WTIC, ICICLE, and More
With that backdrop in mind, and as the spring flying season gets GA airplanes and pilots moving again, the FAA Safety Briefing team thought it would be a great time for a fresh look at some of these developments in weather awareness. We’ll start off with an overview of the FAA’s Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) program. As you will learn, this NextGen weather research endeavor is working on ways to ensure that cockpit and portable weather displays convey critical weather information more effectively. The magazine team also takes a look at how the WTIC program is working with researchers at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), and academia (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability (PEGASAS)).
Winter may be waning, but aircraft icing can occur at any time of year if the conditions are right. Given how dangerous inflight icing can be, another article covers a field program called In-Cloud ICing and Large-drop Experiment (ICICLE). ICICLE, which started in early 2019, saw the FAA working with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). This team used research aircraft to compile new, high-quality measurements covering a broad spectrum of icing conditions (freezing drizzle, freezing rain, “small drop” icing, high liquid water contents) as well as non-icing conditions (glaciated environments and clear air).
We’ll take a look at the FAA’s weather camera program, which is wildly popular in Alaska. One of our most popular magazine alumnae, Sabrina Woods, makes a return appearance with her intriguingly titled “Mind the Gap” piece on … well, I’ll let you discover the subject as you read.
Meet the New Administrator
Last but definitely not least, we are delighted to feature an interview with the FAA’s new Administrator, Steve Dickson. Administrator Dickson has quickly become known around the FAA for his weekly “Straight from Steve” video messages, and he received a great introduction to GA issues when he hosted a GA Safety Roundtable late last year.