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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aviation Weather Services

Service Outlets

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Satellite Weather Products
Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET)
SIGMETs are weather advisories issued concerning weather
significant to the safety of all aircraft. SIGMET advisories
can cover an area of at least 3,000 square miles and provide
data regarding severe and extreme turbulence, severe icing,
and widespread dust or sandstorms that reduce visibility to
less than three miles. [Figure 12-4]

Satellite SIGMET.
Figure 12-4. Satellite SIGMET.

Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET)
AIRMETs are weather advisories issued only to amend
the area forecast concerning weather phenomena which
are of operational interest to all aircraft and potentially
hazardous to aircraft having limited capability because of
lack of equipment, instrumentation, or pilot qualifications.
AIRMETs concern weather of less severity than that covered
by SIGMETs or convective SIGMETs. AIRMETs cover
moderate icing, moderate turbulence, sustained winds of 30
knots or more at the surface, widespread areas of ceilings
less than 1,000 feet and/or visibility less than three miles,
and extensive mountain obscurement. [Figure 12-5]

Satellite AIRMET.
Figure 12-5. Satellite AIRMET.

Service Outlets

Service outlets are government or private facilities that
provide aviation weather services. Several different
government agencies, including the FAA, National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the NWS
work in conjunction with private aviation companies to
provide different means of accessing weather information.

Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS)
The AFSS is the primary source for preflight weather
information. A preflight weather briefing from an AFSS can
be obtained 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-WX BRIEF from
almost anywhere in the United States. In areas not served by
an AFSS, NWS facilities may provide pilot weather briefings.

Telephone numbers for NWS facilities and additional
numbers for AFSS can be found in the Airport/Facility
Directory (A/FD) or in the United States Government section
of the telephone book.

The AFSS also provides inflight weather briefing services, as
well as scheduled and unscheduled weather broadcasts. An
AFSS may also furnish weather advisories to flights within
the AFSS region of authority.

Transcribed Information Briefing Service (TIBS)
The Transcribed Information Briefing Service (TIBS) is
a service prepared and disseminated by selected AFSS. It
provides continuous telephone recordings of meteorological
and aeronautical information. Specifically, TIBS provides
area and route briefings, airspace procedures, and special
announcements. It is designed to be a preliminary briefing
tool and is not intended to replace a standard briefing from
a FSS specialist. The TIBS service is available 24 hours a
day and is updated when conditions change, but it can only
be accessed by a touch-tone phone. The phone numbers for
the TIBS service are listed in the A/FD.

Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS)
The Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS), which is
funded by the FAA, allows any pilot with a current medical
certificate to access weather information and file a flight
plan via computer. Two methods of access are available to
connect with DUATS. The first is via the Internet at http://
www.duats.com. The second method requires a modem and a
communications program supplied by a DUATS provider. To
access the weather information and file a flight plan by this
method, pilots use a toll free telephone number to connect the
user's computer directly to the DUATS computer. The current
vendors of DUATS service and the associated phone numbers
are listed in Chapter 7, Safety of Flight, of the Aeronautical
Information Manual (AIM).