Saturday, September 1, 2007
25 Great Aviation Websites
Flying the Internet is shifting from a flight of fancy to an icon of information
|Anyone looking to find the facet of flying that has grown the most over the past decade will discover that it’s the part of aviation on the Internet. What began as a mere curiosity some years ago is now a well-established component in most pilots’ lives. Never before have we been able to find so much information about the passion we share.|
The Google search engine may be the single most useful tool for finding information and aviation-related Websites. Don’t rely solely on the home page’s search field. Click on the “Advanced Search” link to the right and avail yourself of the much more sophisticated query features. http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov
Instead of carrying the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) around or trying to find the form at your local FBO, you can print one from the NASA Website. You’re still required to fill it out by hand. This site also contains information about the immunity policy and allows you to request ASRS database queries. http://www.weather.noaa.gov/index.html & http://adds.aviationweather.noaa.gov
These are two related National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Websites that provide almost everything you need to review and evaluate the weather. The Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) site often has new products and services, sometimes even prereleases. Few sites are as handy as these for exhaustive weather information. www.weather.com & http://home.accuweather.com
The Weather Channel and AccuWeather are both good places to start your flight planning. Get the big-picture view of the weather and look at Doppler radar and local temperatures with a couple of mouse clicks. You can make your initial go/no-go decision here before you begin looking at the detailed aviation weather. Many local TV stations also have their own Websites with more current or detailed local weather information than sites covering larger areas. www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/satellite
Want the really big picture? How about a satellite picture of a quarter of the United States? Click on the appropriate link for the area to be viewed. There are several areas with options for visual, infrared and water vapor.
This is a must-have link. You may not use it very often, but when you need to do some sort of aviation-related calculation or conversion, there’s undoubtedly a program on this site that will handle it with ease. www.naco.faa.gov
The FAA’s National Aeronautical Charting Office now allows pilots to purchase charts and other flight publications online, directly from the government. Use a credit card for a one-time purchase or set up a subscription to make sure you’re never without a current chart.
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