Posted: Jul 6, 2012 7:42 PM by Pat Shingleton
Our friend, David Weinstein, with Merrill Lynch is also an accomplished pilot as I always enjoy discussing with him his experiences and the importance of weather in avionics. CNN reports that cockpit displays depicting "real time" data could be 20 minutes old, sending pilots a false sense of existing conditions. The rule-of-thumb for weather information is agreeably five minutes old however the National Transportation Safety Board advises that older data could be life threatening. From two-seat aircraft to corporate jets, Next Generation Radar or NEXRAD systems offer old data and played a role in at least two fatal crashes in recent years due to erroneous time-stamps on their displays. In addition, targeted storms were sometimes wrongly pegged by 20 miles. Both crashes occurred at night preventing visual storm identifications.