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Weather Technology in the Cockpit

The Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) program is an FAA weather research program that develops Minimum Weather Service recommendations for cockpit weather information and its rendering, pilot weather training, and cockpit weather technology for incorporation into standards, guidance documents, training materials, and technical transfer or Government agencies for implementation.

Please refer to the caption following the image
Dr. Ian Johnson flies a Beech 350 simulator at the Cockpit Simulation Center at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J. Johnson is a human factors researcher in the FAA's Aviation Weather Division's Weather Technology in the Cockpit program.

The WTIC program researches ways to improve:

  • cockpit weather information and its rendering
  • pilot understanding and interpretation of cockpit weather information and technologies
  • weather information training
  • operational efficiency and safety by resolving cockpit weather related gaps in information and technology.

The recommendations developed by WTIC research are referred to in the WTIC program as "Minimum Weather Services" for Part 91 and for Part 121/135 aircraft.

The WTIC program investigates the quality (accuracy, latency, spatial resolution, etc.) of weather information available in the cockpit, how the weather information is presented or integrated, and what information is insufficient or missing. Types of adverse weather include: convection, lowered ceilings and visibility, icing, and turbulence.

Please refer to the caption following the image
Display from the WTIC program's Active Reminder technology.

WTIC research will develop, verify, and validate a set of Minimum Weather Service (MinWxSvc) recommendations for FAR Parts 91 (general aviation aircraft), 121 (commercial aircraft), and 135 (business aircraft) to address information shortfalls and enhance pilot weather decision-making in advance of encountering potentially hazardous weather conditions.

Supplemental Materials

  1. Symbol Salience Augments Change-Detection Performance in Cockpit Weather Displays. (DOT/FAA/TC-19/31). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: FAA William Hughes Technical Center.
  2. General Aviation Pilot Situation Assessment and Decision-Making During Flights in Deteriorating Visibility Conditions. (DOT/FAA/TC-19/32). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: FAA William Hughes Technical Center.
  3. Assessments of Flight and Weather Conditions during General Aviation Operations. (DOT/FAA/TC-19/33). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: FAA William Hughes Technical Center.
  4. The effect of weather state-change notifications on general aviation pilots' behavior, cognitive engagement, and weather situation awareness (DOT/FAA/TC-15/64). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.
  5. Initial assessment of portable weather presentations for general aviation pilots (DOT/FAA/TC-15/42). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.
  6. Now you see me, now you don't: Change blindness in pilot perception of weather symbology (DOT/FAA/TC-14/16). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.
  7. Ahlstrom, U., & Dworsky, M. (2012). Effects of weather presentation symbology on general aviation pilot behavior, workload, and visual scanning (DOT/FAA/TC-12/55). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.
  8. Assessments of the Visual Flight Rules Not Recommended Statement (DOT/FAA/TC-19/45). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: FAA William Hughes Technical Center.
  9. Combined Report: Aviation Weather Knowledge Assessment & General Aviation (GA) Pilots' Interpretation of Weather Products.
    Abstract: Prior research has indicated that general aviation (GA) pilots may lack adequate knowledge of aviation weather concepts and skill at interpreting aviation weather displays. Therefore, the purpose of the current project was to develop and validate a comprehensive set of aviation weather knowledge and interpretation multiple-choice questions, and in turn, to use the questions to assess pilot understanding of aviation weather concepts and displays. An interdisciplinary research team that included two meteorologists, one Gold Seal Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI), a human factors psychologist, and several human factors graduate students performed this research.
  10. Meteorological and Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) Data Link Services Application Study
    Abstract: Delivery of Meteorological (MET) and Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) information to the cockpit via data link is an evolving technology. In response to discussions with personnel in the Federal Aviation Administration, the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) undertook a study of incidents citing the use of MET and AIS Data Link Services or Applications. ASRS analyzed and codified information from data link end-users as reported in ASRS incidents received. The objectives of this study were to: (A) Understand when and how data link services are used; (B) Understand issues related to the accuracy and timeliness of weather data link services; and (C) Understand human factors relating to the use and integration of data link services. To obtain a copy of this report please contact Dr. Ian Johnson.

Links to Training:

  1. Experiential Education Latency Module
  2. Experiential Education Visibility Module
  3. Enhancing Pilot Knowledge of Aviation Weather Course. This course will focus on key takeaways from WTIC research and will provide insight on cockpit weather information and weather decision making that impact pilots in flight.
  4. Weather Technology In The Cockpit (WTIC)—FAA NextGen Weather Research Program: Enhancing Pilot Knowledge of Aviation Weather Course
    Course Description: This session is intended for flight instructors to highlight weather knowledge areas that have been identified as lacking by pilots, to enhance instructor ability to teach aviation weather, and to provide information on new weather products including their limitations and enhanced benefits.
  5. WeatherXplore Application. The WeatherXplore Application was derived from research sponsored and funded by the Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) program. Connect digital content with aviation educational material to compliment FAA Aviation Weather Services Advisory Circular AC 0045-H chg. 1 and the FAA Aviation Weather Advisory Circular AC- 06B to aid in the correlation of weather subjects.

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This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/programs/weather/wtic/