Joe D
Lv 4
Joe D asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 decade ago

Another dumb IFR flight plan routing quesiton?

If you are flying a light GA aircraft IFR on a relatively short trip (less than 100 nm) and the entire route has radar coverage, can you file "radar vectors" as your route? Or is that frowned upon?

All the times I have filed (as a student) I have always given them the full route with navaids and other fixes, but when I get my clearence they always ignore my route and say "cleared to XYZ destination via radar vectors".

So can I just file it that way? Or do I always have to plan to fly via fixes in the event that there is a massive radar outage or something?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, just trying to learn here!

Update:

Jimmbbo: sounds like a dreadful experience. Did that stop you from flying single engine airplanes in IMC?? I lost an alternator at night once, and the battery went south soon after so I lost all electrics. Luckily I was within 10 miles of my destination at that point. Would not want that to happen in IMC!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    James,

    You asked a valid question and I have never seen more WRONG answers on a single question, particularly from so many " airline " pilots.

    You file "tower to tower" in such an instance, it is legal, expedient and has absolutely NOTHING , REPEAT NOTHING to do with lost comm procedure.

    What *is* lost com procedure? As given, as expected, as filed, in that order. So.. what would be the difference between filing tower to tower as your example stated, less than 100 miles (done it hundreds of times in hard IFR) and then losing comm... as opposed to being within 100 miles of an airport and given vectors to the airport and then losing comm? What is the difference? none. The procedures remain the same, You were cleared RV direct to the airport in both cases. This presumes that you have the equipment on board to do this or you should not have requested it, or if offered should not have accepted.

    How many times have you heard the controller say... XYZ123 can you go direct? That means do you have the nav capability to get there on your own. If you can, and accept and you lose comm, it's the same procedure.

    The fact that you are on a victor airway is not going to help you ONE BIT. OH.. but it provides signal protection yak yak.. then you should not have accepted DIRECT if that is an issue here. I saw something in an answer about losing comm and having a plan to go back. EXCUSE ME??? You lose com and you are going to deviate off your prescribed flight plan and go blasting around IMC??? You will be met when you land and you won't be flying again for a while.

    If you lose comm VFR, you transmit in the blind, squawk appropirately and remain VFR and land and call the facility and tell them what happened, and probably file a NASA report as well.

    "You have to file full route clearance" WRONG. There is no route, then what?

    If you have a total failure and lose nav instruments, the fact that you were on an airway as opposed to going direct has no bearing. You are required to know WHERE YOU ARE regardless of what type of clearance you are operating. You are required as part of your preflight weather briefing to know where the nearest VFR is, and how to get to it.

    What if the airway is taking you out over water or high terrain and going direct didn't? Your example was <100 miles and you are not going to have a lot of opions, there is probably going to be one route or nothing. Just because you file tower to tower or direct, doesn't mean they are going to approve it, you may well get put back on the airway and have to ask for direct once you are up and dealing with the next facility, but it doesn't mean you can't try.

    If you have total instrument failure, your screwed. You have needle ball and airspeed, and you get to take your best guess where the highest ceiling was and how to get to it and let down. I have had it more than once ferrying new planes from ICT that didn't even have radios and unforecast weather closes around you. That will teach you how to fly.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This is probably just the website's generic response to what it "thinks" is an IFR cancellation. Continental Airlines, I would imagine is like every other airline I know of, and does not allow enroute VFR operation. Even if so, they would have had to descend below 18,000 feet to cancel IFR (all flights in class A airspace, which is above 18,000 feet in the USA, must be IFR.) Flying from Illinois to PHX at less than 18,000 feet in anything that Continental flies just wouldn't make sense, regardless of any air traffic hassles they were encountering. Websites, believe it or not, do not always tell the truth. Just like my response might be a lie. You'll just have to research it for yourself, I guess.

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to file a route that you can follow even if your radio fails, and so a route consisting of radar vectors would be excluded. You should have one or more fixes in your route for each ARTCC that you'll contact. You can consider using the FAA's preferred routes, where available (particularly TEC routes, if your route is covered).

