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Flight Planning? WX-BRIEF Made Some Big Changes For You.


If you've ever gotten a weather briefing or filed a flight plan online, there are some big changes you should know about.

How We File Flight Plans Is Changing

Between 2013 and 2019, VFR flight plans filed by Flight Service over the phone decreased from a high of 30,000 to less than 5,000 per month. As a result, the FAA has rolled out several improvements to make briefing and filing easier.

Leidos Flight Service Website Updates

The Flight Service website ( has been updated to reflect design improvements that you'll find in many other briefing services through popular EFBs. Here are some of the most important changes:

  • Mobile-friendly format
  • ICAO flight plan support
  • Graphical flight planning
  • Filter extraneous NOTAMs
  • 45-day retention of pilot history data

According to Chris Henne, Manager of Flight Service Safety and Operations, "in the future, we'd like to be able to better link our web briefings and those given by specialists... That way if a pilot has questions about a specific item in a briefing, the specialist can see what the pilot is looking at and answer the questions faster and more directly than simply repeating a briefing the pilot has already received."

Leidos Flight Service

Register Your Phone Number With WX-BRIEF

If you've ever spoken to a briefer over the phone during flight planning, you're probably familiar with the cumbersome menu options you need to dial through. In the past, you had to say things like "briefer" and "[your state]" each time you called Flight Service.

Now, in your account, you can list uniquely identifiable phone numbers. When you call Leidos Flight Service (LFS), the automated system will pull up your profile and take actions based on that information.

"If the phone system is unable to locate your phone number or it is listed with multiple profiles (FBO, Flight School, Flying Club Phone), it will provide you the opportunity to enter a unique number that is associated with your profile." LFS still recommends that you use to perform quick actions like filing your flight plan or reviewing graphical interactive maps, before calling to speak with a briefer.


Starting in May, pilots may now select "Required Statements Opt-Out" from their account menu when logged into Opting out of all these statements will notify the specialist that you are familiar with and aware of the requirements, and they will not be required to provide redundant messages during your next call.

Need An Update To Your Previous Briefing?

Have you ever needed an updated briefing if the weather changes significantly? Typically, this resulted in you receiving another full briefing on the phone with Flight Service. Now, specialists on the other end of the phone will have access to an actual update briefing and can provide just the information that's changed since your last standard weather brief.

This will allow you the opportunity to get important information quickly, instead of a full, unnecessary briefing being repeated.

How do you pre-brief your flights and file flight plans? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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