AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - 44

WEATHER: IT'S LIVE OR LATENT
Continued from page 43

the general aviation fleet. Those effected aircraft are
largely small piston-single aircraft, though a few highperformance singles, among them piston, turboprop and
jet models, stand as exceptions.
Everything else pilots can access in-flight arrives on their
viewing screens after enduring a bit of a delay, or latency.
That latency originates in steps as radar graphics undergo
preparation for broadcast.
It's that latency that prompts the weather-data providers
to stress using the graphics and data only for strategic
weather avoidance - and to not use the minutes-old
weather-avoidance tools on a real-time basis. Just think
about how far a storm cell can move in 20 minutes - the
latency period the Federal Aviation Administration cites for
its free flight information services-broadcast available via
ADS-B In.
Ride along as we explore the many options available
for receiving almost-live weather texts and radar pictures -
both free and subscription-based - as well as the strengths
and limitations of each.
And pilots should always remember: Sometimes the best
weather-avoidance option remains a ground-level solution
- when you see the prognosis and make a new decision, a
decision to stay on the ground.
SiriusXM Aviation:
Satellite-based weather for the cockpit
The dominant satellite-based weather service, now
called SiriusXM Aviation, started delivering its goods back
in the 1990s and today remains the top subscription-based
weather service. Early in its existence, Sirius satellite
weather used a request/respond process, a product of the
limited bandwidth and low capacity of the delivery system.
Today, SiriusXM Aviation streams its products on
a continuous basis for a subscription price that varies
according to the level of service desired by the subscriber.
SiriusXM Aviation offers monthly rates as low as $29.99
for the basic Pilot Express package, a special ForeFlightcompatible package for $39.99, a Pilot Preferred package
for $59.99 a month and its top-of-the-line package, the Pilot
Pro, for $99.99 a month.
With the exception of the Pilot for ForeFlight package,
each step up increases the number and depth of the
services SiriusXM provides. The Pilot Express package
includes essential weather information for all pilots with

U.S. radar extending into southern Canada, cloud-to-cloud
and cloud-to-ground lightning, TAFs, METARs, weather
observations and warnings.
The Pilot Preferred package provides all of the Express
features plus every feature of the ForeFlight package plus
forecasts and weather observations; hi-res graphical forecast
winds; weather map with surface features and isobars,
surface visibility, freezing level, and tropical storm tracking.
The Pilot Pro package is SiriusXM Aviation's mostcomprehensive aviation weather package, with every feature
in the Preferred package plus features for more-advanced
pilots or longer flights including extended forecasts; six levels
of graphical turbulence and icing NOWcast.
To use SiriusXM requires a 978 MHz receiver working
with a device running ForeFlight - or a compatible receiver
from one of the many avionics makers offering them.
Receiving capabilities are available from a wide variety of
avionics companies. Check with the avionics firm of the
customer's choosing to determine whether a compatible
receiver is available to use SiriusXM.
SiriusXM offers its SXAR1 receiver, a unit comparable
with all of the packages offered, including the Pilot for
ForeFlight. And Garmin offers numerous avenues for
receiving SiriusXM, among them the GXM 42 ADS-B In
receiver, the GDL 69 and 69A SXM, and the GDL 51/52 and
GDL 51R/52R. Learn more at siriusxm.com/sxmaviation.
FIS-B: Flight Information Services-Broadcast
Among the various tools available for delivering weather
data and graphics to aircraft cockpits is the FAA's FIS-B.
Available on the 978 MHz frequency used for one ADS-B
option, FIS-B provides pilots with a wealth of weatherinformation and weather-avoidance tools viewable on
most cockpit displays, as well as smartphones and tablet
computers with a 978 receiver connection. And 978 MHz
receivers come out as one of the most-popular cockpit
accessories of the past few years.
The key is the value equation. The cost can be as
low as $200 for some FIS-B receiving devices capable
of working with software to translate the images onto a
tablet, smartphone or compatible cockpit display. The
electronically savvy pilot can also obtain the components
needed to build the ADS-B In receiver for use with those
same devices.
The list of services delivered via FIS-B is significant, with
the top item of appeal for some users being the NEXRAD
radar graphics the service provides.
The FAA created FIS-B for use by general aviation pilots

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http://siriusxm.com/sxmaviation

AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021

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AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - Intro
AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - Cover1
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