The flight watch area of radio coverage is normally designed to coincide with the associated Air Route Traffic Control Center geographical boundary plus 100 nautical miles, with an additional 50 nautical mile overlap of adjacent Flight Watch Control Stations (FWCS). In addition to being facility rated controller for at least 2 years, the flight service station specialist monitoring the Flight Watch position has also received specialized training from the National Weather Service located at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Denver Flight Watch has access to 15 remote communication sites covering the Denver Center area. Frequency 122.0 is provided as a common frequency at all EFAS facilities throughout the United States for communication below 18,000 feet MSL.
Discrete frequencies are assigned to each Flight Watch area for communication coverage at FL180 and above; in the Denver Flight Watch area, this frequency is 124.67, and the sites are located on Aspen mountain (DBL155026) and near Casper, Wyoming.
While full weather briefings and most non weather aeronautical information are not provided by Flight Watch, Denver Flight Watch specialists do have immediate access to graphic weather charts, weather radar/satellite displays, and current and forecast data. In addition, direct lines of communication are maintained with National Weather Service offices and the Center Weather Service Unit at Denver Center.
"Denver Flight Watch, Twin Cessna Five Zero Six Two Quebec listening over Aspen."
"Twin Cessna Five Zero Six Two Quebec, Denver Flight Watch." "Twin Cessna Six Two Quebec request current weather and pilot reports at Aspen, ETA three-zero minutes."
"Twin Cessna Five Zero Six Two Quebec, Aspen Special Observation at 1530 Zulu, indefinite ceiling one thousand, sky obscured, visibility two, snow, temperature three-zero, dew-point two-four, wind one-two-zero at four, altimeter two-niner-eight-niner, Airmet Tango in effect, occasional moderate rime icing in clouds, one-six-thousand and below, pilot reports are requested."
This exchange is a common type of occurrence recorded in Ski Country, U.S.A. Flight Watch (FW), also known as En route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS), is a service specifically designed to provide en route aircraft with timely and meaningful weather advisories which are pertinent to the type of flight being conducted. This information consists of available real time weather that will directly affect an aircraft's route of flight.
The limited number of weather reporting stations throughout portions of the country, and in particular the Colorado Rocky Mountain area, creates a great need for, and reliance on, pilot weather reports. These pilot reports are crucial to maintaining awareness of developing weather trends.
Denver Flight Watch is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week; all other services offered by Denver Automated Flight Service are available 24 hours a day. The Denver Automated Flight Service Station, in addition to providing users of the National Airspace System with invaluable weather data, seeks to augment the service provided by controllers in the area to make your high mountain flying in Ski Country, U.S.A. a safe and enjoyable experience.
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