SAWS becoming Unafordable

South African Weather Service.

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Chris_WIS2
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris_WIS2 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:26 pm

Sorry, was busy addressing tanglefoots attack on us. I'll get onto this Monday. Tomorrow ill make some quick changes to make some clearly critical services free for a while as u suggest.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:34 pm

Chris_WIS2 wrote:Sorry, was busy addressing tanglefoots attack on us. I'll get onto this Monday. Tomorrow ill make some quick changes to make some clearly critical services free for a while as u suggest.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

It is a move in the correct direction!

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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:51 pm

Aviators.

OK, in case you gents wondered why I settled on those specific minimum free items i considered critical to safe flight in the table I attached earlier...

1) TEXT data gives you all the Actuals or Forecasts at aerodromes
2) Satellite Image is useful as an overview of what is happening
3) Thunderstorm probability for the day is obvious
4) SigWX (0-FL180) shows any significant weather that can affect Flight and cloud layers
5) QNH Chart will give you an indication of wind profiles (closer the lines the more wind in that area)
6) Wind Surface (Obvious for take-off and landing limits)
7) Storms happening right now (Country view) obvious you not going to fly if storms are on your route.

Any case those are my Minimum Critical Elements and hence the request that those need to be FREE for SAFETY sake.

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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Swampdonkey » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:00 pm

I think everyone must take a bit of a deep breath here. No-one on AVCOM or any other kind of "com" for that matter is mandated to speak to these people on behalf of anyone except for themselves. Whilst Rudi Greyling's Matrix may have some merit, some pertinent basic data is excluded (eg sigwx above FL180) that one needs to build up one's own wx picture.

Furthermore, the whole argument that some Wx info is only for IFR and other only for VFR is significantly flawed. Regretfully the Weathersa distribution network is woefully inadequate, (even for the Commercial scheduled operators). We are often faced with no viable option other to refresh our own personal 'smartfones' in between short domestic flights for updated Metar data. So in all honesty, we use this information medium, possibly even more than the non commercial operators, especially if the wx is dynamically marginal. It is realistically the closest we will get to real time info in the foreseeable future (XMWX doesn't exist here yet). Also remember, not all non commercial flights are restricted to VFR.

Having said that, the info we need immediate and unrestricted access to is really only METAR's, TAF's Sigwx charts, sigmets, warnings and upper air winds and temps. The last thing I need during a Go-Nogo decision process is "game over, insert coin" on my phone. We certainly don't need all the "Chinese Junk Shop" extras that are being punted so vociferously on this thread. [-X [-X [-X
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by tanglefoot » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:01 pm

Chris_WIS2 wrote:Sorry, was busy addressing tanglefoots attack on us. I'll get onto this Monday. Tomorrow ill make some quick changes to make some clearly critical services free for a while as u suggest.
Now that is totally unfair.

Please correct any inaccurate information that I have obtained from the internet. Without your input I can only post what I find :idea:

Who is WIS (Weather Intelligence Systems) Chris. Barry claims to be a director? It does not seem to be a South African Company :?:

Does that mean that your profits are exported overseas :?:

Editted--------------------------------
Here again I will eat humble pie. WIS does exist (albeight a real b1tch to find) Chris, you will make it much easier if you just explain how the whole thing fits together. Like I said on the other thread, if WIS has the contract what is the role of FF :?: (Start a new thread if you like)

PS: You can't get into more trouble than Barry saying that "Aviation will be left alone", can you :?:
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by RDC » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:35 pm

In terms of the information act we are entitled to get info the govt has funded for free. SAWS is funded by the GOVT.
some examples
Deeds Office
Dept Land and Surveys
Loads of info can be downloaded from the sites of the Govt departments absolutly free.
Where it costs the entity to supply the info they charge. Example: If you want a DVD with GPS static data you pay for the DVD and the time they take to assemble info and write it etc.
If you download the info from their website it costs nothing.
Enterprising IT firms make money by presenting the free info in more palatable forms. eg in the case of Metars, decrypting them and presenting them easier to read by using graphics, layout and more text. (certain to appeal to the twice a month user)

On another note. If costs are to be paid, include every pax seat in the cost equation because each one is a user in the air. Base it on seat miles and then I am sure GA will not hav to pay much at all.

I think a 1,2 and 5 day at R10,R20 and R50 pay as you go plan could work. The part about having to SMS back to cancel is un-acceptable. Access should lapse automatically after the period expires. When subscribing, acknowledgement of day and time of expiry should be given. Simple.
Chris_WIS2
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris_WIS2 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:17 am

Hi RDC

The SMS option is the quickest way we could get the R10 option to work. We will be moving onto a credit card option very soon. That will optimize the net value received - please see previous post on the cost of SMS option.

On another note, not completely related to your post: the R10 will buy you 24 hours' access. That means if you check the weather 24h, 12h and 4h before your flight, you will only pay once. I cannot recall who commented on the annual cost calculation I did, but it is important to remember that the R10 buys a day's access.

