Filing for multiple-approach practice

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Palmpilot, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Last night I attended a seminar by NorCal TRACON, which was held at San Carlos Airport (SQL). One especially useful thing I learned is that if you're going to file IFR for multiple approaches and end up at your departure airport, it's easier for them if you file a single flight plan with your departure airport as both the origin and destination, rather than filing separate outbound and return flight plans. You can include the airports where you want approaches as waypoints in the flight plan. This saves their having to close your outbound flight plan and retrieve and open your return flight plan.
     
  2. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Thanks!
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Been doing that about as long as I've been flying IFR. These seminars are really good for practical tips.

    Another tip is to include "multiple practice approaches" in the comments. There are always questions about how much of that ATC sees but my experience doing that has been contacting Approach and hearing, "which approach would you like first?"
     
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  4. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Did they say anything about if you are going to remain within NORCAL’s airspace? Not that it can’t work if one of the airports is farther away in another facilities sky. Just wondering
     
  5. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Ha! The worm has turned full circle then. Back in the day, they'd automatically close the flight plan after the first approach and leave you with no more clearance. Then they'd tell you to file separate flight plans for each leg, which always worked well for me.
     
  6. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    As long as the total ETE matches up, ATC shouldn’t have a problem if you do approaches enroute to the destination.

    Not sure why FAA flight plans were never set up for that. Only example you’ll read about is just entering a delay in the remarks. DD-175s have always had in the route an option for terminal delay for approaches. Much better way of communicating your intentions of practice approaches.
     
  7. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not that I heard.
     
  8. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You've probably been flying IFR longer than I have (I started 27 years ago), but that has never happened to me unless I actually landed. However, I have the impression that the way ATC operates has sometimes differed in different regions, and also can change over the years.
     
  9. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That worm turned at least 25 years ago :D
     
  10. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    You should listen to the voice of experience. The next time you hear, "Uh, November 1234Foxtrot we have nothing on you," remember where you heard it first. ;)
     
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  11. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even did this in enhanced Class B in the aftermath of 911. They always know these are practice approaches with more to come. "What are your intentions after this approach?" is about as standard as it gets.

    If I hear "we have nothing in you" after going missed after telling the controller that was the plan, it just means ATC screwed up. No biggie. It happens in multiple situations. I never assume the human being behind the ATC mic is any more perfect than me (and I am so incredibly far from perfect).
     
  12. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    How about just requesting tower enroute and adjust as you go at each airport?

    That used to work when it was Bay approach...
     
  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Works in California. Not in most of the rest of the country.
     
  14. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What is the advantage of requesting that? It's not clear from the AIM entry on the subject.
     
  15. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm guessing the informality. California TEC routes (unlike the northeast ones) are treated as a local IFR option in which you don't even file a flight plan in advance. Hard to cancel one on you when you don't have one :D

    But it's no big deal either way. At least I've never had Dave's experience of being cancelled in the middle of an approach procedure,
     
  16. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    No, I never said that. We used to file round robin flight plans with "Low approach" in Remarks for each airport. At some, multiple approaches of different kinds. The airports were under different approach controls and controllers at enroute airports have canceled my flight plan at the completion of a low approach. But they aren't "allowed" to cancel an IFR flight plan, only the PIC can do that. Now, a sharp lawyer might argue that a low approach is a missed approach and is part of the IFR flight plan, but I'm not interested in suing the controller, just in having my routing ready for the next leg. I'd file separate flight plans to take ownership out of ATC's hands.
     
  17. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm not sure I understand the difference between going missed and not having landed. And I don't have any plans to sue any controllers. But, while I won't argue it hasn't happened to you, it has not happened to me the times I have used it, earliest during my own instrument training in 1994 and most recently about 2-3 years ago as par of a personal proficiency flight. OTOH, I have heard aircraft calling ATC to open their previously filed flight plans with ATC responding, "We have nothing on you" so I just see it as an ATC glitch which can happen whatever you do, so your idea of "taking it out of ATC's hands" might not actually do that.
     
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  18. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    To be sure, I've experienced lost flight plans too, but percentage-wise considering the many I've filed that isn't as much of a concern as the virtually predictable loss of round robin IFR plans I've experienced. Maybe things are better these days? Anybody else have recent experience traversing TRACONS that lost your round robin? TEC is not really the same thing. No advance flight plan is filed, the whole thing being an ad hoc arrangement done "on the fly", so to speak. It certainly has its advantages.
     
  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When was the last time this happened to you?

    I was taught about the 'no filing' aspect of TEC when I was being trained for the instrument rating in 1992, and I remember that we used it during my training, but I haven't used it since, and I haven't heard anyone ask for it either. Maybe I'll try asking for it to a nearby airport and see what happens.

    It's odd that the AIM entry on the subject, 4-1-19, doesn't explicitly say that filing is not required. It does indicate that TEC can be pre-filed, in subparagraph c:

    Normal flight plan filing procedures will ensure proper flight plan processing. Pilots should include the acronym “TEC” in the remarks section of the flight plan when requesting tower en route control.
     
  20. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    TEC has nothing to do with not filing on the ground or receiving multiple approaches enroute. It’s a designated enroute system that could be filled on the ground or in the air. In approach we used to throw “TEC” in the remarks of air files staying below 10,000 ft but there was nothing requiring that.
     
  21. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What was the advantage of doing so, if any?
     
  22. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's because technically, TEC is just a series of preferred IFR routing for city pairs in areas where the airspace in an area is all covered by TRACON. They are listed in the Chart Supplement right next to the Preferred IFR section because they are basically the same thing, and are viewable (if it is working) at the FAA's NFDC Preferred Routes Database. They really only exist in the northeast and in California, where extensive areas are covered by TRACON and low altitude IFR (almost?) never talks to Center. For example, if you go from Bangor, ME to Richmond, VA at 6,000 msl and never speak with a Center controller.

