Aviation Weather Products

Along with continued flight training, it’s certainly time to begin brushing up on all aspects of the PTS.  While the Oral Test Prep Guide

is often cited as the definitive reference the PTS makes reference to 31 different CFRs, Advisory Circulars, FAA publications, AIM, Airport Facility Directory, NOTAMs, your POH and, just in case that wasn’t inclusive there’s always OTHER.  All of which you should become familiar with and the contents of which are fair game for your Oral Exam / Checkride.

With the exception of the Advisory Circulars, I’ve already reviewed all or at least a portion of the other material.

Since I missed two weather related questions on my FAA Knowledge Exam I decided to look at AC 00-45G Aviation Weather Services first. While AC 00-6 Aviation Weather last updated in 1975!!! speaks to weather itself, AC 00-45G, assuming you already understand weather, advises on the myriad “official” weather products.

Through countless Flight Service briefings, DUATS sessions, and maniacal refreshing of Weather Underground,  I like to say I’ve become familiar with all the weather information available.

I can decode METAR and TAF data.

I can interpret lines of Constant Pressure winds, wind direction, frontal systems, AIRMET’s / Sigmets, Radar Summary Charts, and read (but never understand) all the latest school closings.

If you put a chart in front of me, I could interpret it.  If you asked me questions about when it is issued and how long it was valid for….blank stare.  Not sure why.

AC 00-45G has it all in there, albeit across 405 pages.

So, as part of the learning I tried to piece together the major ones.

METARS: Every hour.  My experience has them coming out around 4-6 minutes before the top of the hour.

AIRMETS: are routinely issued for six hour periods beginning at 0145Z during Central Daylight Time and at 0245Z during Central Standard Time. AIRMETS are also amended as necessary due to changing weather conditions or issuance/cancellation of a SIGMET.

For the rest, I created a file. Hopefully it’s useful and I’ll study my own work.

I’m on on the hunt for all the checkride related hints, tips, advice, experiences available.



2 thoughts on “Aviation Weather Products

  1. Caitlin

    Wow, I think you know weather better than I did before my checkride. The only weather I was really asked about is if it was okay to go by checking the METAR. He asked me one other weather question in the air, but it was more just to teach me.
    Check with other students that have had your DPE recently. Right before mine another CFI told me exactly what I would be tested on. It definitely helped me study. I had tabbed my FAR/AIM for easy look up in case I needed it, ends up I didn’t.
    A few days before my oral, my boyfriend went randomly through that Oral Prep Guide and quizzed me. We were able to identify my weaknesses and I studied them more. Aerodynamics were my weakness. Good luck!

    1. Ron Post author

      Thanks. I’m more comfortable with weather now but getting generally paranoid regarding what questions will be asked. I’ve essentially been memorizing the oral test guide. I’ve got my FAR/AIM tabbed but had to redo it since I’m now into the 2014 guide…a shame because I had the 2013 well worn in. I’ll definitely try to get the intel on the DPE as soon as I find out who it is. I’ve got a bit of airwork left yet before the checkride is scheduled so that’s a little ways off.


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