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Chapter 5. Air Traffic Procedures

Section 1. Preflight

5−1−1. Preflight Preparation

a. Every pilot is urged to receive a preflight

briefing and to file a flight plan. This briefing should

consist of the latest or most current weather, airport,

and en route NAVAID information. Briefing service

may be obtained from an FSS either by telephone, by

radio when airborne, or by a personal visit to the

station. Pilots with a current medical certificate in the

48 contiguous States may access Lockheed Martin

Flight Services or the Direct User Access Terminal

System (DUATS) via the internet. Lockheed Martin

Flight Services and DUATS will provide preflight

weather data and allow pilots to file domestic VFR or

IFR flight plans.


AIM, Paragraph 7−1−2 , FAA Weather Services,  lists DUATS vendors.


Pilots filing flight plans via “fast file” who desire to have

their briefing recorded, should include a statement at the

end of the recording as to the source of their weather


b. The information required by the FAA to process

flight plans is contained on FAA Form 7233−1, Flight

Plan, or FAA Form 7233−4, International Flight Plan.

The forms are available at all flight service stations.

Additional copies will be provided on request.


AIM, Paragraph 5−1−4 , Flight Plan− VFR Flights

AIM, Paragraph 5−1−8 , Flight Plan− IFR Flights

AIM, Paragraph 5−1−9, International Flight Plan− IFR Flights

c. Consult an FSS, Lockheed Martin Flight

Services, or DUATS for preflight weather briefing.

d. FSSs are required to advise of pertinent

NOTAMs if a standard briefing is requested, but if

they are overlooked, don’t hesitate to remind the

specialist that you have not received NOTAM



NOTAMs which are known in sufficient time for

publication and are of 7 days duration or longer are

normally incorporated into the Notices to Airmen

Publication and carried there until cancellation time. FDC

NOTAMs, which apply to instrument flight procedures, are

also included in the Notices to Airmen Publication up to

and including the number indicated in the FDC NOTAM

legend. Printed NOTAMs are not provided during a

briefing unless specifically requested by the pilot since the

FSS specialist has no way of knowing whether the pilot has

already checked the Notices to Airmen Publication prior to

calling. Remember to ask for NOTAMs in the Notices to

Airmen Publication. This information is not normally

furnished during your briefing.


AIM, Paragraph 5−1−3 , Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System

e. Pilots are urged to use only the latest issue of

aeronautical charts in planning and conducting flight

operations. Aeronautical charts are revised and

reissued on a regular scheduled basis to ensure that

depicted data are current and reliable. In the

conterminous U.S., Sectional Charts are updated

every 6 months, IFR En Route Charts every 56 days,

and amendments to civil IFR Approach Charts are

accomplished on a 56−day cycle with a change notice

volume issued on the 28−day midcycle. Charts that

have been superseded by those of a more recent date

may contain obsolete or incomplete flight



AIM, Paragraph 9−1−4 , General Description of Each Chart Series

f. When requesting a preflight briefing, identify

yourself as a pilot and provide the following:

1. Type of flight planned; e.g., VFR or IFR.
2. Aircraft’s number or pilot’s name.
3. Aircraft type.
4. Departure Airport.
5. Route of flight.
6. Destination.
7. Flight altitude(s).
8. ETD and ETE.

g. Prior to conducting a briefing, briefers are

required to have the background information listed

above so that they may tailor the briefing to the needs

of the proposed flight. The objective is to

communicate a “picture” of meteorological and

aeronautical information necessary for the conduct of

a safe and efficient flight. Briefers use all available