    ATC may clear you via vectors alone if conditions at the time of the flight allow or warrant this. You still need a plan in case the radio fails and you can no longer receive vectors.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Filing radar vectors leaves you on your own if you lose comm. Filing a route along airways or radials provides you a plan to return to if you lose comm. I have never filed radar vectors, but always have filed full routes, including SIDs and STARS.

    It takes a few extra minutes, but I was flying a Piper Arrow in the goo with ceilings below the MVA, it was a really nice feeling have a route to use when I lost the alternator and the transponder and comm took a dive. Fortunately, there was enough battery power to run the #1 NAV until I ran into VFR conditions and landed.

    Source(s): CFII Airline Captain
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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, you will have to file your full route to satisfy the requirements of two-way communications failure during IFR (IMC) flight. ATC is going to expect you to continue on your filed route, and keep the airspace cleared for you. More detail in this subject can be found here

    http://scottsasha.com/aviation/handbook/ifrcommfai...

    Source(s): Commercial pilot
  • 1 decade ago

    I'm going to guess that you can't file radar vectors for exactly the reason you've stated. If you lost radar or radio contact, then you would be out there flying blind. Instead, you need some form of navaid to get you to your destination such that you're not flying around aimlessly in the soup.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    James, You asked a legitimate query and I have by no means seen much more WRONG answers on a solitary question, especially from so numerous " airline " pilots. You file "tower to tower" in this kind of an instance, it is legal, expedient and has completely NOTHING , REPEAT NOTHING to do with misplaced comm procedure. What *is* misplaced com procedure? As given, as expected, as filed, in that order. So.. what would be the difference in between filing tower to tower as your event stated, much less than 100 miles (done it hundreds of times in difficult IFR) and then losing comm... as opposed to becoming inside 100 miles of an airport and offered vectors to the airport and then losing comm? What is the difference? none. The procedures remain the same, You had been cleared RV simple to the airport in each cases. This presumes that you have the gear on board to do this or you ought to not have requested it, or if offered ought to not have accepted. How numerous times have you heard the controller say... XYZ123 are able to you go direct? That indicates do you have the nav capability to get there on your own. If you can, and accept and you drop comm, it is the identical procedure. The reality that you tend to be on a victor airway is not heading to assist you ONE BIT. OH.. nevertheless it provides sign safety yak yak.. then you ought to not have accepted DIRECT if that is an issue here. I saw some thing in an reply about losing comm and getting a method to go back. EXCUSE ME??? You drop com and you tend to be heading to deviate off your prescribed flight method and go blasting about IMC??? You will be met when you land and you will not be traveling once more for a while. If you drop comm VFR, you transmit in the blind, squawk appropirately and remain VFR and land and get in touch with the facility and inform them what happened, and most likely file a NASA report as well. "You have to file complete route clearance" WRONG. There is no route, then what? If you have a complete failure and drop nav instruments, the reality that you had been on an airway as opposed to heading simple has no bearing. You tend to be needed to know WHERE YOU ARE irrespective of what kind of clearance you tend to be operating. You tend to be needed as component of your preflight climate briefing to know exactly where the nearest VFR is, and how to get to it. What if the airway is taking you out more than drinking water or higher terrain and heading simple didn't? Your event was <100 miles and you tend to be not heading to have a great deal of opions, there is most likely heading to be 1 route or nothing. Just simply because you file tower to tower or direct, does not imply they tend to be heading to approve it, you may nicely get place back again on the airway and have to inquire for simple as soon as you tend to be up and dealing with the subsequent facility, nevertheless it does not imply you can't try. If you have complete instrument failure, your screwed. You have needle ball and airspeed, and you get to consider your very best guess exactly where the highest ceiling was and how to get to it and allow down. I have experienced it much more than as soon as ferrying new planes from ICT that did not even have radios and unforecast climate closes about you. That will educate you how to fly.

  • 1 decade ago

    The answer is very broad and seeing as there's a word limit in this box, I suggest you read this webpage:

    http://www.atlasaviation.com/Flight%20Planning/Dom...

    Source(s): Retired 777 Captain - BA
  • lludwig39 is spot on.

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