Change is in the wind when it comes to aviation weather reports and reporting and it’s about time. It should go without saying that the internet has completely changed the way that pilots interact with their weather resources. On that front, the PIREP reporting system has gotten a bit of an update.
As I discussed last month, how pilot weather reports (PIREPS) are handled has been an area of concern lately. They were the subject of an NTSB report that didn’t exactly paint a shiny picture. To sum up, too many PIREPS get lost, mishandled, or are not made in the first place. All of which leads to not having access to some of the most accurate weather information possible—that which comes from the pilot flying through it.
So what’s the big change? You can now submit a PIREP via the National Weather Service’s Aviation Weather Center Digital Data Service (ADDS) website. The electronic pilot report submission page has been up and running for about six months. During that time, it has been streamlined and improved to make it easier to use. Using the system does require setting up an account, but once a user registers, they can fill out an online form and submit their PIREP from anywhere with internet access.
It still doesn’t deal with the immediate access issue that is at the source of the trouble with PIREPS. A report made after landing is helpful, but not as good as a report made two minutes after encountering unexpected weather. Still, making it easier and more convenient to make a PIREP is definitely a step in the right direction.
To learn more or file an online PIREP, check out the NWS Aviation Weather Center and register under the User tab.
For more information on the current concerns with pilot weather reports, read our article on Overhauling The PIREP.