While the weather data that we can now collect live in the cockpit on our avionics suites or on a portable tablet is fairly well updated and accurate, there is some weather information that can only be delivered by a human inside a cockpit.
Critical information, such as cloud tops, cloud layers, turbulence and icing conditions, is not available unless it has been provided by a pilot who has experienced and recorded the conditions. Since this information cannot be distributed to other pilots by any other means than a pilot report, or pirep, it is important that we all help each other out by submitting the data to the appropriate source.
If you have never provided a pirep and you want to learn more about them, AOPA provides a great course called SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy. This online safety course explains how to make these reports, who to report the information to and how to use data provided by other pilots to your advantage during the preflight or while you are in flight. Whether you report the conditions while in flight or once you get on the ground, the information you provide can help other pilots who are flying or intend to fly through the areas where you were just flying.
Here is a link to AOPA’s SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy course.
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