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who uses FSS?



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 1st 03, 03:17 AM
McGregor
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Default who uses FSS?

I get my pre-flight briefings from:
*) weathertap - RadarLab, area outlook, tafs, progs
*) ADDS - flightpath tool for AIRMETS & winds aloft along the route
*) FlightStar - to tell me how long it'll take, print nice-looking flight
plans, plan fuel stops, etc.

Then I call flight service and listen to the guy/girl give me this wildly
generalized briefing that usually doesn't tell me very much.

Last time I was in a flight service station (2000 I think) they were still
using IBM CRTs with textual info, so I don't know how they can give anyone a
very precise route briefing.

So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident ("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?



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  #2  
Old October 1st 03, 03:34 AM
Roy Smith
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Default

"McGregor" wrote:
So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident ("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?


I am sure I'm going to get jumped on, but I just don't see FSS as having
a key role in flight planning. I'm like McGregor; I self-brief using
DUAT. I find this to be faster, more convenient, and more complete that
what I could get from FSS on the phone. To be fair, I should point out
that I'm on line pretty much all the time. If you have to boot up your
computer and dial up to get to DUAT, I can see how it might not be any
better than a voice briefing. I'm also pretty good at rdg mtrlogcl
gibrsh wth no vwls so I don't have any trouble understanding the
printout.

I use FSS only under rare situations. Every once in a while there's
something that I can't make sense of on DUAT (and the plain-language
translator isn't helping), so I'll call up and ask a specific question.
On (rare) occassion, I'll be near a phone but not near a computer on the
net.

On the other hand, I use FSS a lot in the air. On a long flight, with
weather that's anything but severe clear, I'll generally call up flight
watch as soon as I level out in cruise to get an update. On a really
long flight, I might do that several times during the course of the
flight.

I also use FSS for dictating flight plans to in the air. If I don't
have an IFR flight plan on file and I suspect I might need it further up
the road, I'll call up FSS and give it to them. I keep a flight plan
form laminated to my kneeboard so I can just reel off the information in
the right order to the FSS guy. NOTE: if you want to do this, you need
to use the discrete FSS frequencies. Flight watch is for weather only,
no flight plans.
  #3  
Old October 1st 03, 03:46 AM
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Default



Roy Smith wrote:

"McGregor" wrote:
So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident ("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?


I am sure I'm going to get jumped on, but I just don't see FSS as having
a key role in flight planning. I'm like McGregor; I self-brief using
DUAT. I find this to be faster, more convenient, and more complete that
what I could get from FSS on the phone. To be fair, I should point out
that I'm on line pretty much all the time. If you have to boot up your
computer and dial up to get to DUAT, I can see how it might not be any
better than a voice briefing. I'm also pretty good at rdg mtrlogcl
gibrsh wth no vwls so I don't have any trouble understanding the
printout.

I use FSS only under rare situations. Every once in a while there's
something that I can't make sense of on DUAT (and the plain-language
translator isn't helping), so I'll call up and ask a specific question.
On (rare) occassion, I'll be near a phone but not near a computer on the
net.

On the other hand, I use FSS a lot in the air. On a long flight, with
weather that's anything but severe clear, I'll generally call up flight
watch as soon as I level out in cruise to get an update. On a really
long flight, I might do that several times during the course of the
flight.

I also use FSS for dictating flight plans to in the air. If I don't
have an IFR flight plan on file and I suspect I might need it further up
the road, I'll call up FSS and give it to them. I keep a flight plan
form laminated to my kneeboard so I can just reel off the information in
the right order to the FSS guy. NOTE: if you want to do this, you need
to use the discrete FSS frequencies. Flight watch is for weather only,
no flight plans.


Before we had DUAT(S) and all these other extensive weather resources, FSS was
pretty much it for G/A. The airlines have always used their own weather
departments or at least dispatchers for weather.

Like you say, FSS has some good value en route, sort of the poor man's equivalent
of airline company frequencies through ARINC.

The one essential role, though of the FSS, is when it is the only RCO on a
non-towered, IFR airport (example, KBIH). Center often hands you off to the FSS
for IFR ATC relay purposes well before you begin the approach. Likewise, on IFR
departure, you're with the FSS for quite a time at some of these airports.

