NTSB Warns Old Weather Data on Pilot Displays Can Contribute to Plane Crashes

Monday, June 25, 2012
By George Hatcher

The NTSB has sent out a safety alert concerning weather information that is up to twenty minutes old, although it may be advertised as real time data. The discrepancy in time can be fatal when weather conditions are in rapid flux. The NTSB has related this old weather information to two recent crashes that occurred at night:

  • March 2010 med-evac helicopter Tennessee crash where the pilot was racing to home base trying to beat a storm
  • December 2011 Piper PA-32 Bryan Texas where the plane broke up in stormy weather.

In both these crashes, “the time stamps indicated the one-minute time interval used to create the image, and not the actual age of the data used to create the image.”

The Tennessee crash involved information five minutes old; the Texas crash involved information six to eight minutes old.

The night crashes in particular are affected by old data. Pilots need to be aware that the data can be old, and not use the weather display to navigate around bad weather.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

RSS Plane Crash News


  • Air Consumer.gov
  • AirCrashConsultants
  • Airfleets
  • Airliners.net
  • AOPA
  • Bird Strike Database
  • Bird Strike Database Query
  • EASA
  • FAA
  • Find A Pilot
  • Frixo
  • IATA
  • International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Montreal Convention MC99 English
  • Nasa
  • NOAA
  • NTSB
  • RITA
  • U.S. Office of Special Counsel
March 2018
« Feb    
  • WestJet Flight Makes Emergency Landing due to Smoke On Board https://t.co/c3r3hTeA4r
    about 20 mins ago
  • #Aviationsafety Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 Denver- Reno diverted to Las Vegas with navigation computer problem. https://t.co/5yKdADtjEG
    about 21 mins ago
  • #Aviationsafety Engine shut down on Fedex McDonnell Douglas MD-10 Memphis-New Orleans with 2 crew. Pilots returned… https://t.co/SEuq1WtYCj
    about 22 mins ago
  • #Aviationsafety Swiss Airbus A330 Miami,FL to Zurich landed with a nose wheel steering fault indication but after… https://t.co/OlszsWMd2x
    about 28 mins ago
  • #Aviationsafety Westjet Encore de Havilland Dash Vancouver-Nanaimo suffered smoke in cockpit&cabin, and made safe… https://t.co/5FOySxVIRx
    about 29 mins ago