Often times in the real world, controllers will give pilots information on winds along with a takeoff or landing clearance. For example: “Southwest 11, winds 320 at 6 knots, cleared for takeoff runway 27.” This helps in a variety of ways. The majority of aircraft crashes happen during takeoff and landing. By giving pilots this information, especially when they are flying at low altitudes, pilots will have a better idea of what’s going on around them and a higher level of situational awareness. How many times have any of us started a takeoff roll, rotated, and had our nose pushed to one side or the other by an unexpected crosswind? As a pilot and tower controller, I see it happen a lot. Sure, pilots should be checking local weather information prior to takeoff and landing, but sending this information doesn’t hurt and also helps to increase the overall realism of IF.
I propose that the current system be altered slightly to automatically provide winds information, taken from the existing METARs isedbfor weather, with any takeoff or landing clearance. Tower controllers don’t have to be trusted to understand METARs and translate them with every clearance – rather, sending a clearance will automatically send “Delta 53, winds 180 at 14 gusting to 21 knots, cleared to land runway 17.” The pilot, as a result, will know exactly what the local winds are, have that much more knowledge of what’s going on, and enjoy a more realistic experience.