Chapter 2. Pilot Briefing

Section 1. General


Pilot briefings are the translation of weather observations and forecasts, including surface, upper air, radar, satellite, and PIREPs into a form directly usable by the pilot or flight supervisory personnel to formulate plans and make decisions for the safe and efficient operation of aircraft. These briefings must also include information on NOTAM, flow control, and other items as requested.


Before assuming pilot briefing duties, familiarize yourself sufficiently with aeronautical and meteorological conditions to effectively provide briefing service. This includes:

  1. General locations of weather-causing systems and general weather conditions.
  2. Detailed information of current and forecast weather conditions for the geographical area(s) of responsibility.
  3. Aeronautical information; for example, NOTAM, special use airspace (SUA), temporary flight restrictions (TFR), ATC delays, etc.


Pertinent facility directives.


Provide a preflight briefing display for specialist/pilot use. The contents and method of display must be based on individual facility requirements; for example, available equipment and space. Additional displays, as required, must be provided to ensure availability of information at all positions. At the discretion of facility management, provide a separate display for pilot use. All material in such displays must be current.

  1. The weather graphic display should include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following analysis, prognosis, and data products:
  1. Weather Depiction.
  2. Surface Analysis.
  3. Forecast Winds Aloft.
  4. Freezing Level Graphic.
  5. G-AIRMET Graphic.
  6. 12- and 24-hour Low Level Significant Weather Prognosis.
  7. 12-, 24-, 36-, and 48-hour Surface Prognosis.
  8. High Level Significant Weather Prognosis.
  9. Current Icing Product (CIP).
  10. Forecast Icing Product (FIP).
  11. Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG).
  12. National Weather Radar Summary. (CONUS Only).
  13. National/Regional Radar Mosaics.
  14. Radar Echo Tops.
  15. Radar VAD Wind Profiles.
  16. Visible/IR Satellite Imagery.
  17. Constant Pressure Charts.
  18. 500 MB Heights and Vorticity Analysis.
  19. 500 MB Heights and Vorticity Prognosis.
  20. 6-, 12-, 24-, 36-, and 48-hour 500 MB Heights and Vorticity Prognosis.
  21. Convective Outlook.
  22. Maximum Temperature 24- and 36-Hour Forecast (CONUS Only).
  23. Minimum Temperature 24- and 36-Hour Forecast (CONUS Only).
  1. Map features. (See FIG 2-1-1.)
  2. Precipitation and obstruction to vision. (See FIG 2-1-2.)

FIG 2-1-1

Map Features Chart

A graphic depicting a map features, including type, symbol, and color.

FIG 2-1-2

NWS Surface Analysis Chart Common Weather Symbols

A graphic depicting NWS Surface Analysis Chart Common Weather Symbols.


AC 00-45, Aviation Weather Services, Figure 4-7.


For a complete listing of weather map symbols, see “National Weather Service Observing Handbook,” Appendix C:

  1. Interpret and summarize weather radar displays as appropriate.
  1. Use all available radar data and PIREPs to determine intensity, tops, area of coverage, movement, etc.
  1. Identify data obtained from sources other than radar display by source and time of observation.
  2. Define area of coverage in relation to VORs, airways for the route structure being flown, airports or geographic points to assist the pilot in relating coverage to route of flight or destination.


"A broken line of light to heavy echoes covers an area along and three zero miles east of a line from the Crazy Woman V-O-R to the Riverton V-O-R. Average tops between two-six thousand and three-four thousand. This line is increasing in intensity. Movement has been from northwest to southeast at three zero knots. The line includes an extreme echo one five miles in diameter on Victor Two Ninety-eight forty-eight miles southeast of the Worland V-O-R, tops four three thousand. There are no known echoes within three-zero nautical miles of Victor Eight-five or Victor Two Ninety-eight south at this time."

  1. Use only weather forecasts, warnings, and advisories issued by a National Weather Service (NWS) office, including Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs), the U.S. military, foreign governments, or graphics systems owned/leased by the FAA or provided through a FAA-contracted service provider.
  2. Use the OUTLOOK section of WSTs to provide information on where convective activity is expected. Use the Convective Outlooks (ACUS01 KWNS) to extract pertinent forecast information regarding the convective activity.
  3. When an NWS forecast requires an amendment or correction, request assistance from the appropriate NWS office.

Use all available means to obtain the data required to brief pilots. If a complete briefing cannot be provided due to circuit problems or missing data, inform the pilot of this fact. Brief to the extent possible. Advise the pilot of the time you expect the data to be available.


Provide the pilot with the type of briefing requested (standard, abbreviated, or outlook). When it is not clear initially which type briefing is desired, provide the first one or two items requested, and then ascertain if the pilot would like a standard briefing. If a standard briefing is requested, conduct the briefing in accordance with paragraph 2-2-1. If the pilot does not desire a standard briefing, provide either an abbreviated briefing in accordance with paragraph 2-2-2 or an outlook briefing in accordance with paragraph 2-2-3.

  1. Pilot briefings must be logged and retained in accordance with FAA Order 1350.14, Records Management. Briefings must be logged in operational systems when possible but may be logged manually if needed for operational efficiency.
  2. Operational systems must, as a minimum, automatically record the facility/sector, date, position, time, and specialist identification for each logged briefing. In addition, enter the following information:
  1. Departure and destination.
  2. Aircraft identification. (The pilot's name may be substituted for the aircraft identification, if unknown.)
  3. Remarks, as applicable, to indicate OTLK (outlook briefing), AB (abbreviated briefing), and/or VNR.
  1. (Alaska only) To manually log pilot briefings, use one of the following FAA forms:
  1. FAA Form 7233-2, Pilot Briefing Log. Use a separate form each day. Two or more forms may be used simultaneously at different operating positions. Complete boxes 1 through 3 on each form. Enter appropriate data in columns 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (if pertinent), and 9. If the pilot's name is known, it may be substituted for the aircraft identification. As applicable, enter OTLK (outlook briefing), AB (abbreviated briefing), and/or VNR in column 8.
  2. FAA Forms 7233-5, Inflight Contact Record, or 7230-21, Flight Progress Strip. Enter PB in block 14 if a briefing is provided. As applicable, also enter AB, OTLK, and/or VNR in the same block.


See Appendix B for FAA forms.

  1. Where audio recorders are used, facility management may limit entries on pilot briefing records to those required for facility use.
  2. In Alaska, where fast-file recorders are used and the pilot states the source of a briefing on the recorder, it must be entered in the remarks field of the flight plan.