the survey where pilots get their preflight weather information. While there have been advancements in weather service products launched in recent years, the 2022 report found that there has been little change in the resources pilots turn to for weather data in initial briefings, immediately prior to flight, and during the cruise phase. Pilots in the continental United States primarily use aviation apps and flight service more than any other resources—although the latter’s popularity has decreased 20 percent in the past five years. Conversely, pilots in Alaska turn to FAA weather cameras and flight service specialists for their preflight weather information. The popularity of weather cameras is increasing as they spread to other parts of the country.

“The results of this survey help us understand how pilots obtain their weather data and give us feedback on ways we can improve in the future,” said Jim McClay, AOPA’s director of airspace, air traffic, and security. “This is information we can use when working with the FAA and other organizations to advocate for more data acquisition and better delivery to the general aviation community. The insight this report provides is invaluable to AOPA and our aviation industry partners.”

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Lillian Geil

Digital Media Assistant Editor
Digital Media Assistant Editor Lillian Geil is a student pilot and a graduate of Columbia University who joined AOPA in 2021.

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