While in Missoula for AOPA’s regional Fly-In, we were visited by Eugene Bodrero, a representative of Dyacon, the Logan, UT-based manufacturer of new weather stations. Using all the latest technology, Dyacon can put up a full-function weather station – similar to a standard METAR station – at a fraction of the cost. It records and displays wind and direction, pressure, air temperature, humidity, and dew point on 10-minute intervals.
Eugene offered to bring one to Ryan Field so we could try it out during the Ryan Fly-In weekend. We used it for a few days, paying particular attention to the EstCB (estimated cloud base) data and found it fairly accurate, and quite different than what GPI was reporting. GPI’s ceiling reports were much higher than actual conditions at Ryan Field, so using GPI as a substitute for Ryan is not a good predictor.
We decided to see if we could raise enough money to fund the acquisition. During the Ryan Fly-in steak dinner, RAF Chairman John McKenna, RAF Colorado Ambassador Mike Langersmith and I riled up the crowd about the benefits of knowing the conditions at Ryan before launching, and that bad weather and flight into IMC are the two most fatal factors in VFR flight. RAF member Leigh Smith from Knox, Indiana kicked things off when he put a large bill in and then “passed the hat” and raised enough to commit to its purchase. Thanks to those generous donors, Ryan Field now has a weather station that is much more accurate than the closest weather from GPI.
Until we post the link on the RAF website, you can access it here: (https://dyacon.net/station.php?pid=b4dbf3cb8dd14976718f7825ecb5c8f9) or you can send a text to it at 406-595-7345 to receive a text reply. Send the letter M for Metar format or C for current readable form.
The plan is to leave it at Ryan Field until October, after which RAF supporter Mike Hines has volunteered to move it to Polson (8S1) for the winter to report weather there. When the snow is gone next spring, Mike will return it to Ryan Field.
We think the Dyacon guys have made a real breakthrough and their new weather stations could be placed at many backcountry strips where weather conditions are hard to determine hence increasing safety of flight.