July 2007 Issue

Flight Planning’s New Age

With the recent, ongoing upheaval at flight service, we canít count on a brieferís local knowledge or interpretation. Instead, we have to do it ourselves.

Anyone whoís picked up the phone to obtain a weather briefing from an FAA Flight Service Station (FSS) in recent weeks has discovered the ongoing consolidation by federal contractor Lockheed Martin (LockMart) isnít going so well. Lengthy hold times have been common, if the telephone is answered at all. Once a pilot gets to speak with a briefer, the service has been, shall we say, uneven. Recognizing this, the FAA recently announced a $3 million fine against LockMart for failing to live up to the terms of its contract.

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