Regards
Chris
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris_WIS2 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:01 am

Hi Rudi,

OK, MOST of your suggestions are now implemented - but NOT comitted! This is temporary - it'll hold if we get traction I guess, but it's the interim position you suggested.
Key changes:
  • Used our existing R35/250 mechanisms - getting Exact mobile to put in new ones is far from a joke. The R10/day covers off people who want cheaper cos of occasional use.
  • Took a few hi-bandwidth/graphics items out of free. People really do have to cover SOME of our brutal costs and R35 is truly insignificant. Not even 2 cappuccinos
  • Took a couple of truly hi-tech items out of R35
  • Did EVERYTHING else - the LOT. Try not to strut out this 'win' too much please :D
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris_WIS2 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:05 am

FATBOY wrote:I think everyone must take a bit of a deep breath here. No-one on AVCOM or any other kind of "com" for that matter is mandated to speak to these people on behalf of anyone except for themselves. Whilst Rudi Greyling's Matrix may have some merit, some pertinent basic data is excluded (eg sigwx above FL180) that one needs to build up one's own wx picture.

Furthermore, the whole argument that some Wx info is only for IFR and other only for VFR is significantly flawed. Regretfully the Weathersa distribution network is woefully inadequate, (even for the Commercial scheduled operators). We are often faced with no viable option other to refresh our own personal 'smartfones' in between short domestic flights for updated Metar data. So in all honesty, we use this information medium, possibly even more than the non commercial operators, especially if the wx is dynamically marginal. It is realistically the closest we will get to real time info in the foreseeable future (XMWX doesn't exist here yet). Also remember, not all non commercial flights are restricted to VFR.

Having said that, the info we need immediate and unrestricted access to is really only METAR's, TAF's Sigwx charts, sigmets, warnings and upper air winds and temps. The last thing I need during a Go-Nogo decision process is "game over, insert coin" on my phone. We certainly don't need all the "Chinese Junk Shop" extras that are being punted so vociferously on this thread. [-X [-X [-X
So have we covered most of this now? Please note that the 'new' (aka VFR) site possibly does not have some of the CA products you mention. In those cases you have ot stick with the main CA aviation.weathersa.co.za site.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:39 am

No freezing levels on the free/text access
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris_WIS2 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:33 pm

Don't have it on our 'side' - I'll look into it.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by 2000andmore » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:42 pm

jab2 wrote:Chris, I'm not a pilot, but an aviation photographer and enthusiast, so accurate weather is also important to me, although on a different scale and not life threatening. I have thus followed this debate with interest.

I have just one question. Looking at schedule 1 of the Weather Services Act, which deals with Public Good Services, which are to be provided free of charge, point 4 state The provision of weather and climatic forecasting and warning services intended for the general benefit of the population and the safety of life and property. This tone of the safety of life and property is also covered in Resolution 40 of the Twelfth Congress of the World Meteorological Organization, to which South Africa are a party, and which the Act forces the Weather Service to adhere to.

Now if one look at accident data in GA, weather, or rather flight in unsuitable weather, are a rather large contributor to aviation deaths.

Therefore what free info do SAWS/FF provide to pilots so that they can plan a flight properly, and conduct it in safety, both to themselves as occupants of their aircraft, and of the general public which they will over fly?

Do not think for one moment I do not recognize the efforts that you guys have put in to get the website where it is now. (Although I have to take Wynand’s word as I cannot get to most of the interesting info). :wink:

I am however getting more and more frustrated in a country where a minority pays taxes to a government expecting as per the constitution that certain services will be provided by the government to all people, only to see our taxes increased but the free services evaporating before our eyes and being turned into money making schemes for which we now have to pay yet again. We are told you just pay for this one small little thing, but when you open your eyes something else has been tagged on, and so it goes, more and more commercialization of services we have essentially payed for and are still paying. If we remain quiet or only voice our concern at the braai fires, thinking someone else will carry the sword to the fight we will find ourselves in that very braai fire in the not so distant future.

I’m also very much affronted by the following on one of the SAWS site’s pages. As site developer I assume you will, as we say in Afrikaans "Pa staan daarvoor". Please further note that we screen out any applications using the inconsidered argument "I am a taxpayer". Generally, a person that can afford access to an owned or leased aircraft does not fall into any income category where that person is dependent on the state for anything. We provide public good services for those individuals that cannot afford services.

Do you say these people has no right to things like for instance roads and police services? There is the general impression that people who fly are rich; now there is no argument that some do have less financial stress than most of us. But if one compare pilots, rich or financially throttled, to the rest of the population, one thing is clear, and that is that a great percentage of them are job creators, people who put food on the table of the so-called under privileged people. These are the people who are the glue of this countries economy, but we are busy stacking up reasons why they should rather pack their bags, and take the money they allegedly have, and move someplace else.

Africa here we come, with all our smart money making schemes, yet no customers to pay for our services cause there are no infra structure, no work, and no bosses to pay our wages.

