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Inflight Weather

Old 5th Aug 2022, 03:01
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Inflight Weather

Hi all

I have searched and either I'm terrible at searching (a distinct possibility) or this hasn't been asked. Apologies if I've missed it.

Can any Australian pilots give me some useful advice on receiving weather, winds aloft, weather radar etc. at higher altitudes where there is no mobile reception. My aircraft has an XM subscription which is great for the US but useless here. No Garmin avionics, it's an IS&S system so something handheld that feeds the iPad would be what I'd need.

As an example, I was cruising along at FL360 the other day, beating into 120kt headwinds (80 more than forecast) and only had 2 hour old data on my iPad so didn't know if I should try higher or lower,

Is there a way to achieve this reliably that doesn't cost a bomb?

And as an aside, why don't we get XM in Australia?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 05:57
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Mate...........you're in Australia, not a first world country.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 06:17
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Be thankful you had a 2-hour-old forecast. There's hundreds of airfields out here that don't even get a forecast, yet alone a decent TAF. But to answer your question, so far as I'm aware, there's nothing available to us down here like you can get in the US. No uplinked NEXRAD, no FIS-B'd METAR's, down here there's zero, zip, nada!

About your only possible option would be some kind of SATCOM/Iridium data subscription to access the latest BOM winds-aloft charts, but even then, they can be upto 3 hours old.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 10:56
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FYI
this used to help
but need wifi https://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-ti...hr&zoom=&time=
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 11:11
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Sounds like you need a navigator, old buddy!

Are you seriously telling me that the "continuous intellectual pursuit" that I was told was modern piloting is simply you sitting there waiting for your "XM subscription" to tell you what to do next?

Please advise for who you work, so I can avoid booking your airline.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 11:22
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Originally Posted by Adam Kaplan View Post
As an example, I was cruising along at FL360 the other day, beating into 120kt headwinds (80 more than forecast) and only had 2 hour old data on my iPad so didn't know if I should try higher or lower,
Sounds like you need a new flight plan provider!
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 12:16
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Please advise for who you work, so I can avoid booking your airline.
Don't worry, I'm tipping you wouldn't get within a hundred feet of this bloke's aircraft.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 13:11
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Welcome to one of the few developing countries where it is safe to drink the tap water.

If you need REAL TIME wind updates I suggest the only option is calling other aircraft.

I find that our flight plan winds are accurate and provide options above and below our planned crusing level.

As mentioned above, check with your flight planning service.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 14:22
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Two things,
1/. ATC have GRIB winds available through Eurocat which are routinely updated, and they could ask other aircraft operating at different levels in the vicinity.
2/. Did you tell ATC? PIREP so that BOM would receive an update.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 16:11
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Originally Posted by Adam Kaplan View Post

As an example, I was cruising along at FL360 the other day, beating into 120kt headwinds (80 more than forecast) and only had 2 hour old data on my iPad so didn't know if I should try higher or lower,

.
In general, the higher you go, the stronger the winds. I thought anyone who flies in the flight levels would know that by experience?
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 22:36
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Originally Posted by Mr Approach View Post
Sounds like you need a navigator, old buddy!

Are you seriously telling me that the "continuous intellectual pursuit" that I was told was modern piloting is simply you sitting there waiting for your "XM subscription" to tell you what to do next?

Please advise for who you work, so I can avoid booking your airline.
Have you considered changing your handle to “Mr Approachable”?

I fly for myself, often by myself, and as “tossbag” stated, there’s slim likelihood of you ever getting anywhere near my aircraft so consider my airline successfully avoided!

Originally Posted by tossbag View Post
Don't worry, I'm tipping you wouldn't get within a hundred feet of this bloke's aircraft.
I’ll happily take odds on that!
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 22:42
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Originally Posted by smiling monkey View Post
In general, the higher you go, the stronger the winds. I thought anyone who flies in the flight levels would know that by experience?
My experience is limited but growing, helped in part by the useful replies on this forum! In general you are correct, but not always, and I would have thought that anyone who comments on here would also know that fuel burn changes with altitude, so having accurate and timely information would be very useful.


Originally Posted by nose,cabin View Post
FYI
this used to help
but need wifi

Many thanks, I’ll check it out.
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Old 6th Aug 2022, 08:43
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What do you use for flight planning software? We use an iPad based app at my work and it’s generally pretty accurate
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Old 6th Aug 2022, 10:59
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Yes, concur with morno. The flight planning software I use at work is also quite accurate for both ETI's between waypoints and fuel burns based on forecast winds.
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Old 6th Aug 2022, 22:13
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I miss the good old days of paper planning.
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Old 6th Aug 2022, 22:36
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Originally Posted by missy View Post
Two things,
1/. ATC have GRIB winds available through Eurocat which are routinely updated, and they could ask other aircraft operating at different levels in the vicinity.
2/. Did you tell ATC? PIREP so that BOM would receive an update.
Thank you Missy. Stupidly, I did not tell ATC, I should have.
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Old 6th Aug 2022, 22:36
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Originally Posted by morno View Post
What do you use for flight planning software? We use an iPad based app at my work and it’s generally pretty accurate
I’m using AvPlan, what do you use at work?
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Old 7th Aug 2022, 03:25
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Adam, to answer your last question. Even XM weather in the US market is not economically viable. XM piggyback their wx service on the back of the more lucrative XM Music subscription service. Such a music service would not be viable in Australia based on satellite.
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Old 7th Aug 2022, 12:58
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Originally Posted by OZBUSDRIVER View Post
Adam, to answer your last question. Even XM weather in the US market is not economically viable. XM piggyback their wx service on the back of the more lucrative XM Music subscription service. Such a music service would not be viable in Australia based on satellite.
That’s interesting, thank you.
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Old 7th Aug 2022, 22:28
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The only GA unit I know of is a Garmin GSR56 which enables the following (quoted from the website)

Global weather and communication tools enhance flight safety with access on compatible displays
Services include graphical radar imagery, METARs, TAFs and more
2-way text/voice communication keeps you in touch anywhere
All-inclusive rate plans with weather, voice and text start at $80 per month
Pairing a GTN™ or GTN Xi series navigator and Flight Stream 510 enables wireless text and voice calling from a mobile device
I have used this - but the plans are very expensive
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