Tom Horne

Sneak Peek: WSI’s new, interactive Pilotbrief Pro Online

July 10, 2008 by Thomas A. Horne, Editor At Large

WSI has just come out with a new version of its “Pro” online services. It will be in beta test mode for 5 to 6 months. I’ve been scoping it out for the past few days. The main feature is its interactive weather graphics map, which lets you display various layers of information. You mouse-over various items–Sigmets, Airmets, watch boxes, airport symbols, etc–and up pops the text information that elaborates on the hazards. Menus let you select which products you want to view, as well as customize the radar display to show infrared, satellite/radar, or WSI’s “pseudo radar.” Pseudo radar imagery is derived from proprietary computer models.

You can zoom in and out of the interactive map–or IMap as WSi calls it–and by panning you can even access the rest of the world’s weather. Another feature I liked was the ability to call up preferred IFR routes. You just type in the identifier for the departure and destination airports, and the latest route clearances are listed. Click on one, and the route is depicted on the IMap. This makes it easy to visualize the weather along the route. WSI’s Flight Plan Guidance (FPG) is also available. This projects the movement of sigmets and airmets up to 12 hours in advance.

There’s even going to be a daily video briefing that gives the weather overview for the entire continental United States. Those who liked the old “Aviation Weather” shows on PBS should like this. Right now, the video consists of an ad for WSI–no video briefings until August.

Text weather and flight plan filing is also accessible by clicking on icons at the top of the page.

Best of all: Pilotbrief Online Pro with interactive IMap will be offered to AOPA members for $39.95 per month (that’s a $40 discount). For more information contact WSi at: [email protected] or dial 1-800-USA-2FLY (872-2359).


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