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EZTip No. 29 - Personal Minimums EZMap layer in EZWxBrief

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Are you trying to determine what airports might make a good alternate if you can't make it to your intended destination? If so, then you might want to spend some time looking at one of the Station Marker layers on the EZMap called Use Personal Mins.

You will notice that the first option under the Station Markers layer is called Use Personal Mins (red arrow above). This layer provides the capability to evaluate the current or forecast weather at a station (airport) against a subset of your personal weather minimums that you defined within the EZSettings. Under this layer, three attributes are available (yellow arrow above) to include (1) Flight Category, (2) Ceiling Height and (3) Surface Visibility. Moreover, this can be applied to the EZSettings you've defined for the departure airport (Depart), en route (En route) or destination airport (Dest) accordingly (blue arrow above). The result on the EZMap will be a solid-filled marker using the EZWxBrief traffic light concept that is also used in the EZDeparture Advisor and corresponds to the table below. Please note that the application of these personal minimums applies only for the time set on the EZDeparture Advisor and no active route is necessary for this feature to function.

Let's say you are headed to an airport (pointed to by the yellow arrow below) and the ceiling and visibility both meet your personal minimums. Although the visibility is expected to be unlimited when you reach your destination, the ceiling is on the edge of your comfort level making this a moderate risk (also shows up as yellow in the EZDeparture Advisor). In this case, you may want to look at airports close to your destination as possible alternates.

Any airports that show up as green in the example below would make an excellent alternate. Not only do they meet your personal minimums, but they do so very conservatively. Red, on the other hand, would be airports to avoid as alternates given that they do not meet your personal minimums.

This example above was set to display the Flight Category attribute for the departure (Depart) personal minimums, but if you are mostly concerned about visibility or ceiling, you could choose those individually as well. The Flight Category simply combines both the ceiling category and the visibility category so it makes for a better one-stop-shopping experience. Of course, you will want to check multiple times before and after your estimated time of arrival to be sure those alternate airports have a forecast that meets your personal minimums.

If you want to learn more about the Skew-T diagram, you can order your copy of The Skew-T log (p) and Me: A Primer for Pilots that is available in both softcover and eBook format.

Most pilots are weatherwise, but some are otherwise™

Dr. Scott Dennstaedt

Weather Systems Engineer

Founder, EZWxBrief™

CFI & former NWS meteorologist

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