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While crossing a large mountain range, you encounter moderate turbulence. Is there an obligation to report this?

  • A
    No, pilots are not obliged to report on weather conditions. However, if the conditions could affect the safety of other aircraft the pilot can decide to provide a report via voice communication.
  • B
    If an air-ground data link is available, a special aircraft observation must be reported. If only voice communication is available no report should be made, to avoid frequency congestion.
  • C

    Yes, a special aircraft observation shall be made by air-ground datalink. Where air-ground data link is not available it shall be reported via voice communication.

  • D
    No. Reporting is obligatory in case of severe turbulence, or in case of severe mountain wave associated with moderate turbulence.

ICAO Doc 4444
4.12.3 Contents of special air-reports Special air-reports shall be made by all aircraft whenever the following conditions are encountered or observed:

a) moderate or severe turbulence; or
b) moderate or severe icing; or
c) severe mountain wave; or
d) thunderstorms, without hail that are obscured, embedded, widespread or in squall lines; or
e) thunderstorms, with hail that are obscured, embedded, widespread or in squall lines; or
f) heavy duststorm or heavy sandstorm; or
g) volcanic ash cloud; or
h) pre-eruption volcanic activity or a volcanic eruption.

Note.— Pre-eruption volcanic activity in this context means unusual and/or increasing volcanic activity which could presage a volcanic eruption. In addition, in the case of transonic and supersonic flight:

i) moderate turbulence; or
j) hail; or
k) cumulonimbus clouds.

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