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Winter NOTAM Contractions

Posted by on November 26, 2008 4 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog Tags : , ,

Right now I’m sitting at an airport, and as I look out the FBO window it is all too painfully obvious, that winter weather is here.  Along with the snowy icy weather comes a new array of NOTAMS and their confusing contractions.  Here are some of the most commonly used winter weather NOTAM contractions and definitions:

  • BERM – Snowbank/s Containing Earth Gravel
  • BRAF – Braking Action Fair
  • BRAG – Braking Action Good
  • BRAN – Braking Action Nill
  • BRAP – Braking Action Poor
  • DRFT/DRFTD – Drift/Drifted Snowbank/s Caused by Wind Action
  • FRZN SLR – Frozen Slush on Runway/s
  • LSR – Loose Snow on Runway/s
  • MU – Designate a Friction Value Representing Runway Surface Conditions
  • PLW – Plow / Plowed
  • PSR – Packed Snow on Runway/s
  • RUF – Rough
  • SIR – Packed or Compacted Snow and Ice on Runway/s
  • SLR – Slush on Runway/s
  • SNBNK – Snowbank/s Caused by Plowing
  • SND – Sand / Sanded
  • SNW – Snow
  • WSR – Wet Snow on Runways
  • WTR – Water on Runways
  • IR – Ice on Runway

Another good winter weather review activity is to complete the NASA Aircraft Icing Training Course or watch the NASA Aircraft Icing Procedures videos:



  1. PlasticPilot on Nov 26, 2008

    Once again, something new to me, Swiss pilot. We also have a good share of snow here, and even have a (local ?) kind of message called SNOWTAM, which includes description of contamination (ice, snow, packed snow, slush, …), and braking coefficients. Do you also know that in US ?

  2. instructor on Nov 26, 2008

    I don’t think we have SNOWTAM(s) here in the U.S. That seems to be mainly a European dissemination method.

  3. PlasticPilot on Nov 26, 2008

    Here is an example of SNOWTAM:

    C) 03
    F) 9/9/9
    G) 15/15/15
    H) 9/9/9
    J) 50/7LR
    L) TOTAL
    P) YES005

    To decode it, copy the 7 lines into http://heras-gilsanz.com/manuel/SNOWTAM-Decoder.html

    For info, it is of today, about Samedan (LSZS).

  4. instructor on Dec 24, 2008

    Just found another one (and edited the post). IR – Ice on Runway.

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