At this point, we can get a standard weather briefing. The departure report and forecast are as follows:
METAR KUKI 071756Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 24/03 A2995 RMK AO2 SLP134 T02390028 10239 20089 58002
TAF KUKI 071743Z 0718/0818 VRB03KT P6SM SKC
FM072300 31006KT P6SM SKC
FM080300 00000KT P6SM SKC
So, VFR conditions will continue at Ukiah. Now for the destination weather:
METAR KCEC 071756Z AUTO 18005KT 10SM OVC006 13/12 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP158 T01280117 10133 20117 51010
TAF KCEC 071743Z 0718/0818 13004KT P6SM OVC007
FM072000 19005KT 4SM BR BKN008
FM080100 18003KT 2SM BR OVC003
FM080200 00000KT 1/2SM FG OVC003
FM081000 18003KT 2SM BR OVC002
FM081630 15006KT P6SM OVC007
The destination weather is good. ILS runway 11 minimums at Crescent City are 260 feet and ¾ sm visibility. The next question is whether an alternate airport is required. FAR 91.169 states and alternate is required unless the first point of intended landing has an approved instrument approach procedure and weather reports, forecasts, or a combination of both indicate that from 1 hour before to 1 hour after the ETA weather will be at least a 2000 foot ceiling and 3 sm visibility.
Crescent City does have a number of approach procedures. However, the weather is not at least 2000 and 3 near our time of arrival. So, an alternate airport is required. The time frame examined for this purpose is one hour before to one hour after the ETA at the destination, which is about 1935 Zulu.
A look at nearby weather reports reveals VFR conditions to the northeast. Due to the high terrain that direction, however, we elect to use the more distant North Bend, Oregon airport as the alternate. North Bend weather is as follows:
METAR KOTH 071755Z 00000KT 10SM OVC004 12/12 A2999 RMK AO1 10120 20110 52007
TAF KOTH 071732Z 0718/0818 VRB03KT P6SM OVC004
FM072000 33008KT P6SM BKN008
FM072100 33008KT P6SM SCT010
FM080300 VRB03KT 4SM BR BKN006
FM080900 VRB03KT 1SM BR OVC002
FM081700 12004KT P6SM OVC006
Pilots should check for any NOTAMs that could affect their flight.
There are four categories of NOTAMs: NOTAM D, FDC, Pointer, and Military.
NOTAM D, or distant NOTAMs, are attached to hourly weather reports and are available at flight service stations.
FDC NOTAMs are issued by the national flight data center and contain regulatory information, such as temporary flight restrictions or an amendment to instrument approach procedures.
Pointer NOTAMs point out another NOTAM, such as an FDC or D NOTAM. This assists pilots in cross referencing important information that may not be found under a particular airport or navaid identifier.
Military NOTAMs pertain to military airports and navaids that are part of the NAS.