Current Study on Pireps Needs Pilot Input

Project 33 looks at the future use of augmented reality to help pilots visualize clouds and convective weather. PEGASAS

PEGASAS, is not just another aviation-weather acronym—it stands for the Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability, an FAA Center of Excellence for General Aviation. Amongst the long list of efforts produced by PEGASAS has been Project 4, Wx Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC), which concluded in August 2018. Project 4 collected information from weather providers and pilots to define the factors that play into weather-related accidents, and the ways that pilot alerts, decision making, and the presentation of information contributed to those factors. A demonstrator tool, WILD, was developed to show the effects of weather information latency and alerting systems, and education on using the tool was delivered as well.

Project 4 is the parent project out of which another weather-related project was borne, Project 33, the Advanced Wx Information Project (AWIP)—and one of its goals is to " is to increase the use, quality and reliability of pireps (or pilot reports) of weather conditions experienced through flight," according to the PEGASAS website. The use of augmented reality to drive three-dimensional visualization of cloud formation—particularly in convective environments—should help pilots to understand and mitigate the challenges associated with flying in these environments.

Flying spoke with Mel Futrell, a California-based pilot working with the FAA via Purdue University on a variety of the projects under the PEGASAS umbrella. “We have a current study concerning technology and pirep use and behavior, and I have a survey to query the GA public to this effect.” The data will be used to understand how to improve the ability of pilots to collect and process weather data.

Please consider participating in the online survey on pireps available at this link. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes. The Florida Institute of Technology and Purdue University appreciate as many pilots as possible participating in the survey between now and the end of November 2020.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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