By DAVE McMILLION
Staff Writer, Martinsburg
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A new weather tracking system for airplane pilots is slow to report conditions and misses some altogether, according to the manager of the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport, which has one of the machines.
The Federal Aviation Administration purchased the Automated Surface Observing System for airports in the hope it would be cheaper than employing weather observers, officials said. About seven people work as weather observers at the airport, which is off U.S. 11 south of Martinsburg.
But there have been several problems with the system, said airport Manager Bill Walkup.
The system that was installed at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport about a year ago cannot detect thunderstorms and ice storms, two of the most dangerous types of weather a pilot can face, Walkup said.