Dispatch Weather in the Aviation Industry

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Giovanni Delgado4/29/12
FLT 443 Prof. Proscia

Dispatch Weather
In the aviaiton industry weather is one of the most important subjects. When the weather changes, there are changes in the conditions of a flight as well. Since weather changes so often, every flight is different. Changes in weather can happen during flights as well as between them. Both dispatchers and pilots have to be ready to deal with various changes in weather conditions and have a plan. Having a good understanding of weather is very important for a dispatcher. Even the aircraft's performance changes depending on what kind of weather conditions are expected. If an aircraft will be flying on hot and humid day the performance will be significantly deteriorated when compared to flying in dry and cool conditions, in which aircraft will perform better.

It is important for dispatchers and pilots to understand how an aircraft will perform in different weather conditions. When making a flight plan, the dispatcher has to take into consideration the weather at the departure and the destination airports. If it’s a hot and humid the aircraft will use more runway on a takeoff roll, and the rate of climb will be reduced. If dispatching an aircraft on a hot day the payload may have to be reduced in order to meet runway requirements, and be able to perform minimum required rate of climb. Dispatching a plane in cold weather is going to have improved performance, which will allow for more weight to be loaded on the plane.

Weather changes a lot more than just takeoff and climb performance depending on the winds aloft it will affect how much time will it take to reach the destination, and how much fuel is needed to complete the trip. The winds aloft also vary, so it’s important to make correct wind calculations when making a flight plan. Dispatchers must also consider landing minimums when planning a flight, dispatchers must be familiar with the company and crew minimums for landing. If the destination airport has low ceiling and poor visibility, a dispatcher has to be sure that it is not below standard landing minimums in addition to the company Operatrion specifications. If the airport goes below minimums while the plane is en route, the pilot might have to divert to an alternate airport. When making a flight plan dispatcher should plan for such an event, and pilots will be well aware of the plans if something like this would happen.

When making a flight plan dispatchers refer to many different resources availble to them. These are weather reports and charts given: * The METAR is an Aviation Routine Weather Report. It comes in both textual and graphical format and shows the current conditions of the airport. It also includes things like cloud cover, wind, precipitation, and temperatures. Issued every hour or when Weather changes. * The TAF is a Terminal Aerodrome Forecast. Available in textual format and describes the current and expected conditions with in a 5 mile radius of an airport. It has almost the same information as the METAR. It’s issued every 6 six hours, and covers 24 hrs of expected weather. Most of the time used to see whats expected at another airport upon landing. * The FA is an area forecast chart, that comes in a textual format, issued 3 times a day and valid for 18 hours. Covers an area the size of several states, and includes reports of visibility, clouds, mountain obscuration, and VFR or IFR conditions. * The SIGWX are Prognostic charts available in graphical format. Issued very 12 hours available for 24 hours. They come in two different types as low level and high level. Low level charts cover from the surface to 24000 feet and high level covers from 25000-63000 feet. Low level displays things like front movements, pressure areas, freezing level, type of precipitation, and turbulence. High-level chart display CB clouds, turbulence, jet stream, and height of the...
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