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Requesting an outlook briefing is not mandated, but it is a simple way to communicate to the briefer you're not looking for specifics but just a general idea of what to expect.
But when I call an organization whose staff has superior weather training and knowledge, there is nothing more irritating than getting a briefer who simply reads the Notams and TAFs to me.
Not only do briefers not know the local weather phenomena any better than most of the local pilots, they don't know local fixes, airports or geography.
NATO was even wrong about cows: The wholesale slaughter of livestock and burning of crops that allied briefers described simply did not happen.
The emphasis on the briefings is frequently heavily weighted toward the negative; perhaps the standard admonition is routinely given if only to protect the briefer's backside.
I decided to call FSS that evening before my flight, which I rarely do because I can usually find all the information I need online and in most cases the only thing the briefer does is regurgitate what they see on ADDS.
My calls to the local briefers used to be part of my routine go/no go decision making process.
This happened at a visit to the Washington, D.C., hub, where we spent time meeting with program managers and FSS briefers, and touring the facility.
most of the equipment FSS with which briefers were forced to work dated from the 1970s and 1980s, lagging far behind the technology available in cockpits alone, not to mention most of the pilots using the FAA's services.
Slowly, things began to get better: Wait times shortened, briefers tried harder, fewer flight plans got lost.
The information available to briefers will be virtually the same as today, but all of it will be available to any briefer anywhere in the country.