I never found flying difficult, I know how to taking off, navigate, and if you don’t count that last one, land. But I do find all the extra work around flying difficult, tedious, but essential. From keeping up on the rules and regulations, reading NOTAMS, checking IFR approach plates, alternative minimus, alternate airports, obstacles, and weather! Most of my flying was long distance in a small blue airplane so getting good at weather was important.
The Wx24 Pilot App was born out of my pre flight planning on 1,000 mile flights to the Rockies or Southwest Florida. I found myself doing the same tasks over and over; finding a good sampling of enroute TAFs, calculating when I’d be close to each enroute TAF and determining the relevant TAF segments, converting local time and keeping track of time zones, deciphering the alphanumeric text, and checking airmets and sigmets, and invariable forgetting about TFRs! None of this was hard but it was tedious and error prone.
At that time I flew an Expedition e350, cruising at about 140 kts, I didn’t have de-icing equipment, couldn’t climb over the weather, was very susceptible to turbulence, didn’t have an FO, co-pilot or even a stewardess attendant to talk to! So dealing with the weather was paramount in my mind.
In 2014 I had an idea of how to better handle TAFs. I consider TAFs the most accurate and current forecast I have to base decisions on. After an incident involving VFR flight in IMC and almost needing a 2nd pair, I decided to commit to developing this app. In Jan 2015 I launched Wx24 Pilot and have polished since that time.
Wx24 Pilot essentially takes all the same aviation weather reports we all use, TAFs, Airmets, Sigmets, PIREPs, Metars, and rearranges them into a visual format, adds a few handy tools to make for a much better way of getting and understanding flight weather for a much more confident go/no-go decision. For me Wx24 Pilot took a 10 minute pre flight weather planning task to under 10 seconds and gave me a lot more confidence.
Having a keen sense of observation I determined (after a few years) that there were a lot more non pilots than pilots in the world. So I removed the aviation jargon and made Atmosphere Weather and Drive Weather based on the interface and features of Wx24 Pilot for all the non pilots of the world.
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