Filing inflight

Ophir

Well-Known Member
So I'm out over Lake Powell on Sunday cruising at 10,500. We were two hours into a flight and we weren't sure what this front going to do with the conditions enroute. I had planned a flight plan when leaving CO to fly into Vegas. When we get towards Page, AZ I decide given the looks of things I was going to file into Vegas. So I call up Flight Watch but I must have been too low. So I call up Cedar City Radio and asked for briefing and told him I wanted to file. He came back and told me that he would, but I should have filed on the ground before I left. Well at this point, as I said, we were two hours into the flight just into Los Angeles Center's airspace. My understanding is that if I had filed out of Grand Junction with Denver FSS they would have dropped my plan if I didn't pick it up. I could have planned the time to pick it up but didn't. So the question is, was the Cedar City Radio briefer out of line? Can't any body file enroute if they want? If I fie with Denver FSS for a given time but file outside of Denver's airspace will they pass it off to Los Angeles?
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
Yes he was out of line, you can file in-flight if you want to. It's a little harder for the pilot, but pretty much the same for the briefer. Had you filed before you left (two hours ago) and not activated it, it probably would have been purged from the system.

I don't quite understand your last question, but if I interpreted it correctly, the answer is yes.
 

FL270

New Member
Anytime you file a flight plan (whether with DUATS, FSS, whatever) the flight plan is input in to the FAA computer. The computer transmits the flight plan to the ARTCC which owns the airspace at your point of origin, and from there (after passing muster on preferred routings) to the controlling agency for your point of origin (tower, TRACON, Center). Generally speaking, your flight plan will be transmitted two hours before your proposed departure time (unless you file closer than that, then it is transmitted immediately), and will be held two hours past your proposed time before being dropped. That's the system as I understand it.

That said, filing inflight should be no problem, nor would it have been if you filed with any FSS from the ground. The only issue would be if you filed a flight plan from SLC to LAS (for example), then decided to depart VFR and tried to pick up the IFR after you entered ZLA airspace ... they won't be able to find it. Since your point of origin was SLC, the flight plan goes from wherever you filed it (DUATS, Buffalo FSS, whatever) to the Salt Lake Center, then to SLC Tower where you'll pick it up when you call clearance delivery. It won't be sitting in ZLA's computer when you get there, so the controller would either have to enter a new flight plan for you, or he'd ask you to call FSS and file again.

So, long answer to the short question, the FSS guy shouldn't give you any trouble about air-filing with him ... that's his job.

FL270
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
So, long answer to the short question, the FSS guy shouldn't give you any trouble about air-filing with him ... that's his job.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's exactly what I told my friend flying with me at the time. I was pretty miffed by this guy's response. Needless to say, I didn't mention it to him.
 

250blue

New Member
Can't you just call ARTCC, give him your position and ask for an IFR clearance ("pop-up")? This way you can avoid the FSS altogether. If you filed with FSS along the way, don't you still have to call ARTCC to get the clearance anyway?
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Can't you just call ARTCC, give him your position and ask for an IFR clearance ("pop-up")? This way you can avoid the FSS altogether. If you filed with FSS along the way, don't you still have to call ARTCC to get the clearance anyway?

[/ QUOTE ]

Depends how busy it is probably. I've done it with approach control a few times. Sometimes they are cool with it, sometimes they sound like you just ruined their day.
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
Yeah, ESF is right. I have always thought pop-ups were really just to get you into, and usually under, a layer on approach. So you find yourself where suddenly you need an IFR clearance just to get through a layer and they give it to you. But if you called up and asked "Can I get a pop-up to Vegas?" because the all the info needed to be taken to route you there properly is so cumbersome they typically won't. Although I have heard people filing with Center enroute, it just seems disrespectful.
 

250blue

New Member
I know sometimes an aircraft will take off so they won't be delayed on the ground (holding for their clearance), and then pick up their clearance in the air. However, this would seem odd since you have filed from the airport, but now you are airborne. Do they just amend the clearance from a new location (ie over a fix)?
 

xdashdriver

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I know sometimes an aircraft will take off so they won't be delayed on the ground (holding for their clearance), and then pick up their clearance in the air. However, this would seem odd since you have filed from the airport, but now you are airborne. Do they just amend the clearance from a new location (ie over a fix)?

[/ QUOTE ]

They just clear you from your present position to your first filed fix / fix they want to clear you to, whatever, it doesn't matter. They don't really have to clear you from something, but they do have to clear you to something.

THE BEST way to deal with the possibility of pop-up IFR is just to get flight following (where and when available). Most times if the controller isn't maxed out he's gonna put all your details into the computer on an IFR flight plan with "VFR FLIGHT FOLLOWING" in the remarks section anyway, so that your details will be transmitted automatically down the line and you can get handoffs along the way. THEN, if you happen upon some clouds that you need to get through, clearing you IFR is MUCH easier for him. Doesn't work quite so well in very busy airspace, but it has worked for me on many occasions.

Just my $0.02

Ray
 

sixpack

New Member
You could always put two flight plans into the system.
One departing point A to B to C
Another departing point B to C

BTW: If I have 4 training flight in a day (marginal vfr conditions), I will put 4 flight plans on file with one call to FSS. Then, for each flight, I will depart VFR if able, do maneuvers, and then call Seattle Center to open my flight plan and do some approaches. This way, Center does not have to take time to type in all of the details (just my tail number). They seem happy, and I get my clearance fairly quickly.
 

250blue

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
BTW: If I have 4 training flight in a day (marginal vfr conditions), I will put 4 flight plans on file with one call to FSS. Then, for each flight, I will depart VFR if able, do maneuvers, and then call Seattle Center to open my flight plan and do some approaches. This way, Center does not have to take time to type in all of the details (just my tail number). They seem happy, and I get my clearance fairly quickly.

[/ QUOTE ]

What does your plan look like? Do you file from a fix to the first airport and then airport to airport for the approaches and back home?
 

sixpack

New Member
DEP: KSLE
ROUTE: DIRECT TURNO DIRECT
DEST: KSLE

If I activate from the ground I say, "taxi with xyz, IFR 4000 back to Salem".

If I activate airborne, I just call in with the tail number. When they answer I say, "10 east of Turno 4000, would like to pick up my IFR to Salem." They say "squawk 4675".... .... then "Radar Contact ... say request". I say "Would like 4 approaches into salem. ILS, Back Course, RNAV, and then ILS to a full stop".
NOTE: Seattle Center like to hear the whole list of approaches. Some Centers and Approach Controls just want them one at a time.
 
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