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7 Times ATC Is Required To Ask You For A Pilot Report

We all know that it's important to give pilot reports when we can. Did you know that ATC is required to request a pilot report when the following conditions are observed or forecast?

1) Ceilings at or below 5,000 feet. These PIREPs should include cloud base/top reports if you know what they are.

Swayne Martin

2) Visibility (surface or aloft) at or less than 5 miles.

Swayne Martin

3) Thunderstorms and related weather.


4) Moderate or greater turbulence.

Live from the Flight Deck

5) Light or greater icing.


6) Wind shear.

7) Volcanic ash clouds.


The next time you encounter these conditions, get ready to make a pilot report.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and commercial pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He holds multi-engine and instrument ratings, and is an aviation student at the University of North Dakota. He's the author of the articles, quizzes and lists you love to read every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures at

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