Section 9, Lesson 1
In Progress

Briefing Tools

Briefing Tools

There are a lot of ways to get weather briefings. These include mobile apps (e.g. ForeFlight), Flight Service (1-800-WxBrief), and Government Websites. Find a source you like to use and then practice looking at the weather! You should be getting regular weather briefs every time before you fly. If briefing with Flight Service you can get an outlook briefing, standard briefing or an abbreviated briefing, depending on your needs.

Standard Briefs include all relevant information for your flight. If you obtain a brief over the phone, the briefer will ask for information like your airplane registration number (tail number), departure and destination airports, estimated departure time, and so on. They’ll then give you a brief about the conditions including METARs, TAFs, area forecasts, winds aloft, NOTAMS and adverse weather.

Abbreviated Briefings Are used when you’ve previously received a brief but need updated information. You’ll ask the briefer for the updates you need.

Outlook Briefings are used when your departure time is more than 6 hours in the future. Outlook briefings are obviously not as accurate as a standard brief, and you’ll want to get a standard brief as your flight time nears.

You can also call the Flight Service number and simply ask for any of the information you need. Say, for example, that you realize the winds at a nearby airport are more suitable for your pattern work than the airport you were planning to use: Call Flight Service and ask for NOTAMs and current weather for the airport.

What Sources Are OK?
This is a major topic of discussion in flight training circles, and some examiners care more about it than others. For checkrides, we recommend using government sources for weather briefs. However, in every day use the most important thing is that you know what weather exists and make good decisions accordingly. The method you use to do this is not particularly important.

Additional Resources

Flashcard Questions

You are departing in the early morning and you’d like to get a quick weather brief before you go to bed. When you call Flight Service, what kind of brief will you request.

You have 10 minutes until departure, but have not received any type of weather brief at all. What kind of weather brief will you request when you talk to Flight Service?