Accident investigators sometimes discover that pilots don’t have information contained in NOTAMs relevant to their flights. On rare occasions, even though a pilot asked for NOTAM information in a preflight briefing, the briefer accidentally omitted an item. More often, however, pilots don’t bother doing the research.
NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) are supposed to ensure that a pilot is aware of every bit of new information that could affect a flight. They report runway closures, runway conditions, malfunctioning navigational aids, airport arrival and departure changes, missile launches, outdoor laser light shows, temporary airspace restrictions and myriad other categories of information. The FAA distributes NOTAMs through printed publications issued every 28 days; it provides updates through FAA facilities between publication dates. But pilots aren’t always able to get all NOTAMs for all locations from all FAA facilities. It’s up to the individual pilot to dig through the sources of national, regional and local NOTAMs to mine the worthwhile nuggets.