WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board said May 7 that the National Weather Service and the FAA should provide improved forecast services to pilots.
NTSB officials pointed to nine areas for the two agencies to provide better information. The recommendations were based on the NTSB’s accident investigations involving aircraft encountering weather conditions, such as adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence, and low-level wind shear.
“What’s difficult to understand,” NTSB Board Member Earl Weener said in the announcement, “is why weather advisories from the National Weather Service to the general public, at times, provide more comprehensive information about weather conditions than the advisories they provide to pilots experiencing the same conditions. Why pilots would receive less information makes no sense, and increases the risk of flying in severe weather conditions.”
He added that is why this issue is on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List.
The NTSB announcement added that although the National Weather Service routinely advises pilots of turbulence and weather patterns associated with mountain wave activity (MWA), which can cause unique and adverse flying conditions, there are currently no requirements for the NWS to issue advisories specific to MWA.
Other issues NTSB recommends include additional awareness and communication between the weather service units and the aviation weather centers, enhanced communication between meteorologists to ensure mutual situational awareness of critical aviation weather data, and proper coordination and communication between the various NWA components.
Weener added safety will be enhanced for pilots and their passengers when pilots are given a complete weather report, including all of the most current weather information.
For more information: NTSB.gov