PIREPs can be given to flight service, AWC, or ATC.
If you don’t see your PIREP pop up in the system, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t helpful!
Tip: Mandatory Reports Under IFR: FAR 91.183(b) requires pilots operating under instrument flight rules to report any unforecast weather conditions they encounter.
In this video, air traffic controllers share why the PIREP information is more important than the format.
There are several ways to contact flight service while airborne. You can call on a single frequency, use a remote communications outlet (RCO) or listen over a VOR frequency. When making your initial call, be sure to include the frequency you’re receiving on and your location.
Using a single frequency to contact flight service is easy. To locate frequencies along your route of flight, check aeronautical charts or the Chart Supplement.
Tip: Remember that VHF radios are line-of-sight, so you may need to get higher than traffic pattern altitude to talk to flight service.
Remote communications outlets (RCOs) are used to extend the communication reach of flight service. RCOs use a single communication frequency. The frequencies are shown on aeronautical charts and in the Chart Supplement.
Here’s what you would say to contact flight service via the Hilton Head Island RCO.
Pilot: Anderson Radio, Cirrus 871LB, receiving Hilton Head, 122.55, with a pilot report.
In many places, contacting flight service via a single frequency is not possible. In these areas, it’s necessary to call flight service on a communication frequency and listen over a navigation frequency.
Here’s how you would contact flight service using the Waterville VOR.
Note: When listed after a frequency, the letter R stands for “receive only.” In this case, it indicates that flight service can only receive on 122.1; they must transmit to you over 113.1.
If you’re too busy to give a PIREP in the air, jot down some quick notes and give flight service a call when you get on the ground. You can always contact flight service at 1-800-WX-BRIEF (1-800-992-7433) or submit a PIREP online.