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I'm sure this question has been asked before and answered elsewhere on the internet, but I have yet to find an answer that explains this satisfactorily.
What is the difference between Flight Service and Flight Watch?
I can never remember which one is referred to as "Radio," which one takes PIREPs, which one activate flight plans, or which one is solely weather information. And I know one of them has a nationwide frequency (122.0?).
What makes these two services different, and what exactly do they do?
I'm guessing you're a student?
This is basic info you should know for your private pilot.
Any private pilot manual or your CFI is a good place to answer this.
I'm sure someone will chime in here and give you a lengthy answer but you really should be seeking this knowledge in your handbook and having a talk with your CFI.
N3922B, I'm a student too, and I have exactly the same question. I am preparing for the knowledge exam and trying to sort out the when and how to use pilot services X/C.
I **have** read the training material looking for an answer to exactly this question and neither the FAA's Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge nor the Cessna Pilot Training course (delivered by John and Martha King), give a satisfactory answer.
Clearest statement is that if flying above 5,000 MSL, 122.0 is available to pilots.
I will ask my CFI to explain the difference between FlightWatch and Flight Service, and when and how to use each... but that is a little beside the point I would like to make...
You have internalized this part of aviating no doubt through education and X/C experience. You no longer have to stop and ask yourself about how to do the basic things or what services are available to pilots from the various parts of the ATC/FSS spectrum. But we student *do* have to work at it until it too becomes internalized.
SBarnettW asked a valid question and even though it may be the most basic aviation information to you, there is no reason to take an insulting and condescending tone in your post. He is in pursuit of the right answer to become a properly informed pilot. There are no dumb questions when a person is trying to educate him/herself.
So provide some help if you are so inclined, but please don't make a student pilot feel like an idiot for no good reason. We feel that way often enough as it is while we watch and listen to the experienced pilots do things so easily.
It can often be difficult to find answers to these queastions in standard aviation texts. Don't be afraid to do a google search for these terms if the FAR/AIM is driving you crazy.
Flight Watch is focused on weather, both reporting and pireps. As mentioned it is available on 122.0 pretty much everywhere as long as you are above 5000 ft., often lower. Call them by asking for XXX Flight Watch, for example Los Angeles Flight Watch.
Flight Service offers the full range of services including weather, flight plans, NOTAMS, route briefings, etc. They are often available on 122.2, but this varies by location. See your sectional for local frequencies. Call FSS by asking for XXX Radio. In addition it is helpful to say the frequency you are using and your approximate location. This is because each FSS typically covers a large area with many remote stations. Here's an example of a call-up. Rancho Radio this is Cub 114DE on 122.2 near Bakersfield.
Thanks Dave for your help. I appreciate it! Like you said, you can read the books, but it still is hard to understand.
FirstFlightMike....thanks for chiming in. Glad to know I'm not the only one with basic questions.
N3992B, not sure what to say here. Just asking a question. Yes, I do know which one opens flight plans, etc....I was just looking to flesh my question out more. I wanted the "whys" of it all.
And, btw, I am a licensed pilot. Low time, yes, but I passed my private checkride.
Reminds me.....one book that has proven to be INVALUABLE to me as I continue my aviation education post-certificate is Bob Gardner's "Say Again Please." Amazing book, and the examples of radio transmissions that he puts in there are worth the book's price by themselves. FirstFlightMike, you'll find that very helpful I'm sure.
Flight Watch is the common name in the United States for an Enroute Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) dedicated to providing weather to and collecting reports from pilots while in flight.
A Flight Service Station (FSS) is an air traffic facility that provides information and services to aircraft pilots before, during, and after flights, but unlike air traffic control (ATC), is not responsible for giving instructions or clearances or providing separation.
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