How to file the route Tutorial

How to file the route Tutorial

Postby Kilstorm » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:04 am

After watching your well done tutorial video on the new FANS GUI, I was wondering if there is a tutorial video by you or others that you would recommend on how best to file the route portion of a flight plan. I've seen and done over the years many ways to put a route but never have I ever seen a how to with the dos and don'ts. As an example, the way Skyvector does a route including DPs and STARs is different then how SimBrief does it. My Garmin Pilot App also uses the '.' for airways as well as for DPs and STARs. Sometimes I hear ATC on PE say to a pilot they needed to do this or that when filling out their flight plan when it comes to the route. Mostly things that are not needed. If I wanted to fly direct, is it -D->, DIR, direct...I dunno which is the method that is correct, acceptable or a complete no. Things like that would be very helpful to myself and I feel others as well.
Nathan Palmer
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Re: How to file the route Tutorial

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:12 am

I agree, that would be a useful tool. A lot can be learned by using an FAA approved flight plannnig tool (Leidos has one, I was just using it the other day).

It comes down to understanding what elements can go into a flight plan.

Ignoring international flight plans which often use lat/lons, with step climbs/speeds, you shouldn't have ANYTHING in the IFR route which is NOT:
- an airway with an appropriate entry point and exit point on either side
- a waypoint (fix, VOR or NDB)
- a DP/STAR (using the computer filing code listed on the chart)

Hilariously, many of the FAA TEC routes destroy these conventions, something we're going to look into in terms of how they are validated or how pilots are expected to file (other than the fact that there are TEC route codes which can be used in place of the route which hide the problem).

Do not put approaches in there. Do not put ->. Do not put DIR. Those are arbitrary conventions which are not going to help.

In the not too distant future, we plan on have a validation layer in the flight plan filing process to prevent users from filing flight plans with invalid route elements (we just need to resolve how TEC routes will be handled). This will be very important now that we have the route processing system in place (see the second half of the CPDLC announcement on the home page).

What happens today is that some pilots are filing outdated SIDs/STARs, or routes with typos in them. The route processing system is determining that the route doesn't meet certain requirements and is then replacing the route with a known 'good' or 'approved' route from our DB, leaving pilots (and controllers) wondering why the pilot's route wasn't accepted. In fact, the pilot route should never have been accepted to begin with because of the invalid route elements. This will be a huge win for pilots because it will allow them to correct typos or outdated AIRAC references BEFORE a route is effectively filed, which INCREASES the likelihood that they'll get what they filed (assuming they used an appropriate SID/STAR or departure/arrival waypoints for the city pair).

Right now, we don't have training material explaining what can go into a route, it's assumed that pilots will use r/w resources, or by observing the nature of the routes that are included during the I-Ratings. It would be good to have, though. But, for now, I would spend some time in a FAA flight planning tool. If your route CANNOT generate a navlog....that's likely a problem (strange TEC routes that refer to the HHR RWY 25 localizer notwithstanding, or airways an entry point...both of which I need to find out if are allowed to be filed under normal circumstances).
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Re: How to file the route Tutorial

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:53 am

Was actually just having a conversation with Peter as we talk through some of the ways in which TEC routes appear to break many of the rules regarding. Peter located the FAA order regarding the strict format of flight plans as they are exchanged from one center to another, but it's probably a little more than you're looking for: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... ion_3.html (section 5-3-4 of the 7110.10).

I asked if he knew of a section in the AIM which might be helpful, and he pointed out section 5-1-8 of the AIM: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... ion_1.html "Flight Plan (FAA Form 7233-1)- Domestic IFR Flights"

It is actually astounding how useful the AIM is (I confess, I used to read chapters 4 and 5 on a regular basis for late night reading). There's so much useful info in there, and it's not badly written either.
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