For you East Coasters, especially FL pilots


Well-Known Member
So I am planning a trip to FL for next week in a 182. The nice part about this flight is that it will be in a /G airplane.

What do you guys do when planning a big x-c over there, do you fly instrument flight plans just to avoid all the MOA, prohibited, TFR, etc airspaces? Man it is congested there. I am coming from class G world.
If I had GPS, then yes I would certainly file IFR, preferably direct to each point of intended landing. You usually dont start geting weird vectors until you get into Miami airspace, then they will probably vector you to the Bahamas before you get to turn seriously
If you file, File Departure, Direct.

You are not going to get it, but saves the step of you trying to guess what you will be getting.
What do you mean, Departure direct? Do you mean using the GPS just file direct no DP's?
For the route of flight, I just file "GPS Direct."

After meticiously planning a flight for about 3 hours. I figured everything, time, speed, fuel burn for each point and checkpoint. I consulted the AF/Ds for preferred routings. I got a weather briefing and filed my meticulously planned flight plan.

When I picked up my clearence: "Cessna 577SP, stand-by for a full route clearence." So much for my hard work.

Now, I just plug it into for the time and just file "GPS Direct." I'm not wasting 3 hours again.
For the route of flight, I just file "GPS Direct."

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exactly.. Because if you spend 5 hours with all the details, you will get none of them. You will get corners cut on your routhing prefered routing etc.

So the ONLY thing I pay attention to when flying on the east coast, is what Alt I want. that they will pretty much give you, the rest is up to ATC.
So it is worth looking to see what the preferred routing will be if you are going to file an airway flight plan? Or should you just just connect the dots and see what amends you are giving along the way? Seems to me it would be nice to look at the AFD and find out what transitions are used.

It was funny when I was talking with a FSS person here in SLC and I was filing for a Instrument flight plan to Jackson, WY, I asked for no DP's (because I was flying a 172 and at these density altitudes the climbs can really be challenging). He told me the only thing he can do is get me filed NO STARs/NO DP's. I told him I could handle the STAR's but the climb profiles of the DP's was what I was avoiding. He sort of laughed at the whole thing becuase he realized that he can't even put that in the flight plan, NO DP's only. <------ Stupid side note.
Sure, You can do all the research you want about preferred routes. Even file for it. It is a good exercise.

But It is unlikely you will get what you ask for. But it is a very good habit to get into. And who knows Maybe you will actaull get the magic route!!

Imagine your route from Washington DC to Miami you file Washington, Nashville, Miami, you get that… then once airborn, you are over Virginia, and the controller says N12345 Cleared Direct Orlando, then as filed….


ATC will do everything in their power to get you out of their hair asap!! Shorter routes mean less time for them to worry about you… and less workload for the controller.

Here is what I do…

If I Filed N40 to IAD

Would look like this…

IFR-N501JC Type:C500/G 310Kts Dep: KN40

Dept: 1900Z 14,000 FILED ROUTE : DIRECT

Dest: KIAD ETE: 0:44

FOB: 0500 Altn: MDG SOB: 2 Color: W/G


I am not sure what you use, But I use craft when I get my clearance. I use white cards, 5X8inch

Holding it long ways this is how I do it.

C (cleared) to IAD

R (route) LANNA J48 EMI

A (altitude) 2000 exp 8000 +5m

F (frequency departure) 124.45

T (transponder) 5454

Depending on the wind and the runway at IAD, they may give me any number of routes..
the same that I use but I also through in E, for expect further clearance.

It was funny, I was using flightstar to find a route between here and MIA. As I was getting closer to FL I was getting routed around all sorts of stuff. Anyway, this whole post was just to see if it was worth it file or fly VFR if I could and the answer is to file. Thanks!