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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.
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