Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

Features September 2015 Issue

Is Route Planning Dead?

Regardless of what you file, your clearance is going to be what works best for the National Airspace System. Is there any reason to bother actually picking a route anymore?

A pilot working on his instrument rating asked if it would be better to carefully plan a route or simply file direct. Some of his buddies recommended researching the route and filing via airways, while others suggested just filing direct and being done with it. Of course, for instrument students, the best resource is your instructor, but let us put this question into perspective. We now live in a world where itís simple to navigate directly to any point on Earth. As recently as about 25 years ago, there was no question because there was no simple way to navigate distances direct. (VOR/DME-based RNAV filing was certainly a fun exercise though.)

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