Say a pilot plans to make a cross country flight along Victor airways, but under VFR. Depending on workload and communication effectiveness along the way, our hero may provide the planned fairly complex route to the FAA at least three times.
- Flight Service Station
- Tower, if departing from such an airport
- Approach/Departure Control or ARTCC
This seems like needless frequency congestion. Our hero happens across a suggestion from an ATC specialist that appears to solve the problem for everyone, emphasis in the original.
If you file an IFR flight plan through any system, I will receive it. Make it clear to the first controller you contact that you want to fly your filed route as VFR and give the altitude. It is a very simple amendment I will be happy to make. The only difference on my flight strip is the altitude block that says
60for IFR or
VFR/65for VFR, and a
Vin your data block on my radar scope. If you do this, do not accept an IFR clearance. If a controller says
cleared toany fix, that is an IFR clearance. Using this method, everything on my end will work smoothly whether you depart a towered or nontowered airport, and this would be the easiest method for the controllers involved. CAVEAT: I do not know if it is legal for a non-IFR rated pilot to file an IFR flight plan even if you don’t accept an IFR clearance.
May a pilot lacking an instrument rating or currency legally do so?