Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free trial today! Click here

Keep awareness high as leaves drop

A change of season need not stop your aviation adventures, though if the colors you seek are far afield, you may want to line up a good weather information solution that works off-grid.

It’s hard to believe that we’re now tuned into the fall VOR, and it won’t be long before we are wishing that we had an airplane in the hangar because winter preflighting is no fun at all. Yes, summer only ended a week ago, but a good pilot is always thinking ahead and our hope is that we can give you a few items to prepare for your fall and winter flying.

Photo: James Steed

Who doesn’t love going for a fall flight and seeing all the changing colors of the season? To really get the best views, you may need to fly a little more off the beaten path than you normally do and that means ADS-B weather may not be available. You’re probably only going to go flying when the weather is good but even simple (but important) things like METARs and TFRs may not be available during your flight due to ADS-B’s altitude limitations and line-of-sight restrictions. This is even more likely if you fly out west. Check out backcountry pilot Rick Bosshardt talk about a flight he flew earlier this year from Denver to Phoenix and why he relies on SiriusXM Aviation for his weather information.

After spending all summer watching videos on how to avoid convective weather, now would be a good time to switch gears and start thinking about the things you need to be ready for winter flying. Check out this Winter Flying Refresher presented by CFI, former NWS meteorologist, and founder of EZWxBrief, Dr. Scott Dennstaedt to be reminded (or learn) how airframe icing affects your aircraft's flying characteristics, how to take important cues from weather observations and forecasts, and the truth about why climbing to escape freezing rain is not usually the right answer – all to ensure your safety in the air this winter.

Additional Topics covered in the refresher include:

  • Determining the freezing level
  • Strategies for exiting icing conditions
  • Should you fly IFR or VFR during the winter?

With the fall and upcoming holiday season, we have a variety of entertainment for you and your passengers. From Saturday college football to the never-too-early holiday music for your single engine piston sleigh, SiriusXM has something for everyone. If you’re not currently a subscriber to SiriusXM entertainment, check out these special offers including a free two-month trial offer to pilots with SiriusXM capable aircraft.

Photo: CubCrafters
Topics: ADS-B, Situational Awareness, Weather

SiriusXM Aviation

SiriusXM’s satellite-delivered weather is always available inflight with no altitude limitations or line-of-sight restrictions, unlike ground-based ADS-B. It provides coast-to-coast radar, winds, METARs, TAFs, TFRs, and more – helping you know what weather lies ahead so you can fly with confidence. To receive a two month trial of SiriusXM Aviation Weather and Entertainment or learn more about other SiriusXM offers, please go to