Student must do a good Cross Country preparation before each flight


It is essential for a successful flight that intense ground preparation is carried out to assure that all the variations have been taken into account.


One of the variants which has to be carefully considered are meteorological conditions. Most of the accidents in aviation are caused by incorrect, insufficient or superficial Meteo planning. For this reason, a personal checklist should be established to follow predetermined steps and therefore to assure that all the factors have been considered.


Departure, en-route and alternate weather should all be considered. A common mistake is observing only the departure and the arrival weather without considering the en-route structure. Not considering the forecast at all is one of the gravest mistakes. 


To form a complete Meteo briefing, lot of information must be taken into account. Each data by itself ex (METAR-TAF) does not represent a valid information and cannot be considered as the only source. More information must be taken into account (like RADAR WATERFALL- SATELLITE IMMAGINE- SIGNIFICANT WEATHER CHARTS-WIND ALOFT ECC). 


A part of good airmanship should be to ask the Meteo briefing for further clarification in case a weather phenomenon cannot be fully understood. After having obtained all the possible meteorological information a decision has to be made: whether to FLY OR NOT.


At this point, the decision making process comes in play. As the airplane is airborne, a good pilot still monitors the meteorological conditions around him making sure that the flight can be conducted as safely as possible. The IN-FLIGHT weather information can be taken from multiple sources, for example VOLMET, which continues the broadcast of meteorological information including hazardous weather such as SIGMET.



Moreover, there is continuous help provided by the air traffic controllers, in most of the cases equipped with a radar able to capture precipitation. Lastly, there are the PIREP’S or also called Pilot reports. It is a vital part of good airmanship to report any unforecasted weather encountered EN-ROUTE to the air traffic controller because “up there”, we all need to help each other.


Pilot reports can be significant for the safety of a flight as there is nothing better than weather information given by a pilot that has flown over the same track as you 10 minutes earlier. 


Here in Flying Academy we teach our students every day how to be professional and how to be able to make good decisions based on solid foundations.


Source: R. Iannaccone, FA, Foto: FA, Wiki

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