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Routing question

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:48 am
by PhillipR
Pedantic minutiae ahead;

I filed `SLI V23 POPPR SMO125R SMO SMO311R SILEX`, and was cleared "On departure, fly heading 230, radar vectors SLI, then direct."

In flight, I was vectored out and then given 'cleared direct POPPR, resume own navigation."

This threw me for a loop, because even though I filed /G (and should be able to find the fix via GPS), I had set up the HSI to fly the SLI272R to POPPR and didn't have it in my GPS.

Rather than try to re-program MSFS' garbage implementation of the GNS430, I flew to intercept SLI272R and followed that to POPPR. No word on radio, but I wondered if I'd technically not followed instructions.

My gut is telling me I should've probably said "Unable, set up for tracking the SLI radio. Can I get RV SLI, then POPPR when able?" but I'm a bit hesitant to say I'm 'unable' in a GPS-equipped aircraft, since I was just slightly task saturated.

Re: Routing question

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:55 am
by PhillipR
Illustration for clarity; route and approximate flight path.

Re: Routing question

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:52 pm
by Kevin_atc
I want to focus on the first paragraph of what you wrote as I thought this post was going a different direction. You said your clearance was “heading 230, vectors to SLI, direct.” That phraseology from ATC would clear you via SLI then direct to your destination from there. Is that what you were issued? If so, there’s a bigger issue somewhere here. You can locate the recording at

Regarding flying to intercept the SLI radial, yes that’s not correct. You’re cleared direct to POPPR. By definition, anything other than a straight line to POPPR is not direct. Could you get away with this? Sure...especially if it just so happens that you’re nearing the radial anyways when ATC clears you direct.

Re: Routing question

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:05 pm
by PhillipR
On review ( ... _18011.mp3, 12:45) it was "radar vectors SLI, then as filed," which you're right, is significantly different.

And thanks for the response!

Re: Routing question

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:57 pm
by virtualDon
FYI, as a retired ATC, if we were giving a pilot a vector and later direct to a down stream fix we would have said something such as, "fly heading 230 vector for traffic (or whatever), expect direct POPPR. SoCal might not have the luxury of time so they just gave you direct POPPR. If you are not set up for it you could say unable but this would be a bit odd since it was in your FP. Better, simply say, "direct POPPR, request initial heading". It is a classic ATC trainee mistake to give a pilot something he wasn't expecting and then wonder why he's not turning immediately. If the controller didn't have time to prep you he might instead say, "fly heading 210, direct POPPR when able", especially if he needs the turn ASAP for traffic.