"Official" Weather Briefing

sldauby

New Member
Hello Everyone,

I am currently undergoing PPL training and I have talked to Lockheed Flight Service for my weather briefings. Now, I was told by one of the instructors that an "official" weather briefing is needed to remain legal. There are two options: 1) Flight Service or 2) DUATS.

Where does it say in the FARs that these two options are "official?" The cloest I've seen to "a pilot shall obtain a weather report" is 91.103 (Preflight Action). However, it seems to pertain to weather information for IFR flight only with no mention of VFR.

Am I missing something?

Thanks,

Sebastien
 

sorrygottarunway

Well-Known Member
I don't know the exact answer to your question, but let me help by saying that both DUATS and FSS are trackable, in that a record of your call (or login) is available so that you have proof of your briefing. In the case of an accident, you'll see sometimes in the synopsis "the pilot obtained a weather briefing at XXXX time...", possibly adding input by the actual briefer. If you were to just look at the stuff on adds.aviationweather.gov, there would be no record of this, even though I personally prefer this method since it gives you only exactly the info you want pertaining to your flight. Getting NOTAMS would be another story though...
 

Number1atNumber2

Tries to keep it fun.
Like the above post said: you need to get the brief from a trackable source. FSS is good, DUAT I know is fine, but I'm not sure about DUATS since I only used DUAT.

Basically the FAA has to be able to find out that you did get a weather briefing if they choose to investigate. They can easily verifiy if you called a briefer or went to duat since the site keeps track.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
I agree about calling FSS. Something else to think about...you should ask about any TFRs that may have popped up. They pop up all the time and if you happen to bust one, at least you'll be on tape with the briefer when he tells you "nope, no TFRs right now" and that could be your saving grace. No call to the FSS? Then the FAA may be asking a few more questions about busting that TFR. I make habit of calling and asking about TFRs even for local flights...just covering my 6.
 

WindyCityPilot

Well-Known Member
I usually start with DUATS and adds.aviationweather.gov to get all the basic weather info then I'll call FSS to check NOTAM's and TFR's.
 

sldauby

New Member
Thanks for the replies. I have been notified of TFRs every time I have called.

Like the above post said: you need to get the brief from a trackable source. FSS is good, DUAT I know is fine, but I'm not sure about DUATS since I only used DUAT.
So which one is it? DUAT or DUATS? Both websites www.duat.com and www.duats.com are pilot-related. Are they both the same or something?
 

Number1atNumber2

Tries to keep it fun.
No they are different. I personally used DUAT, I'm not sure if DUATS provides any tracking so that it can be proven that you got a weather brief, but I know DUAT does.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Duat and Duats are essentially the same thing. Both provided through contracts from the FAA. You will good using either one.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
Both DUAT and DUATS do keep track of the records of pilots and tail numbers that use their sites.

Use either one and you will be good to go. (essentially)
 

qflyer

Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone,

The cloest I've seen to "a pilot shall obtain a weather report" is 91.103 (Preflight Action). However, it seems to pertain to weather information for IFR flight only with no mention of VFR.

Am I missing something?

Thanks,

Sebastien
The part of 91.103 you're referring to reads "...For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, weather reports and forecasts,..."

So you've gotta get a weather report if you're IFR or if you're VFR not in the vicinity of the airport.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
I wish I could find an all-inclusive list of FAA-approved weather products, but in the meantime, check out this link from the AIM:

http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim/Chap7/aim0701.html

Basically, what it says is that 121 and 135 operators will have all approved weather sources listed specifically in the Ops Specs. For Part 91 operators, it's a little more vague, but it endorses a briefing from an FSS, NWS, and DUAT as being "official". Bottom line is that I try to first become familiar with the "big picture" through "unofficial" sources like the weather channel, then analyze radar images and reports to refine that big picture, then login to DUAT so I can have a printed briefing I can use in-flight, and then finally I call the FSS to talk to a real human being about what's going on.
 

PDC

New Member
Here's one thing that makes a weather briefing "official": primary products.


It's reiterated in the AIM that you must use "primary" products; but this is not meant to "increase the regulatory burden." Whatever that means in fact, I think it must be the first time a federal agency has ever expressed that much sympathy for the average GA pilot, who is now completely mummified in red tape.


