How to Get a Good Weather Briefing

Here are some tips on how to get a good weather briefing. This document complements other pilot educational material published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other aviation organizations.

Just like everything else in life, practice makes perfect, or nearly so. If you practice getting a weather briefing on a regular basis, then after just a few sessions you will be like an old pro and will know how to get a quality weather briefing.

A good weather briefing begins with developing a total awareness of the overall big picture before obtaining a detailed or standard briefing. Many pilots start by monitoring weather patterns through commercial television, such as The Weather Channel, several days before the flight. The day or evening before the flight, pilots may wish to obtain an outlook briefing from Flight Service or electronically from a Direct User Access Terminal (DUAT) vendor, or they may choose to download weather and forecast charts from the Internet.

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