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Safer Flights through Improved Pre-Flight Briefings for Pilots

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Imagine online directions for a road trip delivered entirely in text and more than 50 pages long. Planning your travel would be a challenge.

 When general aviation pilots file flight plans and obtain briefings online they face a similar problem.  Pilots use pre-flight briefings to learn about weather conditions and possible hazards along their planned route. The typical online briefing format is text-intensive, heavy on jargon and can be very lengthy, making it difficult for pilots to find and understand all the information affecting the safety of their flights.

 A new capability introduced by Lockheed Martin Flight Services addresses these problems by using a range of techniques to make briefings far faster to read and easier to understand.   

 “Next Generation Briefing uses graphics, automatic summarization, intelligent briefing text translation and several other tools to provide pilots with their briefing information in the most useful format possible,” said Jim Derr, director of Lockheed Martin Flight Services. “For instance, we now use graphics to show pilots where severe weather is located, when their flight will encounter it and explain the weather conditions in simple English. Pilots can see in an instant what previously would have required significant time to understand.”

 Next Generation Briefing is the latest in a series of flight planning safety and convenience enhancements delivered to pilots via the Flight Services Pilot Web Portal. Additional tools for pilots available via the Pilot Web Portal include the Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS) and Surveillance-Enhanced Search and Rescue (SE-SAR).

 The ACAS alerts pilots to critical safety conditions that arise after they have been briefed and filed a flight plan. SE-SAR provides faster and highly-precise search and rescue services to pilots who opt-in to the program. In addition, Flight Services has introduced EasyActivate™ and EasyClose™ for flight plans, allowing pilots to open and close flight plans by selecting a link in an email.

 “Pre-flight briefings are only as good as the information that pilots obtain from them,” Derr continued. “Next Generation Briefing enhances safety and convenience for the general aviation community by making it significantly easier to obtain and understand that information.”

 Pilots may register for the Pilot Web Portal at http://www.lmfsweb.afss.com. Use of Lockheed Martin Flight Services is free to pilots.

Posted October 10, 2013

story_highlights
  • Pilots use pre-flight briefings to learn about weather conditions and possible hazards along their planned route.
  • The typical online briefing format is text-intensive, heavy on jargon and can be very lengthy, making it difficult for pilots to find and understand all the information affecting the safety of their flights.
  • A new capability introduced by Lockheed Martin Flight Services uses graphics, automatic summarization, intelligent briefing text translation and several other tools to provide pilots with their briefing information in the most useful format possible.