You are planning your flight and need to check surface weather conditions at your destination airport. But which system do you use? AWOS? ASOS? What is the difference between the two and how do you know which system an airport is using?
As a responsible human being and pilot, before you commit to a flight, you naturally will want to check the weather. An AIRMET is one of the sources that pilots use to gather the meteorological information needed for flight planning and decision making.
One of the skills pilots must learn and excel at is meteorology. It is important to be adept at reading weather reports and forecasts then using them to make informed flight decisions. There are multiple reports to consult, and METARs are one of the primary sources for current weather information. Learning how to read a METAR is a key part of being a safe pilot.
For all the new pilots wondering how to read a TAF, you are not alone. Pull up a terminal aerodrome forecast, and you will quickly realize that the entire thing is written using codes or acronyms that must be deciphered and decoded. The good news is that TAFs and METARs use many of the same abbreviations, so once you learn one, the other will be much easier and quicker to grasp.
What in the world is “scud running?” If you are asking this question you are not alone. It may sound like something a Tusken Raider would do in a Star Wars landspeeder, but human pilots have been known to engage in scud running their rotary and fixed wing aircraft with mixed results.