Learn something new everyday.
Usually, I do my weather briefings online and call FSS to file my flight plans.
Today, knowing it was severe clear for the entire day, I asked for an abbreviated briefing and always ask if there are any airpsace issues (TFRs) to be aware of. Yeah, I know when I am IFR, the airspace issues are to be dealt with in my routing and working with ATC, but I still like to be aware of these things.
Briefer asked me if I got my local notams. Past briefings, I always got full briefings, since clouds woudl be a potential flight issue and my return time usually spans several hours, so local notams were always included in my FSS briefings. I just took these for granted and halfway listened through the unlit tower portion of the briefing.
When the briefer asked if I got the local notams, and I said no, which he gave me the local notam that included the fact that the ILS glide slope was out of service at KGNF. he said, had I filed via DUATS and also requested a standard briefing through DUATS and something happened where I went to do an ILS approach and something happened, that I would have been found negligent in not using all my resources in my briefing (FSS).
Amazingly enough, this guy was right as when I came back home, I re-requested my briefing and sure enough, NOTHING about the unusable glide slope at KGNF
He did have a point, as I try to be an automated person, but when it comes to my preflight, I always go the extra step to call FSS just to validate my go / no go decision.
I never thought would have thought DUATS would not be inclusive enough to include a critical element about an unusable glideslope as had I decided to go, and ceilings were 300 feet AGL, I wouldn’t have made it to the airport!
In fact, I had got a standard briefing with DUATS and an abbreviated briefing with FSS, local NOTAMS normally are not covered unless you specifically ask for them.
Soooo… lesson learned, for those that file online, “buyer beware” all is not disclosed on Standard briefings with DUATS.
I will now always ask for the standard full briefing as abbreviated apparently is not enough.
Guess the real question of the day is what benefit of filing flight plans online and getting your standard briefing online is there when you don’t get critical local notam?