ADDS has a "standard" briefing link, but that comes with a disclaimer.


Choose between LM briefing and ADDS? It's not even close. ADDS is far superior. I just call for TFRs now, if I can't get them off the graphical TFR website. And web NOTAMs are way better than what they read you off the screen. I don't even bother with the DUAT notams, it's just an endless list of "data" without any "information". How silly to say that the "official" briefing has to be from two mediocre sources of information, when so much better stuff is out there. You will never get as good a weather sense from 2,000 words read off a screen (by someone who doesn't know the local weather) as you can from just five minutes on ADDS products.

But that's just one man's opinion.


2.1 Classification of Aviation Weather Products

[FONT=Arial,Arial]The FAA has developed two classifications of aviation weather products:
[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial,Arial]primary [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Arial]weather products, and [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Arial]supplementary [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Arial]weather products. The classifications are meant to eliminate confusion by differentiating between weather products that may be used to meet regulatory requirements and other weather products that may only be used to improve situational awareness. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial,Arial]All flight-related, aviation weather decisions must be based on the primary weather products. Supplementary weather products augment the primary products by providing additional weather information, but may not be used as stand-alone products to meet aviation weather regulatory requirements or without the relevant primary products. When discrepancies exist between primary and supplementary products pertaining to the same weather phenomena, pilots must base flight-related decisions on the primary weather product. Furthermore, multiple primary products may be necessary to meet all aviation weather regulatory requirements. [/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial,Arial]Aviation weather products produced by the federal government (NWS) are primary products unless designated as a supplementary product by the FAA. In addition, the FAA may choose to restrict certain weather products to specific types of usage or classes of user. Any limitations imposed by the FAA on the use of a product will appear in the product label. [/FONT]

 

bdhill1979

Gone West
4 out of the 5 briefings I get from Lockheed Martin have something wrong with them. Wrong Tail number, Wrong destination airport, weather issues that were not relayed, NOTAMs not delivered, etc.....

Basically I check the weather on my own at aviationweather.gov, then go to https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/distribution/atcscc.html for notams and TFR info.

Then I call to get an abbreviated brief so that there is a record of me getting a brief.

It is sadly funny when I ask them about NOTAMs that I already have and they did not tell me about.
 

The Gardener

Terrafirma Phobic
4 out of the 5 briefings I get from Lockheed Martin have something wrong with them. Wrong Tail number, Wrong destination airport, weather issues that were not relayed, NOTAMs not delivered, etc.....

Basically I check the weather on my own at aviationweather.gov, then go to https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/distribution/atcscc.html for notams and TFR info.

Then I call to get an abbreviated brief so that there is a record of me getting a brief.

It is sadly funny when I ask them about NOTAMs that I already have and they did not tell me about.
this is exactly what I do. I have had some pretty bad luck latley with Lockheed. Primarily with notams and filing of IFR flight plans. I was denied a route that I had been filing for months. the guy said, geez, you can file to an IAF, I am just going to enter you as direct... then it never came through to Clearance.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
Pretty much the same. Do the AWAC on the web for all my actual weather, then call LM's pseudo-FSS for NOTAMs and TFRs, so there's a record I called. Does anyone else remember when you could walk in to an FSS, meet a guy (or girl) who'd been there 30 years, and actually learn something about weather?

While we're on the subject, if I have one more flight plan "drop out of the system" inexplicably, I'm going to commit a terrorist act. Just kidding.
 

KLB

Well-Known Member
Does anyone else remember when you could walk in to an FSS, meet a guy (or girl) who'd been there 30 years, and actually learn something about weather?
I tried to do that a few years ago and found out how not so easy it could be. They let us in after a little interrogation but...jeez! How much damage can I do to the ATC system via the FSS?
 

sldauby

New Member
4 out of the 5 briefings I get from Lockheed Martin have something wrong with them. Wrong Tail number, Wrong destination airport, weather issues that were not relayed, NOTAMs not delivered, etc
Ah yes...I've had a few. Only about 2 or 3 calls have been good to LM. Sometimes they want all my info at the beginning of the call and others tell me to slow down. You never know how they'll treat you...you can just gauge their attitude based on whether or not they say "good morning" when they pick up the phone!

I also use ADDS and use iPilot for current weather.
 
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