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Cruise Flight - Good Habits

Source: Wally Moran


"Well I know you've talked about using Flight Following. How about weather updates and additional information as we're cruising? What are some of the available resources to us?"


"As we fly over the airports, it's a very simple task to tune up the ATIS or the AWOS. Most airports have AWOS nowadays. And you might ask: "Why? Why do that? I've already got a weather briefing and I can see the weather is just wonderful below me. There's no reason to listen to that AWOS or to that ATIS." But there are some very good reasons. That engine might just give you a problem. Or a passenger may be a problem in just a moment. You may need to make a precautionary landing. If you've been listening to the weather, you already know which way the wind is blowing. And in the case of the ATIS, you know which runway is active at an airport you might land at. So by staying up to date on these things as you fly by, you're mentally prepared all the time in case you need to land."


"Wally I'm still amazed at how few pilots utilize Flight Watch. What a great resource that's there for us, and yet very underutilized."


"That's for sure. There are all of those resources out there with Flight Service, Flight Watch: there again, options we can use to give us more information. The more information we have the safer our flight is likely to be."


"I also am amazed at how few pilots get and give PIREPs. Weather forecasts are wonderful things. But how about some real real-time data? Pilots in the airline industry -they take it to the next level: "Hey how about ride reports, tell us what's going on ahead of us." In General Aviation, we can do the same thing by giving and receiving PIREPs."


"How helpful is it when we're planning our flight to get a PIREP to either confirm what we think about the weather, or not confirm what we think about the weather. And how do those get into the system? Pilots have to give them. So a good airman is always willing to offer up a PIREP to help fellow pilots."

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