Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

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photofly
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Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by photofly »

One for the IFR controllers here.

Today I filed a composite 'Z' (VFR-IFR) flightplan, with the intention of some airwork, VFR, followed by picking up a clearance for an approach. The flightplan specified the point at which I wanted the IFR clearance to commence (at a local VOR).

On departure, however I was instructed by tower to contact terminal, and terminal annoyingly gave me radar vectors and altitudes to the VOR for the VFR portion ("maintain VFR"). I was altitude restricted, in class E airspace, a full 1000' below where I normally carry out airwork without having to talk to a soul. Which was somewhat tedious. I wasn't inclined to argue with the ATCO - I didn't want to be a pain - but I certainly didn't want a CVFR scenario: I wanted no radar service at all up to the point where I specified, at which point I was expecting to contact terminal, maintaining VFR until a clearance was available.

So what should I have done? "Instruction refused, radar service terminates, clearing en-route frequency, talk to you later for an IFR clearance as filed"?

If not a composite flight plan - apart from departing VFR and filing in the air, how could I have arranged the flightplan for the flight?
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Driving Comet
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by Driving Comet »

Is filing a composite flight plan in that situation easier than just getting a pop up IFR clearance? Had your favourite controller :lol: refreshing MANOPS memory this afternoon...
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by photofly »

If it had worked, it would have been easier, yes: personally I'd rather sort everything out on the ground in advance. I'll try an experiment tomorrow: repeat, and tell tower (or terminal) I'm refusing a radar service and squawk 1200. And see what happens.

What was MANOPS being referred to, for?
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by photofly »

MANOPS 414.1:
Instruct an aircraft that has filed VFR for the first part of a flight and IFR for the last part to contact the appropriate ATC unit for clearance, approaching the point where the IFR part of the flight begins.
She should have instructed me to contact terminal approaching the VOR, and I should have refused the handoff leaving the control zone. No?
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by Driving Comet »

Should have just told the terminal controller what you wanted to do. They would have said okay and just provided flight following. We rarely work composite flight plans like that.

Did you work with 124.92 around the VOR or is that terminals airspace still?
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

Driving Comet wrote:Should have just told the terminal controller what you wanted to do. They would have said okay and just provided flight following. We rarely work composite flight plans like that.

Did you work with 124.92 around the VOR or is that terminals airspace still?

+1

ATC can't read your mind so you need to tell them what you want. I had a very similar situation a while ago that involved a pressurization test flight on an aircraft that was not legal to fly IFR. I phoned the centre supervisor and he told what to file as a test flight area for the CVFR flight plan(it was a chunk of airspace between 2 radials with a 20 mile DME box). Terminal was obviously primed because I got cleared for exactly what I wanted on the first call up.
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by photofly »

Driving Comet wrote:Should have just told the terminal controller what you wanted to do. They would have said okay and just provided flight following. We rarely work composite flight plans like that.
BPF wrote:ATC can't read your mind so you need to tell them what you want.
Oh no. I made it crystal clear; or I tried to. I actually requested a release to enroute frequency for airwork - they refused. And I didn't want flight following, I wanted to make the usual local traffic calls, just like every day.

Next time I'm just going to be heavy-handed about it. I really didn't want to be an arse, and they were very helpful later when on the IFR clearance. That's why I'm puzzling over it.
Driving Comet wrote:Did you work with 124.92 around the VOR or is that terminals airspace still?
I picked up the clearance somewhere south of YSO and was still on 133.4.
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by spaner »

Hey photofly,
You're using the composite improperly, I won't get into the primary usage but,
what you want to do for that specific situation is use an IFR Itinerary with two or more legs via waypoints; full stops are not necessary to define "a leg".

File the flight as it will be flown, but on initial contact, state that you have decided to depart VFR on the first leg. Operate as you normaly would but center now has paper on you and you are expected, without all the hopla, and no pop-ups.

The plan is activated and everyone knows about you. You will get a code, but you are your own man...until, YOU say so.

:smt014
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by spaner »

Not a problem, just not sure how specific you want to get.

When you call into the FIC state "itinerary" as apposed to "flight plan".
Read up on what the differences are (not a big deal for this specific situation).

File the IFR Itinerary, point-to-point-to-point. Just as you normally would with an "IFR flight plan".
This is NOT a flight plan, this is an itinerary... :rolleyes:

There are so many rules/regs that apply to this situation, it will spin your brain. The situation comes first, then the paper. Your situation/routing/op-hop, requires the ITIN; for the control of the flight to be maintained by you. As you stated, you want control until (or at a point) that you decide to BE controlled, in controlled airspace. So, you need an ITIN. With an IFR-ITIN, you can depart VFR (on the first leg/or the full plan) as you decide, (you can STATE it) on the spot. An IFR flight plan, departing from controlled airspace, you WILL be IFR period, but you can still request (you must request) to depart VFR, and get the VFR release from ATC. (If the WX is good and there are no traffic conflicts, this will only confuse the situation and ATC :lol: )

A composite, is for a single legged flight...(forget that, I don't want to keep the confusion rolling)

Probly too much information for you aready,

File the IFR ITIN,
On first contact (departure) state "departing first leg VFR" (IFR ITIN, this is legal, you can do this)
Fly around all day until the point at which you wish to be controlled,
Contact center and pick up a clearance. They have your "paper" and it is not a "pop-up", and you have S&R running via the activated following upon departure.

Generalized; I'd have to have the exact routing to give you the absolute answer, but in general, the problem that you had was that you filed an IFR flight plan, departing from controled airspace; center had no choice but to control you. :wink:
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Re: Composite VFR/IFR flightplan woes

Post by spaner »

Hey, reads a little funny when you delete the interim question from the thread AFTER the answer has been added... :rolleyes:
OK,
let us know how it works out for you, then, I might be persuaded to post the info on the (IFR-to-VFR) composite flight plan, and why the VFR-to-IFR composite is a non issue, and usually gets tossed to the rubbish bin in the back office.

Guys need to know, that's why I usually bother to post. For the knowledge of all. For all of us.
I don't get a pat on the back for doing it, I'm willing to share though, cu'z I've been there, and know just how much it sucks when you just can't get the right answer you need to "do it right".

CVFR at mid levels, decending from flight levels, and the composite, transitioning from IFR to VFR.
I get asked by the controlers mid-trip as well; "how come you file dis, like dat?"
Usually the answer has to do with the fuel load, but other reasons are just as valid.

I do it every day; others would just like to know what works for what it is that they are doing.

Basically, the knowledge gets you the paper that you need to cover what it is that you are doing, instead of the other way around.
The worst thing that there is in aviation, is to have to operate to a profile, described by the paper. What the EXPERIENCE gets you, is that you can operate to your own profie, and THEN apply the specific/applicable paper to the profile or OP that you have decided meets your needs.
Freedom, to fly/operate AS YOU LIKE (Your Flight Profile) then,
the paper backs you up for what it is that you have already done.
It IS, the "other-way-around" that sucks...
Both ways are legal, it's just that one way sucks, and the other does not.

:goodman:

PS, don't delete your posts man, totaly cool, or totaly stupid, you're still anonymous here, right?
So what does it matter... :smt040
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