  #4  
Old October 1st 03, 03:47 AM
jfee
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Posts: n/a
Default

You dont' even need them to cya, as long as you get a briefing through Duats
(which is built-in to flitestar).

"McGregor" wrote in message
link.net...
I get my pre-flight briefings from:
*) weathertap - RadarLab, area outlook, tafs, progs
*) ADDS - flightpath tool for AIRMETS & winds aloft along the route
*) FlightStar - to tell me how long it'll take, print nice-looking flight
plans, plan fuel stops, etc.

Then I call flight service and listen to the guy/girl give me this wildly
generalized briefing that usually doesn't tell me very much.

Last time I was in a flight service station (2000 I think) they were still
using IBM CRTs with textual info, so I don't know how they can give anyone

a
very precise route briefing.

So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident

("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?





  #6  
Old October 1st 03, 03:56 AM
Michael 182
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Posts: n/a
Default

I use them before every flight. I find a 5-7 minute phone call (including
filing IFR) faster than using the net. If there is significant weather
enroute I'll get on line to complete the picture. My only problem is the
hold time before I get to talk to a briefer.

Michael


"McGregor" wrote in message
link.net...

Then I call flight service and listen to the guy/girl give me this wildly
generalized briefing that usually doesn't tell me very much.



  #7  
Old October 1st 03, 04:15 AM
Robert Henry
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Posts: n/a
Default

I thought Mitre was working to answer this very question....

If you want to fly into or out of the DC ADIZ, you have to talk to flight
service. DUATS CANNOT be used to file any flight plan (IFR/VFR) in or out
of the ADIZ.

Frankly, I like the discussion to validate what I think I know about the
weather, and then I ask for a complete list of TFRs and/or any new TFRs for
the route(s) of flight one last time.

"McGregor" wrote in message
link.net...

So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident

("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?





  #8  
Old October 1st 03, 06:43 AM
Bob Gardner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

You haven't been into a modern automated FSS like the one on Boeing Field.
More weather graphics than you can shake a stick at. The only text-based
thing I have seen is the template for accepting flight plans filed by phone
or radio.

Bob Gardner

"McGregor" wrote in message
link.net...
I get my pre-flight briefings from:
*) weathertap - RadarLab, area outlook, tafs, progs
*) ADDS - flightpath tool for AIRMETS & winds aloft along the route
*) FlightStar - to tell me how long it'll take, print nice-looking flight
plans, plan fuel stops, etc.

Then I call flight service and listen to the guy/girl give me this wildly
generalized briefing that usually doesn't tell me very much.

Last time I was in a flight service station (2000 I think) they were still
using IBM CRTs with textual info, so I don't know how they can give anyone

a
very precise route briefing.

So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident

("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?





  #9  
Old October 1st 03, 11:20 AM
Dan Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I agree with you, Michael. It's much faster to phone FSS compared to Duats.
I usually do it on my cell while driving to the airport, so zero time added.
I usually check Intellicast Nexrad on the computer before I call to get the
big picture.
"Michael 182" wrote in message
. net...
I use them before every flight. I find a 5-7 minute phone call (including
filing IFR) faster than using the net. If there is significant weather
enroute I'll get on line to complete the picture. My only problem is the
hold time before I get to talk to a briefer.

Michael


"McGregor" wrote in message
link.net...

Then I call flight service and listen to the guy/girl give me this

wildly
generalized briefing that usually doesn't tell me very much.





  #10  
Old October 1st 03, 11:38 AM
Bob Noel
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Posts: n/a
Default

In article .net,
"McGregor" wrote:

[snip]
So... is FSS just there to a) cover your ass in case of an incident
("pilot
called FSS and got a full weather briefing prior to departing into known
icing/TFR/hurricane etc.") b) accept flight plans?


I use the FSS for standard briefs and to file. I prefer dealing
with people. I usually familarize myself with the weather via
on-line sources, but I still get the standard brief. It doesn't
take long, especially using a cellphone. And getting the briefing
right after I've preflighted my aircraft means the information
is as current as possible.

--
Bob Noel
 




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