Pilot Preflight Briefing
airport and weather information
The objective of a pilot preflight briefing is to gather meteorological and aeronautical information necessary for the conduct of a safe and efficient flight. In other words to avoid an aircraft accident the key is familiarizing yourself with useful information (i.e. airport and weather information) and knowing not to exceed the limitations of the aircraft or your skill set.
To reduce runway incursions and improve surface navigation, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, in conjunction with the FAA Runway Safety Program Office, is pleased to provide airport taxi diagrams for the busiest U.S. towered airports. Diagrams are updated regularly, so check before each flight to be sure you have the most current diagram(s). (Note: Diagrams are in PDF format.)
Search by one of the following criteria (or leave all fields blank and click "Find Diagrams" to view complete list):
SkyVector.com allows a user to view aeronautical charts online. Always current, and always free, FAA Sectional Charts are used for VFR flight planning anywhere in ths US. Terminal Area Charts cover only areas around major Class B Airports. They are more detailed, and should be used when fligh planning near Class Bravo Airspace. Weather data is provided from current METARS. Aviation Chart Data is updated monthly from Official NACO images. These aviation charts have been carefully aligned to provide you with an accurate flight planning tool.
Flight Planning at SkyVector.com
FlightPrep - Electronic Flight Bag and Flight Planning Provider...
AirNav provides free detailed aeronautical information on airports and other information to assist pilots in gathering information for flight planning. It's also useful for some hangar flying on those days when the weather or the checkbook keep you on the ground. Airport details include airport location, runway information, radio navigation aids and communication frequencies, FBO information, fuel prices, and a wealth of other information for pilots. Also tools for airport search, fuel price search, and a fuel stop planner. All searchable, all free.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Aviation Weather Center (AWC) Homepage "Standard Briefing" is intended as a tool to help pilots better visualize weather and weather-related hazards. It is not intended as a substitute for a weather briefing obtained from a Flight Service Station (1-800-WXBRIEF).
Find the Weather for any City, State or ZIP Code, or Airport Code or Country
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is a type of Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). A TFR defines an area restricted to air travel due to a hazardous condition, a special event, or a general warning for the entire FAA airspace. The text of the actual TFR contains the fine points of the restriction.
There is no FAA requirement to file a VFR flight plan. The FAA views a flight plan's primary purpose as a means to initiate a search and rescue (SAR) operation should it become necessary. Flight plans (FAA Form 7233-1) can be filed by telephone (including FAST FILE), in person, or by radio. Remember to activate your VFR flight plan after takeoff. The important SAR uses of a flight plan are negated if the flight plan is not activated. Since all FSS's are part of a large communication network, any FSS can activate (or close) a flight plan no matter where it was filed.
To simply cockpit management it is handy to have a onesheet "Radio Frequency Guide" and "Airplance Checklist." Personally I have made up a checklist for the Cessna 140, the Cessna 170 and a Cessna 182.