Sorry for the rant, but till very recently I was one of those who believed this country can make it and that our economy will make the difference between us and the rest of Africa. I cannot see this happening any more, so I am highly pissed with myself for being so blind all this time, therefore the anger.
Guys, read the above three times! You are being suckered into a scheme that starts off "cheap", but has no end. Next year Chris WIS has migrated to Aus, and with the precedent being set, someone changes the tarrifs so he can earn more and buy an X5, and on and on it will go! Wake up.....and well written Cobus
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:49 pm

Just to let you know the representative bodies are meeting with the regulator about fees. The first meeting has already been held and there will be further meetings.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Swampdonkey » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:01 pm

Chris_WIS2 wrote:
FATBOY wrote:I think everyone must take a bit of a deep breath here. No-one on AVCOM or any other kind of "com" for that matter is mandated to speak to these people on behalf of anyone except for themselves. Whilst Rudi Greyling's Matrix may have some merit, some pertinent basic data is excluded (eg sigwx above FL180) that one needs to build up one's own wx picture.

Furthermore, the whole argument that some Wx info is only for IFR and other only for VFR is significantly flawed. Regretfully the Weathersa distribution network is woefully inadequate, (even for the Commercial scheduled operators). We are often faced with no viable option other to refresh our own personal 'smartfones' in between short domestic flights for updated Metar data. So in all honesty, we use this information medium, possibly even more than the non commercial operators, especially if the wx is dynamically marginal. It is realistically the closest we will get to real time info in the foreseeable future (XMWX doesn't exist here yet). Also remember, not all non commercial flights are restricted to VFR.

Having said that, the info we need immediate and unrestricted access to is really only METAR's, TAF's Sigwx charts, sigmets, warnings and upper air winds and temps. The last thing I need during a Go-Nogo decision process is "game over, insert coin" on my phone. We certainly don't need all the "Chinese Junk Shop" extras that are being punted so vociferously on this thread. [-X [-X [-X
So have we covered most of this now? Please note that the 'new' (aka VFR) site possibly does not have some of the CA products you mention. In those cases you have ot stick with the main CA aviation.weathersa.co.za site.
Chris_wis2, I have followed this thread patiently. But now it's time to speak out. From reading your posts, It is plain to see that you have absolutely no practical knowledge about aviation at all, least of all the difference between commercial and non commercial aviation and what their needs are. A pilot of an aircraft flying through the atmosphere needs the same information whether or not the flight is commercial or private <<moderated - language>>. Your life probably also doesn't depend on the information that you are getting from some "get-rich-quick" middleman who is only in it for a quick buck. This very morning I needed to get the latest metar information on an immediately updated basis I would have needed exactly the same info regardless of the status of the flight. Previously I simply switched on my phone and "refreshed". Now it's a bloody nightmare.

I say again, we don't need all the trinkets, all we need is immediate and unfettered access to the short list given above, listed here for clarity. METAR's, TAF's Sigwx charts, sigmets, warnings and upper air winds and temps. Not the colorful charts nor the interactive maps, simply the basic yet most up to date data. I'll do the interpreting myself. This has always been available, and it is the duty of the state to provide it. Your suggestion that I go to the aviation.weathersa.co.za site displays your lack of practical knowledge of this subject. How do you propose that I do this from the cockpit except by using my phone? #-o #-o

I would like to know how the travelling public would feel if this information is being held to ransom by some racketeering business.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Romeo E.T. » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:26 pm

FATBOY wrote: I would like to know how the travelling public would feel if this information is being held to ransom by some racketeering business.
=D> =D> =D> =D>

exactly Chris, how would feel sitting in the back at Cpt Intl about to dept for ORTIA knowing that the weather forcast that we were issued in "hard-copy" at OPS is by now already 4 hours and older, and a fuel and routing decision is made on this basis, and in the meantime all hell is about to break loose in JNB with thunderstorms that no-one has planned for or anticipated according to 4 hour old weather....or vice-versa about to depart for CapeTown on a forecast Cavok and when we get there the entire coastal belt including all of our alternates is below CAT 1 minima, and our fuel palnning didn't cater for this eventuality...

this has happened on a few occasions previously.

Now I sit on the flight deck and about 15 to 20 mins prior to pushback I get on my cell-phone and have a look at the latest satelitte, radar and metars/tafs pages to update my mental model, and have been known to recal the fuel bowser to uplift more fuel based on info I have just recieved....now I cannot do this anymore, unless I have a desktop at hand or a laptop with Internet connection at hand.

this is going to be a serious safety issue one in the future.....and I for one will not hesitate to make specific mention of this thread, your company etc in my AirSafety HAzard or Incident report after things have gone "pear-shaped" wether it be a diversion, declaring an emergency due to low fuel, or heaven forbid an incident/accident.....and who knows you might have been/could be a passenger on such a flight...I hope you can live with your "money/profit making" ideas when safety is compromised.

for your info these are the current pages that I refer to on my laptop (when my laptop is available) before each and every pushback
1)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ftpfile ... type=RADAR
2)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ftpfile ... type=RADAR
3)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ftpfile ... type=RADAR
4)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/satellite_viewer.php
5)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/aviatio ... ar&view=nw
6)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/aviatio ... fc&view=nw
7)possibly other radar stations such as Durban or Port Elizabeth etc etc

these were previously available via my cell phone
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