Section 2. Pilot Briefing
Pilot briefings are the gathering, translation, interpretation, and summarization of weather and aeronautical information into a form usable by the pilot or flight supervisory personnel to assist in flight planning and decision-making for the safe and efficient operation of aircraft. These briefings may include, but are not limited to, weather observations, forecasts and aeronautical information (for example, s, military activities, flow control information, and TFRs).
Flight service specialists must be certified to provide pilot briefings. Pilot weather briefer certification criteria is defined in FAA Order JO 7220.4, FAA Certification of Pilot Weather Briefer. The order details procedures and responsibilities for the FAA Pilot Weather Briefer Certification Program.
- 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.
- Operational systems must, at a minimum, automatically record the facility/sector/vendor, date, position, time, and, for specialist‐provided services, the specialist identification for each logged briefing. In addition, enter the following information:
- Departure and destination.
- Aircraft identification. The pilot's name may be substituted for the aircraft identification, if unknown.
- Remarks, as applicable, to indicate type of briefing, and/or VNR.
- To manually log pilot briefings, use one of the following FAA forms:
- FAA Form 7233-2, Preflight 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.
- FAA Forms 7233-5, In‐flight 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.
- Where audio recorders are used, facility management may limit entries on pilot briefing records to those required for facility use.
- Where fast-file recorders are used and the pilot states the source of a briefing on the recorder, the source must be entered in the remarks field of the flight plan.
- There are three basic briefing packages:
- Standard. A comprehensive briefing within six hours of departure.
- Abbreviated. To update specific information as soon as practicable.
- Outlook. For early planning; six hours or more before flight.
- Provide the pilot with the type of briefing requested (standard, abbreviated, or outlook).
- When it is not clear which type briefing is desired, provide the items requested and then determine if the pilot would like a standard briefing.
- If a standard briefing is requested, conduct the briefing in accordance with paragraph .
- If the pilot does not request a standard briefing, provide either an abbreviated briefing in accordance with paragraph or an outlook briefing in accordance with paragraph .
- Systems providing automated briefing services may offer a variety of alternative briefing options such as email, interactive maps, video, mobile applications, etc. These alternative briefings must meet or exceed the requirements in paragraphs to .
- Systems providing unmanned aircraft briefing services must provide briefings in accordance to the regulations applicable to the operations.
Standard briefings provide a complete and detailed depiction of the weather elements and aeronautical information for the intended flight. A standard briefing may be obtained within six hours of estimated time of departure (ETD) and may be requested multiple times for flights during dynamic weather.
- Type of flight planned (VFR or IFR).
- Aircraft identification or pilot's name; for pre‐stored profiles, confirm aircraft identification and pilot's name.
- Aircraft type.
- Departure point.
- Route of flight.
- Flight altitude(s).
- ETD and estimated time en route ().
Automated systems may provide specialists with background information saved on a pre‐stored profile or master flight plan. Common sense and good judgment will determine the extent of verification needed to ensure the most expeditious and complete service.
- International cautionary advisory. Issue the following advisory for briefings with international departures, arrivals, or routes of flight. This advisory may be omitted if the pilot advises it has been received or the system indicates the pilot has opted out of receiving the statement.
CHECK DATA AS SOON AS PRACTICAL AFTER ENTERING FOREIGN AIRSPACE, AS OUR INTERNATIONAL DATA MAY BE INACCURATE OR INCOMPLETE.
Automated systems may provide pilots with the preference to opt‐out from receiving this statement by pilots acknowledging they have read and understood the advisory.
- Using all available sources of weather and aeronautical information, provide the following data as applicable to the proposed flight. Provide the information in subparagraphs through in the sequence listed, if known, except as noted.
- Include this element when meteorological or aeronautical conditions are reported or forecast that may influence the pilot to alter the proposed flight.
- Emphasize conditions that are particularly significant, such as:
- Low‐level wind shear.
- Density altitude.
- Frontal zones along the route of flight.
- Adverse s (for example, airport/runway closures, air traffic delays, TFRs, or special flight rules areas [SFRA]).
This list only provides examples of conditions that may influence the pilot to alter the proposed flight and should not be considered all‐inclusive.
- Weather advisories must include the type of advisory (for example, G-AIRMET, SIGMET, or ) followed by the pertinent information, regardless of delivery method (for example, specialist-provided or automated).
- Include urgent s (UUA) when appropriate.
- Common sense and good judgment will determine if a UUA is appropriate for a particular briefing. For example, a report for low‐level wind shear with airspeed fluctuations of 10 knots is significant for the pilot of a light aircraft but not to the pilot of a heavy aircraft).
- A catalog of resources can be found in , , Briefing Display.
- Specialists must include this statement when VFR flight is proposed and sky conditions or visibilities are reported or forecast, surface or aloft, that, in your judgment, would make flight under VFR doubtful.
This statement is an advisory. The decision as to whether the flight can be conducted safely rests solely with the pilot.
- This element should not be provided as a blanket statement when the reported conditions, forecast, and/or trends, do not support it.
- This element may be provided at the beginning of the briefing or combined with the applicable adverse conditions for emphasis.
- A description of the conditions, affected locations, and times must be included to provide justification, clarity, and mutual understanding.
- Automated systems may include this statement when the system identifies one or more conditions that would make flight under VFR uncertain.
V-F-R FLIGHT NOT RECOMMENDED (location if applicable) DUE TO (conditions)
V-F-R NOT RECOMMENDED (location if applicable) DUE TO (conditions)
“There are low ceilings along the entire route between niner hundred and one thousand feet. With the approach of a cold front, these clouds are forecast to become overcast and lower to below seven hundred feet. Mountains and passes are obscured. V-F-R flight not recommended between Salt Lake City and Grand Junction after two two zero 2‒3‒1 Zulu.”
