As far as I study, when a pilot faces a lost communication problem, the pilot should consider MEA (Minimum Enroute Altitude, Expected Altitude, Assigned altitude) for altitude and AVEF (Assigned heading, Vector, Expected route, Filed route) for route. I am confuse about what V (Vector) means.

IFR Sectional Chart Illustration

For example, I have filed:

DVT 1 departure->PHX VOR-> V105 ->DRAKE(PRC VOR)->V257->BISOP->GRAND CANYON Airport

I got a clearance like this:

555AZ cleared to Grand Canyon Airport via DVT one departure PHX vor vector to Drake Altitude 10000' Frequency 120.7 Transponder 3435.

However, my communications fail before I arrive at PHX VOR. In this situation, A (assigned) is [DVT one departure->PHX VOR-> DRAKE]. What about V (vector)? Is it DRAKE? Or if not, how can I manage this situation? I think I should go to PHX VOR via DVT one departure. When I arrive PHX VOR, I go to DRAKE (PRC VOR) directly then go to fly as I filed. Is it correct? If not, could you let me know?

  • $\begingroup$ Vector means a vector that you are on—not one you expect. In your case, you have no idea when (or if) you will be vectored to Drake so there is no vector to fly. So fly the filed. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Dec 10, 2018 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ If you can maintain VMC, then I believe you'll proceed VFR to the nearest practical landing (perhaps SDL, or return to DVT). $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2018 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


It means to expect radar vectors between PHX and DRAKE because ATC expects to have to move you around to accommodate the traffic situation. If you had a comm failure, once you squawk 7600, ATC will expect you to find your way between PHX and DRAKE by the most logical path.

In this case, because you had filed to fly along V105 you would take that route and that's what the controller would expect. The controller would quickly figure out what you are doing as you proceed down V105 and would be able to route other traffic to maintain separation to accommodate your track.

The only thing that would create a problem is if you headed off in some direction that made no sense to the controller once at PHX.


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