Weather/Flight Planning


AWOS/ASOS:

Automated Weather Observing Systems and Automated Surface Observing Systems are on-field automated services that transmit over a COM or NAV (VOR) frequency.  This is the best choice to determine the local basic weather information such as winds, cloud layers, ceilings and local altimeter settings.  The following are some local stations.

 

 Airport Identifier  AWOS Frequency / Phone  Airport Identifier  AWOS Frequency / Phone
 KOKK (Kokomo)  113.50 / 765-452-3014  8I3 (Glenndale)  Use Kokomo 113.50 / 765-452-3014
 5I4 (Sheridan)  Use Indy Executive 120.725 / 317-769-4154  I72 (Westfield)  Use Indy Executive 120.725 / 317-769-4154

Each airport has a windsock or wind T to physically show wind direction, which should always be primary.

ATIS

Automated Terminal Information System. Although the “A” stands for automated it’s actually manually updated at least once per hour. ATIS is normally available at “Towered Fields” and includes runway and taxiway information.

APPS

Basic weather apps for local current conditions.

Avia Weather (Android) gives you METARS and TAFs
Aerovie (Apple) Forecast, METARS and TAFS, some flight planning
Wunderground (Apple and Android) Local wx conditions, radar
Weather Live (Apple and Android) Local wx conditions, radar
Weather Channel (Apple and Android) Local wx conditions, radar

Obtaining Weather

There are several services that offer aviation weather products. It’s important to make sure the service you use is recognized by the FAA as a valid source of aviation weather. The following are services which we recommend, to get an idea of what the weather will be like anywhere from current conditions, extending to the next week.

www.wunderground.com (Free, radar, big picture, hourly forecast, not detailed)
weather.com (Free, same assets as weatherunderground)
aviationweather.gov (Free & Official Government weather , FTC recommends, easy to use)
https://weathermeister.com (PAID, FTC recommends, best layout, some flight planning included)

FLIGHT PLANNING APPS & WEATHER

These services offer you both official aviation weather, plus enhanced flight planning tools.

Foreflight (PAID, one of the best, FTC recommends, links up with Garmin, Avidyne and others. Can only be used on Apple tablets/phones.)

Garmin Pilot (PAID, one of the best, FTC recommends, links up only with Garmin Products. Can be used on Apple or Android tablets/phones.)

Avare (FREE, Android, app available on Google Play. Mobile only.)

FltPlan Go (FREE, Android, mobile and desktop)

FlyQ (PAID, cheaper, works on several different avionics products. Apple or Android tablets/phones.)

www.1800wxbrief.com is the official FAA Flight Service website, which is a must have for all pilots. For those “low tech” pilot types, you can also just call the number 1-800-wxbrief and talk to a “briefer” in person. The website is not as user friendly as some.

Garmin Pilot and Foreflight both offer paid subscription service plans that allow you to download all aviation maps (VFR & IFR) as well as Approach Plates, and use them electronically in-flight. In addition, each offers up flight planning services, weather, and will allow you to file, open and close flight plans. We use both Garmin Pilot and Foreflight for our mapping software, both for filing flight plans and for our legal weather briefings.

We also use weathermeister.com, a paid service that is laid out like an excel spreadsheet, with color coding and other tools that make it easier interpret the weather. We use this for our daily local flights as well as trips, in order to see METARS and TAFs for our area or entire route of flight. It also helps with winds aloft to determine best enroute altitudes. It has weather charts, NOTAMS, specialty airspace such as TFRs, flight planning capabilities; everything you need to plan a trip.

Skyvector.com (FREE, easiest for new students)