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26 votes

Is there any airspace where you can fly without a flight plan?

Note: I fly in EASA-land (EU) but I'm assuming the situation should be similar in the US and other countries As @757toga described perfectly, there are situations where a pilot does not need a flight ...
Marcell Toth's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

May a non-instrument pilot legally file IFR as long as he amends and doesn’t accept an instrument clearance?

My instrument students, when they get more advanced, file FP with their name, and in remarks say "Training xxxxxx CFII" That way it is clear. The FAA office investigated one student, dug up his ...
mongo's user avatar
  • 17.8k
19 votes
Accepted

What is the flight purpose of this helicopter over Karlsruhe with blocked callsign?

Whenever you see a helicopter circling over a large city in Germany, it is most likely a police helicopter. The helicopter took off from Baden-Airpark (Flughafen Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden FKB), where one ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 56.5k
16 votes
Accepted

Does an IFR flight-plan include the approach?

US-based answer. No, the specific instrument approach is not part of the flight plan and is not included in the initial IFR clearance. The flight plan is just that, a plan. It can change in flight, ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 15.6k
12 votes

Does an IFR flight-plan include the approach?

What you’re missing is that DJL8W is a Standard Terminal Arrival Procedure (STAR) to the Paris area. Here is an (out of date) chart: This procedure takes you from DJL to OKIPA, which is an Initial ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
11 votes
Accepted

Who closes an airline's IFR flight plan and when?

When landing at a controlled aerodrome, air traffic control will automatically close the flightplan once the flight has safely arrived. The pilot does not have to do anything in this case. The ...
60levelchange's user avatar
11 votes

Can a pilot amend a flight plan in-flight?

Anything and everything (well, maybe not the aircraft type...). A flightplan is just that - a plan. The pilot's intentions can change during flight for any number of reasons. Just inform ATC of your ...
60levelchange's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Is altitude information included in filed flight plan?

The flight plan contains the requested cruise flight level, as well as step climbs or level changes along the route in the route field. Example 1: (Image Source: skybrary.aero) Example 2: SAM ...
SentryRaven's user avatar
  • 15.7k
10 votes

Can a pilot amend a flight plan in-flight?

Context: FAA. Altitude change Very common request. The pilot simply makes the request, and the controller issues the climb or descent after checking to make sure the altitude is clear. The controller ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 15.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Can European (or more generally, non-US) airspace users airfile IFR flight plans?

Sure you can. This is from ICAO Doc 4444: 4.4.2.2.1 A flight plan to be submitted during flight should normally be transmitted to the ATS unit in charge of the FIR, control area, advisory area or ...
60levelchange's user avatar
8 votes

How much do "Preferred Routes" matter for non-airliners?

The short answer (when it comes to real filing) is it depends. You are free to file what ever you like (direct route included). Ultimately its up to ATC/FAA to assign your route and they are free to ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
7 votes
Accepted

Can longer paths consume less fuel than the (shorter) great circle path?

On a flat plane, the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line, right? So if you were at A and wanted to get to B in as few steps as possible, you would walk a straight line. But ...
yshavit's user avatar
  • 1,163
6 votes
Accepted

Are planes allowed to fly through a planned professional fireworks display?

Most fireworks go no higher than 1200 ft and consumer sized stuff is more around 500ft and below. which is fairly low for most regimes of flight for all but general aviation planes and planes taking ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
6 votes

Can you file an open-ended IFR flight plan?

If operating within a single area (TRACON) then file from KABC -> KABC and in remarks put "Practice APCHS KXYZ KDEF". The controller will be asking you what your next approach will be at ...
mongo's user avatar
  • 17.8k
5 votes

Can longer paths consume less fuel than the (shorter) great circle path?

That depends how you define longer in aviation. As you can look at it geographically or on the clock. The hard answer is no, the most fuel efficient route is the one that has the aircraft in the air ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
5 votes

Why are some item numbers missing in ICAO flight plans?

From the FAA page: Item numbers on the form are not consecutive, as they correspond to Field Type numbers in ATS messages Here you can find a description of ATS messages.
ocirocir's user avatar
  • 1,972
4 votes

Is altitude information included in filed flight plan?

The ATC Flightplan (FPL) does not directly contain the optimum cruise levels for a flight. These levels are calculated and printed in the Operational Flightplan (OFP). The FPL does contain the ...
60levelchange's user avatar
4 votes

How is the effect of wind on arrival time handled?

It will depend on constraints at the arrival airport. If there are no constraints, they will choose a speed that minimizes fuel burn, and arrive early if that's how it works out. It's possible that ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.4k
4 votes
Accepted

How much do "Preferred Routes" matter for non-airliners?

Flight plan processing, and the route you are assigned, is done by the overlying ARTCC computer (ERAM). ERAM looks at your aircraft type, requested altitude, requested route, and destination to arrive ...
RetiredATC's user avatar
  • 1,954
4 votes

What is the flight purpose of this helicopter over Karlsruhe with blocked callsign?

Flight tracking sites make use of a technology called ADS-B to track flights. For identification, ADS-B only transmits a 24-bit ICAO address. The site has to look up the address in publicly available ...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar
3 votes

Can you file an open-ended IFR flight plan?

JScarry's comment is the answer. The system has multiple levels of safety and assumes that if communications are lost, you'll fly the last clearance. For instrument training or test flights, you can ...
Flynn's user avatar
  • 203
3 votes

When must airliners follow airways?

Commercial airliners generally fly IFR as such they do what ATC tells them to do. They are not free to chose their own path. The airway system in the USA and elsewhere on the globe stems from the pre-...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
3 votes

Is the route which takes the least time always the one with least fuel-burn?

Generally, the least time in the air the better, but it's mostly a maximum miles per gallon over the earth thing and this depends on winds. In the time/fuel burn equation, there is always a "sweet ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
3 votes

What happens if I activate VFR flight plan later than filed ETD?

Assuming that you've submitted a Delay Message in order to prevent your flightplan from being deleted you have to do nothing at all. In your flightplan you only state your ETD (Expected Time of ...
pcfreakxx's user avatar
  • 1,988
3 votes

Who closes an airline's IFR flight plan and when?

In the interest of completeness... expeditedescent's answer correctly describes the effects of the flight-plan closure system. But at least in the USA, the actual mechanics are different. I had ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 15.6k
3 votes

Can a GPS waypoint be used when filing a VFR flight plan?

Yes, nothing prevents you from doing so, and it is quite common. Flying VFR does not require you to actually navigate by means of visual reference, it just requires you to remain VMC in accordance ...
60levelchange's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Can I do a VFR night sightseeing flight in Europe?

Yes you can file a flightplan with the same departure and destination. You generally do not need to include detailed routing, unless local rules require you to do so (but if you are planning to cross ...
60levelchange's user avatar
3 votes

If an aircraft diverts to another airport for mechanical reasons, does the dispatcher create a new flight plan?

No, there's no new flight plan created for the diversion. An engine-out is an emergency situation, the pilot takes whatever action they feel is needed to save the plane, and the paperwork can wait ...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar

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