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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 or

radio when airborne. Pilots within the contiguous

U.S. may access Flight Service through or by contacting them at

1−800−WX−Brief to obtain preflight weather data

and to file IFR and VFR flight plans.


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 for preflight weather briefing.

d. FSSs are required to advise of pertinent

NOTAMs if a standard briefing is requested, but if

they are overlooked, do not hesitate to remind the

specialist that you have not received NOTAM



NOTAMs, graphic notices, and other information

published in the Notices to Airmen Publication (NTAP) 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 NTAP

prior to calling. Airway NOTAMs, procedural NOTAMs,

and NOTAMs that are general in nature and not tied to a

specific airport/facility (for example, flight advisories and

restrictions, open duration special security instructions,

and special flight rules areas) are briefed solely by pilot

request. Remember to ask for NOTAMs and graphic notices

published in the NTAP if you have not already reviewed this

information, and to request all pertinent NOTAMs specific

to your flight.


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 informa-



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.
6. Destination.
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

weather and aeronautical information to summarize

data applicable to the proposed flight. They do not

read weather reports and forecasts verbatim unless

specifically requested by the pilot. FSS briefers do

not provide FDC NOTAM information for special