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Aviators and perhaps sailors care more about the state of the atmosphere than most other folks. The safety of your trip will be built on a sound weather briefing. Test your knowledge on how to get one. (Answers are on page 23.)

1. A standard briefing excludes: (May have multiple answers.)

a. NOTAMs pertinent to your proposed route



d. Active Military Training Routes and Military Operations Areas

2. You can skip the weather briefing if you remain within 25 miles of the airport.

a. True

b. False

3. Why is it smart to get a standard briefing within two hours of departure time? (May have multiple answers.)

a. You will get current weather.

b. The briefer might issue, "IFR not recommended."

c. Current weather is better than forecast weather.

d. Better late than never!

4. You are given a summary of winds aloft. What's missing?

a. The freezing level

b. Temperature information

c. Wind shear warnings

d. The lifted-K index

5. A good weather briefing follows a flow. Order the following to achieve a full, proper briefing:

a. Obtain an outlook briefing.

b. Watch weather from media sources or the Internet.

c. Get an abbreviated briefing.

d. Obtain a standard briefing.

6. Improve your go or no-go judgment by: (May have multiple answers.)

a. Setting personal minimums

b. Going regardless to gain experience

c. Taking a wise old CFI with you

d. Avoiding plan-continuation bias

7. You plan your flight to overfly AWOS-equipped airports reporting VMC so you stay in good weather. Will this work?

a. Sure. It gives you many options to land en route.

b. Nope. Areas near airports might still be below VFR minimums.

c. Yes. You have near-continuous weather reporting all along your route.

d. No. Automated stations have cloud height and perhaps additional reporting restrictions.

8. Alert Weather Watches such as AIRMETs, SIGMETs and Convective SIGMETS are issued when they cover an area of 3000 square miles or more. Why is this worth knowing? (May have multiple answers.)

a. Localized areas might contain hazardous weather.

b. Aviation trivia

c. Alert Weather Watches assure safe weather elsewhere.

d. Absence of an advisory does not mean absence of hazardous weather.

9. What is a Center Weather Advisory? (May have multiple answers.)

a. CWAs advise of bad weather possibly hazardous to some aircraft.

b. CWAs substitute for AIRMETs and SIGMETs.

c. CWAs also cover areas 3000 square miles or more.

d. They can warn of weather too small to be included in other advisories.

10. PIREPS are important because pilots are often the only source of: (May have multiple answers.)

a. Ride complaints

b. Turbulence reports, especially clear air turbulence

c. Icing reports

d. Airborne meteorological expertise

11. TAFs (Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts) are: (May have multiple answers.)

a. Valid for a 10-statute mile radius around the airport

b. No, it's five miles.

c. Issued six times daily, valid for 36 hours

d. No, they're issued four times daily, valid for 24 hours.

12. These simple concepts can greatly improve your briefing: (May have multiple answers.)

a. Look for trends.

b. FSS adds little value; you have the same information they do.

c. Visibility usually matters more than ceilings.

d. Work from the general toward the specific.

13. Select two graphical depictions of convective weather.

a. CCS



d. SPC

14. Which online charts show current icing; which shows forecast icing? (May have multiple answers.)

a. ADDS Icing


c. NWS



1. b., c., d. Information on GPS or WAAS outages, MTRs, MOAs and published NOTAMs must be requested. The briefer will need you to provide the MTR number or MOA name. The briefer may not have access to all the most current military activity along your route. Only ATC really knows the status of an MOA because it can change minute to minute. TFR(s), airport or runway closures will be given regardless of type of briefing requested.

2. b. False. Preflight Action, 14 CFR [section]91.103(a), allows you to omit obtaining a weather report if the flight remains within "the vicinity of the airport." However, there's no specific definition provided for "vicinity." It's unlikely, though, that you could convince a fed that 25 miles was "in the vicinity."

3. a., c. When your proposed departure time is within two hours, current conditions will be given including a summary of current weather, PIREPs and weather radar information.

4. b. While winds and temperature aloft are in the same forecast, the temperature information part of that forecast is provided by the briefer only if you specifically request it.

5. b.f a., d., c. A good briefing flows from the big picture downward. Watching the weather on your own in advance gives a broad idea of what to expect. Next, obtain an outlook briefing six or more hours (up to 24) before your planned departure. Then, get a standard briefing closer to departure time. An abbreviated briefing just before your planned departure provides updates to a prior briefing or when you need only one or two items. Even so, the briefer will advise if adverse conditions are present or forecast.

6. a., d. Setting personal minimums is wise. Use say, 2000 feet and five miles visibility rather than basic VFR of 1000/3. With experience, you can work your personal minimums down to the lowest with which you're becoming comfortable. Avoid continuation bias by disregarding a forecast that allows you to go, when others suggest not going.

7. b., d. Areas along your route, even near airports, may be below VFR minimums, even though reporting stations are above VFR minimums. Reporting stations have area and cloud height limitations, typically 10-12,000 feet AGL. Not all are equipped to report all the weather.

8. a., d. Alert Weather Watches are strategic, not tactical. The absence of an alert does not assure safe passage.

9. a., d. Center Weather Advisories might precede the issuance or amendment of SIGMETs and AIRMETs. They apply to airspace under control of the issuing center and can warn of localized bad weather where an AIRMET or SIGMET cannot be issued.

10. b., c. A PIREP filed with any ATC facility will circulate throughout the facility.

11. b., d. TAFs are valid for a five statute-mile radius from the center of the runway complex. They are issued four times daily and valid for 24 hours. TAFs include expected surface winds, visibility, weather, obstructions to vision, cloud coverage, and heights.

12. a., c., d. Trending is vital. Weather often deteriorates as departure nears. FSS can add value. Good visibility reduces the likelihood of IMC. And don't get lost in minutiae.

13. a., c. CCS shows current convective SIGMETS, extending four to five days out. ECFP is the Extended Convective Forecast Product. These are two of seven charts that give you a solid view of convective weather. See

14. a., b. Current and forecast icing is found at Click on the forecast icing panel to see CIP/FIP plots of forecast icing at various altitudes and times in the future from 1000 feet MSL to FL300.
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Date:Dec 1, 2017

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