CFI Brief:

Obtaining a weather briefing in my opinion is one of the single most important parts of any pre-fight. Whether you plan on conducting a flight in the vicinity of an airport or are heading out on a 100 NM cross country trip, having current and updated weather information is crucial for a successful flight. If you read Monday’s post, and I highly suggest you do, you learned about the various sources of weather information available to a pilot. You can see that in today’s day and age there are so many various sources of weather made available and absolutely no excuse not to use them. As a pilot myself, one of my go-to ways to obtain weather information is through the Lockheed Martin Flight Service system website at This is a government sponsored site, so a record of your briefing will be retained and put on file—this is a good thing.

If you’ve never used, the first step is to  register for an account, it’s a free and simple process. Lockheed Martin, who manages the site, provides several how-to videos in an effort to simplify the process even more. I will provide you with a couple of these videos to check out and provide you with a link to where you may find the remaining how to videos from Lockheed Martin.

This first video will give you a quick 3 minute overview on how to register and login to the system.

This next video is going to actually teach you how to obtain your first flight plan route briefing. Now maybe you’ve used the system before and have already obtained route briefings. If so, it’s not going to hurt to still take a look at this video, you may learn something new or at the very least pick up on a few new tricks of the system.

There are several additional how-to videos posted on the Lockheed Martin Flight Services YouTube Page and other useful information posted under the help menu at

Airman Certification Standards: Private Pilot Airplane and Instrument Rating Airplane eBook PDFs are now available!


Looking for more information? Check out our interview with ASA Curriculum Director and ARAC ACS WG member Jackie Spanitz. You can also read her article “Certifying Pilots: The New Airman Certification Standards” on AOPA also offers their take as well. Softcover copies of each edition are also now available for preorder and will begin shipping later this month.

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