How to conduct a Pre-flight Pilot Briefing from the FIC

 

The Kamloops Flight Information Centre (Kamloops FIC) is the local office of NavCanada agency that provides flight planning and flight information services to Canadian pilots, including aviation weather and flight-operation notifications—NOTAMS (Notices to Airman).  Prior to each flight, students are required to get a “briefing” from the FIC’s Flight Service Specialists, who can be accessed on the toll-free number 1-866-WX BRIEF.  When a “briefing” is requested, the Flight Service Specialist will know exactly what information will be important for you.  For them to do their job, however, you must first tell them the time of your flight, the type of flight you will be doing, and the location of your flight.  Simply say to them “I’m Joe Blow, a student at Langley Aiport, and I will be departing in a half-hour for a training flight within 20 nautical miles of Langley Airport . . the flight will last about an hour . . could I please have a briefing . .”  The FSS Specialist will then give you all the information you need (the request for a “briefing” is the key), including NOTAMs and AIRMETs.

Aviation weather data is available to students on NavCanada’s website www.flightplanning.navcanada.ca, and when possible, students should review information here prior to contacting the Flight Service Specialist.  Remember too that this briefing can be done at home or in the office prior to coming to the School for a scheduled training flight.

With respect to weather information, the Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) for Abbotsford Airport is the most detailed forecast information we can get for the closest location to Langley Airport—a terminal forecast for Langley Airport is not published.  The next nearest TAF would be for Vancouver Airport, but owing to its coastal location, often experiences different weather from us.  If your training flight takes you away from Langley Airport, you must, of course, get appropriate weather forecasts for the planned route.

NOTAMs provide information related to any changes—temporary or permanent—that is not contained in existing publications such as navigation charts or the Canadian Flight Supplement.[1]  If a runway is temporarily closed, for example, this will be communicated by way of a NOTAM.  AIRMETs are any last-minute amendments to the published forecast weather.

 

[1] The Canadian Flight Supplement is essentially a directory of all Canadian airports, including such things as runways and taxiways, radio frequencies, etc.  A current Canadian Flight Supplement should be kept on board each aircraft.