November 22, 2007 1 Comment
The FAA recently published the long-overdue update to Aviation Weather Services, a.k.a. Advisory Circular 00-45F. (The previous edition was released in 1999, and it’s so last century.)
This book explains how to get a good weather briefing from a Flight Service Station (FSS), and it provides detailed explanations of all the weather reports, forecasts, charts, and other information provided during a briefing. It’s an essential handbook if you use Web-based weather resources such as DUATS, the Aviation Digital Data Service, and the Aviation Weather Center. For example, this new edition explains some of the interactive tools available at the ADDS site.
Now, you can buy a bound copy of the book from such publishers as ASA, and paper is more convenient for detailed study. But the .pdf version, available for free download, is more than just a virtual representation of the printed pages.
It’s suffused with links. For example, the TOC is interactive–click a chapter title or heading, and you jump right to that topic. Throughout the text of the book key terms, abbreviations, and references to additional information (including the latest weather charts) are linked to official sources, such as the National Weather Service Weather Glossary, Abbreviations, and Acronyms.
And just to show that even the FAA sometimes has a sense of humor, in the section about pilot reports, you find this among the examples:
UUA /OV BAM260045/TM 2225/FL180/TP BE20/TB SEV/RM BROKE ALL THE BOTTLES IN THE BAR
(Urgent Pilot Weather Report, 260 degrees at 45 nautical miles from Hazen VOR, Nevada, 2225 UTC, 18,000 feet MSL, Beech Super King Air 200, severe turbulence, remarks, broke all the bottles in the bar.)
If you need more background on weather theory, see AC 00-6A, Aviation Weather. I’ve collected links to many weather-related resources on the Aviation Resources page at my Web site. For example, A Pilot’s Guide to Aviation Weather Services, from the National Weather Service, is a quick introduction to weather services for pilots.