PWhile Pilot Reports (PIREPs) are an important component of safe and efficient flight, their numbers have declined in recent years as part of the trend of fewer inflight contacts. An NTSB study has also concluded that to encourage more PIREPS, the process needs to be simpler and less time-consuming. To help address these concerns, Flight Service improvements have been developed to make it easier for pilots to submit a PIREP. For example, flight service specialists now only use read-back for accuracy when there is uncertainty about information a pilot provides. In addition, specialists are now encouraged to request specific details pertinent to the current or forecast weather, shortening the time required to obtain a PIREP from pilots eager to return to ATC frequencies.
Another simple way to prepare and send PIREPs from the cockpit is with inflight electronic PIREP submissions. It works with an easy-to-use, menu-based interface either on a mobile device or cockpit avionics, which allows word selection to describe the level of the weather experienced. As suggested by the NTSB, vendors have modified platforms to accept PIREP submissions up to five hours after occurrence, providing additional valuable data to fill in observation gaps for forecast models and advisory products. You can also learn more about PIREPS in the article “How to Be a Weather Wingman” in the March/April 2018 issue of FAA Safety Briefing.
From 1800WxBrief: Inflight Electronic PIREP Submission
Leidos is proud to announce our new capability for inflight electronic PIREP submissions. We’ve recently partnered with equipment manufacturers and service providers to give pilots a simple way to prepare and send PIREPS from their cockpit device without having to change frequencies or contact Leidos Flight Service.
Inflight PIREP submission is the most recent component of our Flight Services Data Link strategy, building on the cockpit to ground communications capability we put in place for our Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS) and our Surveillance-Enhanced Search and Rescue (SE-SAR) service. Every pilot knows the value of PIREPs. Our PIREP submission infrastructure lets you submit PIREPs without contacting Flight Service via radio, while your vendor’s equipment provides a simple, easy to use, interface for preparing and sending a PIREP. Urgent PIREPs are immediately uplinked to other pilots registered for ACAS and flying in the same area.
Several companies are working to add support for electronic PIREP submission, so if your provider doesn’t yet offer this feature, look for it to be added in the near future.