Flight Service

noid

Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
2,024
18
38
In a van down by the river.
1. You still get your L Notams, but they are ALL now called D Notams. So you are not missing any information.

2. FSS inputs all Flight Plans through FS21, their internet based software. There is no real connection to the NAS, so that is why they can't get the flight plan back after the 30min prior.

3. Say a pilot calls FSS for a release. FSS calls the controller, the controller says I'll call you back for release. When he calls back, he gets the next available specialist, probably not the one talking to the pilot and probably one at a different facility.

AOR is area of responsibility. There are areas where a specialist takes calls from. If you have the Southeast AOR, you get FL, GA, and SC with some AL and NC mixed in.

4. The 7110.10 and maybe the .65(can't remember) state the times on when the overdue aircraft process starts. This is mostly used for VFR flight plans because with IFR things become more of an issue because you've locked up an airport or something other that deems more immediate attention.
 

SnowAviation

Senior Member
Jan 29, 2009
292
3
18
Southern California TRACON
1. You still get your L Notams, but they are ALL now called D Notams.
So you are not missing any information.
So if a pilot doesn't know something critical now, it's the fault of the pilot
not asking for it, or the briefer not giving it, briefer and not the system
anymore. Good to know.

2. FSS inputs all Flight Plans through FS21, their internet based software.
There is no real connection to the NAS, so that is why they can't get the
flight plan back after the 30min prior.
So you are essentially using DUATS?

3. Say a pilot calls FSS for a release. FSS calls the controller, the controller
says I'll call you back for release. When he calls back, he gets the next
available specialist, probably not the one talking to the pilot and probably
one at a different facility.
Ahh, makes sense now. We use an 800 number at SoCal TRACON so the pilots
don't have to contact FSS for clearances and releases, so I've never
experienced that.

4. The 7110.10 and maybe the .65(can't remember) state the times on
when the overdue aircraft process starts. This is mostly used for VFR flight
plans because with IFR things become more of an issue because you've
locked up an airport or something other that deems more immediate
attention.
I have a hard time getting worked up over the rules when an aircraft is overdue.
My problem is mostly when we send an aircraft on an IFR flight plan to the airport,
we tell them to report cancelling IFR in the air with us or call FSS as soon as
possible after they land. Lots of times we never get the call from FSS that
they have cancelled, we then have to call FSS and pry the information out
of them.

Another scenario is a pilot calls to cancel IFR and the FSS does actually call
but calls the wrong area to report. That's as bad a calling the wrong facility
especially if they fail to mention the airport and just use the call sign.

The last scenario is when the the pilot is told to call but hasn't
yet, after a reasonable amount of time we will call the FSS to ask if the
pilot has cancelled and if not please call as soon as they do. We often get
attitude from the person who answers the call.

We aren't trying to pester the specialists, usually when we are in a hurry to
know it's because other pilots are trying to land and we can't let them till
the previous arrival cancels IFR.

It wasn't like this when the SAN FSS was still open.
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
Its good to hear that you got some good information on some stuff. It looks like Noid explained things pretty well to you there. The FAA hasn't really explained too much about flight service. When I was at the academy for terminal training all they said was "I don't know what they do" lol. A lot of people don't know how busy we can get and how many job tasks and responsibilities we have. There is no doubt though that it isn't as glamorous as actually controlling airplanes which I must admit I miss sometimes.
 

Raydon

Happy Camper
Aug 18, 2008
1,046
16
38
OKC
Great thread. Thank you for the information, please stick around and keep the info coming!
 

noid

Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
2,024
18
38
In a van down by the river.
You are REQUIRED to have some sort of aviation experience/training; ie, controller, pilot, CTI, etc.

They post job openings on LockMart

Another way is to call HR directly. They usually won't talk to you about pay, but it's around 29-32/hr for level 1 depending on where you go.

Don't look for the school to open up until the middle/end of the year.
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
Right now the Prescott Hub is fully staffed as well as Ft Worth. The Washington DC hub where I work is much shorter staffed than the other facilities. We have 160 specialists and the other hubs have 200. When hiring does open up the Washington DC hub will likely be one of your only if not the only option. Its a great facility and its in a beautiful area in northern Virginia. However, the cost of living is very high. Like noid said trainee pay is 29-32/hr depending on where you go. Level 2 or (full performance level pay) is 36-42/hr. You also get a 3% coda which you can keep or put into a 401k.

DC Hub Pay as of now is:

Level I = 30.44/hr + 3% coda = $65,000
Level II = 39.44/hr + 3% coda = $85,000
Level III (lead specialist)= around $45/hr + 3% coda = $96,000
Supervisors = 100k +

We also get paid Weekly every Friday not biweekly which is awesome.

We also have healthcare, dental, and vision. It is a bit expensive though. For the best plan it costs about $40-45 a week for health and dental. It is practically impossible to find cheap healthcare though now a days. In fact now a days your lucky if your employer has health care.
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
No it is not cola. We don't get that unfortunately. Lockheed gives you an additional 3% pay on top of your salary which you can put into a 401k or keep to do with as you please. Its basically their 401k match.
 
Feb 9, 2009
4
0
1
I have 2 years as a line service technician plus I have my commercial, multi, instrument ratings and a college degree. That good enough experience?

Maybe I should have been more concise- what is the application process? The LockMart website isn't the easiest to navigate, and I didn't see any openings for an FSS specialist.
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
Yeah that should be good enough experience. Flying experience is a big plus that they like. They aren't hiring at the moment, but I would guess that they would be starting up some training classes later this year or beginning of next year. Only HR knows though just when they will be having classes. The Washington DC Hub is really the only facility in need of people at the moment. The other two hubs are fairly full as well as the satellite sites.
 

noid

Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
2,024
18
38
In a van down by the river.
Fackin Stupid Sons-a-bithes

Only kidding....kinda. Any nicknames are given by ATC. FSS people don't care enough to come up with a crafty nickname.

I will say, starting on the ATC side, then going to FSS, it opened my eyes to what really goes on. Now that I'm going back to ATC, I won't talk as much shit to the FSS guys.
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
We are a pretty close group of people that watch out for each other. We have to as in many cases we are not respected and or understood by ATC and high level management. We call ourselves by our first names or operating initials. We do often come up with interesting acronyms for our operating initials. We often call people with the intimates DR doctor etc...
 

kazy97

Newcomer
Jul 20, 2009
2
0
1
I am 32 yrs old, though i would like to go into atc, i am past the hiring age...so FSS seems like a good idea...I currently work in the travel industry specifically focused on airlines, i also flew privately in the past, and am an aviation nut:), also did 2 years of aviation college.Is that considered experience?
As of July '09 do you know if LM is hiring? also what education is required to go into FSS? Thanks
 

noid

Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
2,024
18
38
In a van down by the river.
With piloting experience alone you are qualified and then add in the academics and you should be ok. Problem is, there's no telling if/when LockMart will be hiring. With the union issue at bat and the "rumored" FAA takeover on deck, it could be a while.
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
As noid said, right now everything is up in the air. We have union negotiations starting at the beginning of August. Also the government is starting to take aim at A-76 contracts. Since flight service is the largest A-76 contract it will definitely be investigated if the government starts re-evaluating contracts. There are rumors around that its already happened, but only time will tell.
 

kazy97

Newcomer
Jul 20, 2009
2
0
1
What does that mean? that the FAA is going to takeover again? also...what education would I require to be hired? college? just academy?