Features

May 2007 Issue

AWOS/ASOS Lies

Automated weather observations have replaced humans in many locations, but they have their limitations. Why they “lie,” and what you can do about it.

When you get right down to it—the ground, that is—precise knowledge of local weather is the single critical factor determining whether your three-hour instrument flight is going to have a happy ending. You’ll either get an easy peek at your flight-story’s last page or it’ll become a cliffhanger at decision height, followed by a missed approach. Naturally, weather has a significant effect on the critical few minutes of an instrument approach (even a VFR approach), as well as our decision-making process.

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