“V-F-R flight not recommended in the Kenai area until early afternoon. The current weather at Kenai is indefinite ceiling three hundred, visibility one, mist, and little improvement is expected before one eight zero zero Zulu.”
- Include this statement when flight is proposed to depart from and/or land at an airport with field elevations of 2,000 feet MSL or higher and temperatures, present or forecast, meet the criteria contained in .
- Upon request, provide approximate density altitude data.
CHECK DENSITY ALTITUDE
This statement is only an advisory and the decision as to whether the flight can be conducted safely rests solely with the pilot.
29 degrees or higher
27 degrees or higher
24 degrees or higher
21 degrees or higher
18 degrees or higher
16 degrees or higher
- Provide a brief statement describing the type, location, and movement of weather systems and/or air masses that might affect the proposed flight.
- Automated systems may deliver the information using graphics.
- This element may be combined with adverse conditions and/or the VNR element, in any order, when it will help describe the conditions.
- Summarize from all available sources reported weather conditions applicable to the flight including but not limited to: departure airport reports (for example, aviation routine weather reports [METAR], weather camera analysis, etc.), s, clouds, visibilities, and precipitation.
- Emphasize information that confirms or refutes weather advisories.
- This element may be omitted, with pilot's concurrence, if the proposed time of departure is beyond two hours, or if requested by the pilot.
- Automated systems may deliver the information using a variety of methods (for example, graphics, text, or dynamic displays).
- Summarize from all available sources forecast information applicable to the proposed route and altitude(s) including but not limited to departure airport forecast and area forecast (graphical or textual based on the location), if in the briefer's judgment, it provides a better picture, clouds, visibilities, icing, turbulence, and precipitation.
- Provide forecast winds aloft for the flight, using degrees of the compass, and temperatures. Interpolate wind directions and speeds between levels and stations as necessary.
Forecast winds aloft temperatures may be omitted if, in the briefer's assessment, they do not have an impact on the safety of the flight.
- Provide the destination forecast, including significant changes expected within one hour before and after the .
- Provide trends that confirm or refute weather advisories.
- Provide the information in a logical order: departure, climb out, en route, descent, and arrival.
- Provide pertinent s for the departure, en route, and destination including those for special activity airspace () such as restricted areas, aerial refueling tracks and anchors, and lights out/night vision goggle operations.
- Combine this element with adverse conditions when it might influence the pilot to alter the proposed flight (for example, airport/runway closures, air traffic delays, and TFRs).
- Prohibited areas P-40, P-56, and the SFRA for Washington, DC. Include this element when pertinent to the route of flight. Advise the pilot that VFR flight within 60 miles of the DCA VOR/ requires special awareness training, unless the pilot advises they are aware of the requirement or the system indicates the pilot has opted out of receiving the advisory.
- Automated systems may provide pilots with the preference to opt‐out from receiving this statement by pilots acknowledging they have read and understood the advisory.
- Refer to 14 CFR 91.161 and 14 CFR 93 for additional information including special awareness for flights in and around SFRAs and/or areas that require special air traffic rules.
- ATC delays. Inform the pilot of ATC delays and/or flow control advisories that might affect the proposed flight.
- " id="SOLICIT_">Solicitation of s. Request a report when in your judgment, a report of actual in‐flight conditions is beneficial or when conditions meet criteria for solicitation of s (see , ).
- This element should not be provided as a generic statement.
- To the extent possible, the solicitation should be accompanied by a specific request.
“Please give us a pilot report regarding the forecast mountain obscuration through the Pass.”
“Pilot reports are requested for icing conditions near Grand Forks.”
“If able, please provide a pilot report about bases and tops in the vicinity of Atlanta De Kalb‐Peachtree airport.”
- Upon Request. Provide any information requested by the pilot, if available (for example, approximate density altitude data, customs/immigration procedures, rules, other published information, FDC NOTAMs, and military s).
Abbreviated briefings emphasize the more dynamic briefing elements that may have changed since a standard briefing was obtained. It helps the users focus on specific risk areas for the intended flight in an efficient manner and allows users to be proactive in reacting to changing conditions while in‐flight.
- Obtain background information in accordance with subparagraph .
- If applicable, issue the international cautionary advisory in accordance with subparagraph .
- When a pilot desires specific information, only provide the requested information. If adverse conditions are reported or forecast, advise the pilot. At the pilot's request, provide details on these conditions, in accordance with subparagraphs -.
- When a pilot requests an update to a previous briefing, obtain from the pilot the time the briefing was received if not evident or already known. To the extent possible, limit the briefing to appreciable changes in meteorological and aeronautical conditions since the previous briefing. Provide the information in the sequence listed in paragraph .
- When a pilot requests to file a flight plan only, and adverse conditions are reported of forecast for the proposed route, ask if the pilot requires the information. If requested, provide details on these conditions, in accordance with subparagraph -).
- Solicit s in accordance with subparagraph .
Automated systems may provide a variety of options for pilots to obtain updates such as adverse conditions alerting capabilities, text messages, or interactive displays, etc.
Outlook briefings provide a general indication of which elements may be a factor during a flight and should only be used during planning six hours or more from the ETD.
- Conduct the briefing in accordance with paragraph . Omit items in subparagraphs , , , and through , unless specifically requested by the pilot or deemed pertinent by the specialist.
- When the proposed flight is scheduled to be conducted beyond the valid time of the available forecast data, provide a general outlook and then advise the pilot when complete forecast data will be available for the proposed flight.
Automated systems may provide a variety of options for pilots to obtain forecast data beyond six hours from ETD such as interactive displays, text summaries, etc.