The pilot called Flight Service at 0537, requesting "information for an IFR flight." The briefer advised the pilot of a severe thunderstorm watch north of his route, a "pretty severe line of thunderstorm activity" and a convective Sigmet
. The briefer stated, "Looks like you should be able to slide around the southern edge south of the Dodge City area to get around that area." The pilot filed an IFR flight plan, proposing a departure time of 0900.
We were under a convective SIGMET
(significant meteorological advisory), with conditions not expected to change through the night.
HIWAS is an automated, continuous broadcast of inflight weather advisories, which include AWW, SIGMET, Convective SIGMET
, CWA, AIRMET (text [WA] or graphical [G-AIRMET] products), and urgent PIREP.
At 1855, a convective Sigmet
was issued, advising of a line of thunderstorms 50 miles wide along a line that went through the accident region.
When the FAA's Aviation Weather Center has not issued a Convective Sigmet
, but its air route traffic control centers get pilot reports or radar indications of thunderstorms, the center meteorologist may issue a center weather advisory (CWA) giving essentially the same type of warning.
The briefer informed him his route was under a convective SIGMET
. The pilot reported he had weather radar and XM Satellite equipment and he was aware of the latency issues associated with the system.
A Convective Sigmet
was in effect for the area at the time of the crash.
The Convective SIGMET
indicates a possible issuance for the ETA of 1700Z, the affected area just touching the destination.
In fact, when I spoke with AWC meteorologist Jim Roets last summer, he mentioned, "As late as last week we had an issue with the Convective SIGMET
. The character count was a little over 3000, so it was kicked out of the FAA system.
Jacksonville Center issued a Convective Sigmet
and at the end of the transmission the controller announced, "...
If you are delayed beyond this, deep, moist convection that meets convective SIGMET
criteria will tend to be much more active in the afternoon, destroying your chances for a direct routing.