GlobalAir.com last month announced the addition of a winds-aloft forecast to the national weather section of its airport resource center. The new section includes a forecast of wind and temperature at specific altitudes.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, Millington, Tenn., Dec. 9, 2008–The right engine of the MU-2 lost power after the airplane took off from Millington Regional Jetport (NQA), where the ATP-rated pilot had flown to buy fuel. The aircraft had been held on the ground twice by ATC while storm cells passed. After takeoff, about 2.5 miles from home base, Charles W. Baker Airport, Millington, the engine quit.
Winter weather, freezing temperatures and snow, wind or thunderstorms can add significantly to a flight crew’s stress level. And obtaining accurate and precise weather information is essential, not only for getting there safely, but also for calculating the optimal route in terms of time saved and fuel burned. Many weather tools are of limited use for flight planning because they focus only on the weather that’s happening on the ground.
While it might be a name unfamiliar to many pilots, Baron Services is well known in meteorology circles. The company was originally formed out of a research project with NASA in the late 1980s that dealt with reporting of highly localized lightning data. Baron later expanded the display technology, incorporating radar data to create its first storm-tracking system.
An FAA plan to consolidate all of the 84 National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters working in the nation’s 21 ATC en route centers into two central forecasting stations has drawn spirited opposition from two unions, the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca).
NATA is warning members that new air quality regulations issued by the California Environmental Protection Agency may lead to similar restrictions in other states. The new rules were issued via the state’s Air Resources Board and apply a fleet average emission level to off-road vehicles and equipment, which includes ground-services equipment used at airports, with gasoline and liquefied-petroleum engines that produce more than 25 hp.
Universal Weather & Aviation has released a new version of the online UVflightplanner.com service with improved functionality. Users can now accomplish multiple tasks from one window without having to exit to another application.
Without the ability to understand and accurately forecast weather, NextGen technology won’t amount to much. For that reason, industry participants including Baron Services, NCAR and the FAA are not only working to integrate weather into the NextGen technology, but they are also working to improve forecasting techniques.
New air quality regulations issued by the California Environmental Protection Agency may lead to similar restrictions in other states, according to the National Air Transportation Association.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has commented on a set of proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seek to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, specifically targeting emissions by general aviation aircraft.