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US Ramtaf Vs. NWS Forecast  
User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5303 times:

Can anyone with USAirways explain to me why the US RAMTAF is considered a superior forecast to that of the NWS? This applies directly to me and the work I do with USAirways, and sometimes it's a circus act juggling both of them - if the US RAMTAF shows no need for an alternate, but the NWS forecast does, you bet your cookies I'm slappin' an alternate on that flight. But I have to dispatch under the RAMTAF - and sometimes (in certain stations - and none in particular, they all do it), the RAMTAF is HOURS older than the NWS forecast.

With the NWS usually being a fine forecasting product, can somebody explain to me the necessity of the RAMTAF at US Airways?

-R

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFXRA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 700 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5282 times:

I can't explain the reasoning at US AIrways per se, but my carrier only orders a RAMTAF when the destination airport is illegal according to the NWS forecast. Sometimes the RAMTAF will come out better for us, sometimes it won't. The best i can say is watch the last few observations and see if the trends better match the RAMTAF or the NWS.

I have found that RAMTAF's we get are about 50/50 better than the NWS forecasts (or the local government agency). Then again we had 3 diversions a couple weeks ago at the same central Asian airport by basing the dispatch on the RAMTAF. However, said airports forecasting agent has about an 20% accuracy i think.

I believe that the RAMTAF is still valid over a more recent NWS forecast due to it being issued from a different authority. But, I would imagine that's a question for you ASI/D and for flight ops management.

Of course, there's always the option of ordering a new RAMTAF. DOes US have their own met department?



Visualize Whirled Peas
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5281 times:

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
can somebody explain to me the necessity of the RAMTAF at US Airways?

If one of the airports on your flight plan is not covered by a TAF, you can order a RAMTAF so you have weather data. The NWS does not issue TAFs for all airports.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5267 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 2):
you can order a RAMTAF so you have weather data. The NWS does not issue TAFs for all airports.

 thumbsup  Good call, but I haven't had need for the RAMTAF, exclusively (I don't believe), for that situtation.

Quoting FXRA (Reply 1):
DOes US have their own met department?

Not sure, but I think they do.

-R


User currently offlineJayDub From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Quoting FXRA (Reply 1):
I can't explain the reasoning at US AIrways per se, but my carrier only orders a RAMTAF when the destination airport is illegal according to the NWS forecast. Sometimes the RAMTAF will come out better for us, sometimes it won't. The best i can say is watch the last few observations and see if the trends better match the RAMTAF or the NWS.

Ahhh, the 'SCAM'-TAF. If only the flying public had any idea that we can pay the right price and get the weather we need to be legal for launch.     

Seriously, sometimes a RAMTAF is what it takes to keep the operation running when the NWS TAF for a destination is overly restrictive (i.e. - 1/4sm in the main body for 6 hours when the fog is obviously lifting rapidly).

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
Can anyone with USAirways explain to me why the US RAMTAF is considered a superior forecast to that of the NWS?

I don't think the RAMTAF is considered "superior". It is just a matter of which forcast will allow you to dispatch the flight and which one will not. If your company's OpSpecs allow you to get a second observation...and that second observation is less restrictive...go with the less restrictive one (unless, of course, you don't feel comfortable with dispatching the flight based on the RAMTAF).

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
if the US RAMTAF shows no need for an alternate, but the NWS forecast does, you bet your cookies I'm slappin' an alternate on that flight

I would agree with this wholeheartedly. Our job is safety of flight...in this instance, I would definitely go conservative.

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
But I have to dispatch under the RAMTAF - and sometimes (in certain stations - and none in particular, they all do it), the RAMTAF is HOURS older than the NWS forecast.

Why are you required to dispatch based on the RAMTAF when there is a perfectly good and legal NWS TAF available? Shouldn't you be dispatching based on the most current available weather reports and forecasts?

[Edited 2007-02-07 00:44:42]

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