Cross Country Topic Briefs

ASOS — Automated Surface Observing System

Automated weather reporting systems have been installed at thousands of airports across the country. They provide more weather data than ever before, but also require pilots to interpret the information they receive. Learn about the systems and their strengths and weaknesses; understand how they gather weather information and how you should interpret the data.

ASOS - Automated Surface Observing System (PDF version)

Say Intentions...When You Need ATC's Help

Most flight assists involve general aviation pilots. Do you know how to ask for air traffic control's assistance during emergency or urgency situations? This publication will explain how ATC can help you, as well as what controllers cannot do to help.

Say Intentions... When You Need ATC's Help (PDF version)

Weather Strategies

An Air Safety Foundation safety seminar, Weather Strategies takes pilots through the planning portion of a flight that seems, at first glance, impossible to fly. But is it? Join us as we study the weather, think about our options, and make the go/no-go decision.

Weather Strategies (PDF version)

Weather Tactics

A must-read for pilots, Weather Tactics is the sequel to Weather Strategies seminar. Join us for an interactive tour of ATC en route and approach control radar facilities. Learn what controllers can and cannot do to help pilots avoid hazardous weather.

Weather Tactics (PDF version)

Cloud Chart

This chart of common cloud types, created by the Air Safety Foundation in conjunction with the SkySpotter program, combines detailed descriptions of the major cloud types with color photographs. Print out a copy and take it with you for in-flight reference.

Cloud Chart (PDF version)

PIREP Checklist

This pilot report (PIREP) checklist prompts you for all the information required for a complete pilot weather report — in the proper sequence, too, so the flight service specialist who takes your PIREP will recognize that you're a real pro at this.

PIREP Checklist (PDF version)

The full range of Safety Advisors is available on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's website.