IFR Weather Briefings SC

Brief Me up Scotty!

Welcome to 2018, there are many ways now to get a weather briefing!

You may remember calling into Flight Service as a private pilot student if you had a good CFI that made you do that at least once.  There’s a good chance though you do not give them a call each time before you go flying any longer.  Well, there are lots of ways to become familiar with the weather prior to your flight, we’ll cover the FAA approved ones that can actually help you CYA if anything ever goes wrong!

Good morning, I’m an instrument pilot planning an IFR flight.  November 578 Mike Alpha, a Cessna 172, departing Venice Airport, Kilo Victor November Charlie at 1330Z.  Cruising at 7,000′, direct to Key West, Kilo Echo Yankee Whiskey. Estimate 2 hours and 15 minutes enroute.  Requesting a Standard Weather Briefing

When you get an IFR or VFR briefing, it really is the same thing.  The only difference you’ll find is that with IFR they don’t say the words “VFR flight not recommended”, and with an IFR briefing they will give you FDC NOTAMs as well (letting you know what NOTAMs there are for the approaches going into your planned airports).  REMEMBER:  The briefer is just a person, so talk to them like a person, don’t just call in and have them talk at you, discuss your intentions with them and make use of their vast knowledge of looking at the weather in those areas every day for years to help you predict how it is going to turn out!


Notices to Airmen do not differ too much between IFR and VFR flight, with the exception now that we are concerned with FDC NOTAMs (the notices that tell use about amendments to approach minimums, availability of GPS or RAIM, etc).  Let’s quickly review NOTAM types:

  • NOTAM (D) – Distant NOTAM, covers things like RWY and Taxiway closures, unlit towers, etc.
  • FDC NOTAM – Flight Data Center, pertains to instrument approaches and chart publication changes. TFRs also fall into this category
  • Pointer NOTAM – NOTAM that references you to another NOTAM
  • Military NOTAM – Covers military airports and NAVAIDs

The next Topic (SFRA) is optional.  Feel free to use it to get some extra knowledge and AvGas, or just mark complete and move on to the quiz.