- Elias "Who Flias" Zwillenberg, JAC Member
Ah, good old CFR 14 91.103 which reads, and I paraphrase, "Each pilot in command shall become familiar with everything in the universe, period, no exceptions." When that rule was penned it became incumbent upon all PICs to retrieve full briefings from their tablets. Of course, back then those were stone tablets that were wet if it rained and relocated in high wind. Now that we're in the 21st century the FAA has decided to enter the 20th century and officially recommend what most of us have known forever: Humans must all be replaced by computers ASAP. And so they have released, in their infinite (if plodding) wisdom, Advisory Circular 91-92 officially recommending electronic self briefings as primary preflight information sources. Telephone briefers are now relegated to the realm of clarification and advice.
In all seriousness, it's good of the Administrator to gently nudge the old guard toward the more efficient and easily digested digital format. Information at a glance, re-readable and graphically interpreted, is far superior to trying to imagine system fronts and recall cloud layers across hundreds of miles. AC 91-92 also guides us towards in flight weather information systems which may not be available to all but are certainly an excellent resource.
In the opinion of this author it is advisable for all pilots to become familiar with the available resources and their limitations. Notably that Foreflight draws its information from approved sources and its briefings, read in full, are regulatory-compliant. Further do not forget that ADS-B weather can be delayed by as much as 15 minutes and so can be utilized for 'big picture' information but don't go squeezing between storm clouds on its advice.
So there you have it, Aviators, no more need for you to look sceptically at your students or copilots when they tell you Foreflight is an acceptable preflight briefing. Now you can look at them sceptically when they tell you they remember all the NOTAMS along the route of flight.