Round-Robin Flight Plans

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Yakrobat
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2022 4:03 am

Round-Robin Flight Plans

Post by Yakrobat »

http://audio.pilotedge.net/2022/9/2022- ... _17510.mp3 @ 3:10

I recently filed KCMA to KCMA via KOXR with the remark “round-robin, practice approaches”. I picked-up the clearance without issue however, once airborne, Pt. Mugu said I should file separately or file a “through clearance” in the future and proceeded to give me a new IFR clearance with KOXR as the destination.

While it has admittedly been many years since I last did it, round-robin flight plans, as I filed above, used to be common, particularly for training. It appears something has changed, but my research online has not revealed to me what. Moreover, my understanding was that a “through clearance” is for intermediate stops (fuel, bio-break, etc) along route to a final destination.

Looking at this thread here www.reddit.com/r/ATC/comments/dhrw4j/ro ... ight_plan/, it seems to show every controller has a different preference, however there appears to be no actual guidance referenced.

The only AIM reference I can find it the statement that “Round Robin Flight Plans to Canada and Mexico are not accepted”. This would imply to me that, in general at least, they would be accepted otherwise.

Any clarification here is appreciated.
Kevin_atc
Posts: 2027
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: Round-Robin Flight Plans

Post by Kevin_atc »

There’s nothing wrong with what you did. Sorry for the frustration of everything seeming okay on the ground, but not so much in the air. I think the controller was mistaken in this situation. Round Robin flight plans are often filed this way in the real world for training purposes.

However, there are two instances where things could get a bit muddy:

1. In an airspace with TEC routes (such as Socal) which are a pre-designated list of mandatory IFR routings when flying to and from SoCal airports. Although, if that had been the issue then the clearance delivery controller would have said something.

2. Here’s the big one to watch out for- what’s your clearance limit? A disconnect between yourself and ATC as to where you’re going, what you’re cleared for, and what your flight plan says on ATC’s side of things could prove troublesome in the event of lost comms. It’s important that you listen very carefully to make sure you’re actually being cleared during your IFR clearance. This .001% chance of a lost comms situation is just something to keep in mind when flying a round robin. Were you actually cleared back to your departure airport, or did they just clear you to your mid-point airport?

As for through clearances, it is something you can request, but that shouldn't be necessary if you’ve already obtained your round robin IFR clearance.

Overall, the request for you to create multiple flight plans is a perfectly viable solution in the real world where you’d shoot your approach to OXR, go missed, then request to pick up your filed IFR from OXR-CMA. But PilotEdge doesn’t allow you to have more than one FP in the system at once, so that’s not necessarily the best method for PE flying.

I’d say to just keep doing what you’re doing and just be sure ATC is on the same page with your intentions. But, all of that to say that you could also simplify this situation (at least for PilotEdge) if you were to simply file/request an IFR from CMA-OXR, go missed then request to divert back go OXR in which ATC will give you a clearance at that time.
Kevin
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