Forecasting the Air Race Classic (ARC): Education-based Aviation Weather and Decision Support

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 8:30 AM
129A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Shawn M. Milrad, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL; and D. Schaum

The Women's Air Race Classic (ARC) is an annual event in which some of the country's best professional, enthusiast, and collegiate pilots compete. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach has long been a supporter and participant in the race, having finished 1st collegiate and in the top 3 overall each of the past three years. Successful racing has required close collaboration between the race team, flight department, and meteorology program.

In 2014, weather and decision support for the ARC was turned into a 3-credit summer-term meteorology course, in which both meteorology and aviation undergraduate students participated. The course enabled students to gain experience with real-world aviation weather situations and hazards, including turbulence, icing, IFR and winds. It also required students to work and make operational decisions as a cohesive team, with elements of weather forecasting and flight dispatching strewn together.

This unique program benefits the race team, students, and university, illustrating that aviation weather and decision support is best served by a collaborative effort between meteorologists, dispatchers, and aviators.