Government/Lockheed closing Flight Watch

Did you know the three decade operation of the Enroute Flight Advisory Service by Flight Service Stations is about to end. Come October 24 frequency 122.0 and the discrete hi-altitute freqs will be just place-holders, all calls will be refereed to the regular Flight Service radios.
Was Flight Watch a zombie waiting for a bullet ? Is the idea of dedicated “live” support for detailed inflight weather updates a hopeless dinosaur ?

Coincidentally, … _122_2_MHz

I worked at FSS from 84 to 94 and was Flight Watch qualified. You needed an extra class to qualify. At first the extra class wasn’t offered very often in OKC, but as time went on the classes increased and many briefers became checked out and worked Flight Watch. The Flight Watch position was fun to work on a busy day, since you had a large area to cover and you had to be quick on your feet.

So, it may be sad and a bit nostalgic to see 122.0 go away, but there isn’t any real service loss to pilots here. Unless, of course, Lockheed doesn’t keep a close eye of the staffing of the “Inflight” positions (the “normal” FSS frequencies) to make sure they don’t get swamped on a busy day.

I’d love to hear from current Lockheed people if there are any here on FA…

I am FSS. There are two issues; first that unlike Tower, Approach or Center controllers who have one to maybe three frequencies to work at FSS Inflight I’ll have seventy to a hundred radios over several states and few pilots have any idea that anyone else is also calling me, second is that we’re General Purpose and in effect a dumping ground - 10% of the callers want to use 110% of the available resources as when their on-line filing of a flight plan has gone astray or they’ve missed their window for Customs, a commercial carrier schedules three or four aircraft to depart at the same time across the region so they all call me for Clearances at the same time or the instructor has handed his ESL student a diversion that they’ll stumble through - now FAA and LM are adding on the occasions when pilot’s want and need a detailed interpretation of severe and changing weather all on the same frequencies …

Other than that it is a pretty kick back job!! :open_mouth:

In all seriousness I have been visiting stations when the fan went into overdrive flinging… stuff every which way. Maybe I’m old school but I sometimes long for the days when there was a local FSS within 75 miles of most airports around the country.