Filing Direct

Re: Filing Direct

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:55 am

Sean wrote:I was taught to always file direct and that most of the time you’ll get it, or if not you will receive a minor change from ATC. I tried filing direct today on pilot edge and was told that you cannot file direct and that I should take IFR lessons. Is this a Pilotedge thing or is there something I’m missing? I do realize if I had wanted to fly a VOR route ( I didn’t) I would use airways.

Not exactly. You filed direct and at an altitude below the Minimum Instrument Altitude information that we have, so the controller advised that he couldn't issue the clearance at that altitude. He asked if you wanted to file using airways (the MEAs for which would've permitted you to fly at the altitude you had filed).

You mentioned that you were a student and weren't sure how to file it.

It was THEN that the controller referred you to the pilot training program. This was sound guidance because the I-2 rating specifically shows how to file a route with an airway and VOR.

My guess, then, is that you're filing direct because you aren't comfortable filing anything else. Your instructor's guidance that you should always file direct and that you'll probably get it is likely from an instructor who has never flown in Chicago, Socal, Norcal, any points between Washington DC and Boston, or any other reasonably congested airspace.

For your specific case, PSC to DLS, you filed direct. The highest OROCA for that route is 8300ft with a significant portion being 8200ft. It's reasonable to surmise, then, that 6000ft may not work for an off-airway route. However, reviewing the low-enroute chart, V520 runs just north of the direct route, adding approximately 1.5nm to the total distance, and has an MEA of 6000ft.

Once you start flying anywhere near mountainous terrain, and for many other reasons, airways are a great way to go until they replace OROCAs with something more granular. Hopefully this points you in the right direction and clears things up.
Keith Smith
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Pompton Plains, NJ


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