This “Pilot’s Tip of the Week” was originally published 4/13/2016. To get free tips like this each week, subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Pilot's tip of the week

Standard Briefing Format


Subscriber question:

"With the online weather sources available today, it's easy to skip the phone briefing from Flight Service. What information can I expect to receive in a Standard Briefing from Flight Service? Is there a standard format for the information they provide?" - Ray C.


“The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) gives us some great guidance in Chapter 7. You should request a Standard Briefing any time you are planning a flight and you have not received a previous briefing or have not received preliminary information through mass dissemination media.

The briefer will automatically provide the following information (below) in the sequence listed, except as noted, when it is applicable to your proposed flight.

Standard BriefingOnce you tell the briefer your specific information (type of flight – VFR or IFR, aircraft number or pilot’s name, aircraft type, estimated time of departure), where you are departing from, your intended destination, and altitude – he/she will provide you the following information:

1. Adverse Conditions
2. VFR Flight Not Recommended
3. Weather Synopsis
4. Current Conditions
5. Enroute Forecast
6. Destination Forecast
7. Winds Aloft
8. Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)
9. ATC Delays

Explanations for all these items are available in the AIM and should be consulted for specific guidance.”

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