    The AIM doesn't talk about not having to file because that is a localized California procedure in which, basically, calling CD or Approach directly and asking for a pop-up rather than filing in advance became standard practice. You can file there but you don't need to.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    None really. I think someone started a rumor that for air files below 10 grand to put TEC in the remarks. :D In reality it wasn’t a true TEC operation though. Now at Miramar our C-12s would occasionally file (on the ground) for a TEC for training. I that case, since Southern Cal has an established route structure, that made sense.

    At any rate, TEC doesn’t have anything to do with filing in the air vs ground or doing approaches enroute to destination.
     
  24. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    I am planning on a few approaches tomorrow. Was going to file if weather allowed. But might do even if weather good and test this. I usually would put depart and destination with another airport as waypoint. Put practice approaches in remarks and when I call CD - for us is a close class d towered field and tell them what my plan is and they are usually pretty accommodating.
     
  25. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It just seems odd to me that the AIM has four paragraphs on it without really providing any useful information. For example, it recommends putting "TEC" in the remarks of your flight plan, but doesn't say what the benefit of doing so is.
     
  26. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Just so you know, the benefit is it avoids Center. Back during the controller strike I was enroute, clearance copied and level in cruise when my handoff from approach to center was denied. No holding pattern or eta issued either. Center couldn't handle me. Period. I had to return to my departure point (and try to explain this to my boss). TEC, also known as a "low blow", enabled one tower to hand off to the next without going through center's airspace. Saying it has "nothing to do" with filing in air or on ground misses the point, IMO. It misses center.
     
  27. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Why would it matter? Even the Chief Counsel gives forth opinions based on old procedures, judging by their lack of understanding of the "lost comm amendment" 91-189. That's been in effect since September 1985.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If my route stays within NorCal's coverage area (which has gotten quite large), they don't seem to transfer me to Center even without asking for TEC.

    I found a two-year-old YouTube video of a guy getting TEC at OAK without pre-filing. It seems like it ended up taking him longer to get his clearance than if he had pre-filed!



    Some of the TEC routes published in the Southwest Chart Supplement look like they could be useful, although I'm not sure how up-to-date the information is. For example, the one from PAO to HAF takes you to a fix that no longer has any connection to the approaches at HAF. The one to MRY looks like what I've always gotten, however.

    It's too bad that this subject didn't come up during the seminar. It would have been an interesting discussion.
     
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  29. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As you noted below, "Maybe things are better these days?"

    Like you, I'm interested in knowing whether it's still happening. In my case, I haven't tried the round-robin option, so I'm naturally interested in knowing what to expect.

    I've noticed that controllers don't always care about Chief Counsel opinions, or the rules that apply to pilots. For example, the subject of whether to follow the letter of lost comm rules came up during the seminar, and the controllers didn't seem that concerned about how pilots choose to handle it, and they said "We're not the police."
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You can do an air file with approach going into center’s airspace just as easy as staying in terminal airspace. The advanced coordination (15 minutes) is the same for both facilities unless reduced by an LOA. ATC could tell you to contact FSS or depending on the controller, they can type you into the NAS on position. TEC has no bearing on that.

    Few months back I heard CHA approach telling a T-45 departure that they had nothing outbound to Meridian for them. I immediately cringed and had a bout of PTSD because I’ve been in the position on flight data of having to scramble imputing an aircraft into the system. There’s no time to send them to FSS to air file. You need to get them in quick so approach can hand them off to center. Wouldn’t matter in the least if they were staying terminal. You still need to get them in so approach can do an automated handoff to an adjacent approach. There are also plenty of centers that serve below 10,000 ft and fill in gaps with approach airspace. So the whole not going to center part of a TEC because you don’t have to pre-file isn't exactly correct. You save in maybe a freq change to another controller by not going to center but that has very little benefit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  31. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's true in wide areas of California. The airspace immediately north of San Francisco Bay is an example. The approach controllers at the seminar said that they tried taking over that airspace, and it only lasted one day!
     
  32. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are correct. It doesn't matter. If you are going to fly below Center altitudes in TRACON airspace, you are going to talk to TRACON. And I frankly doubt many people in the northeast are adding TEC to their comments. But let's understand the AIM from a practical viewpoint. While the AIM is not subject to the regulatory notice-and-comment process, changes still have to be done by someone in a day when staff is low, budget is tight, and tasks have to be prioritized. So what if something which doesn't matter much either way and is seldom used except in one part of the country is still in there?

    Think about it. Preferred routes are a head-up to pilots about routes which are likely to be given between certain city pairs so that filing can equal clearance more often. With the availability of actual ATC cleared route history, especially between those same pairs, how much of any of that is really important? I wonder how many people, except in NORCAL and SOCAL - where they actually mean something - have actually used them in the past decade. My WAG is the AIM doesn't talk about the California use because it is local rather than nationally uniform. For another example, can you find where the AIM tells us whom to call for initial contact when departing a Class C primary? Is it CD or Ground?

    Yeah, but that's Jerry :D

    Still being practical The downside is that, ultimately, the California TEC use is a pop-up. And, as a pop-up, it is kind of optional whether ATC even wants to handle it. And, I'll ask the California people - is this used more in SOCAL than in NORCAL?
     
  33. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Really? Because FSS offices have been closed. Because ARSA is now Class C. Because telephones no longer have round dials you rotate with your forefinger.
     
  34. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Around Ohio they just picked up the phone and called the adjacent tower. Knowing that's what they did, some people figured, "Why file at all?" Well, IIRC, relying on that trick didn't work once either. Had to shut down and file. Filing a plan for each leg wasn't hard and it gave me the best chance of staying within the system during IFR training or while giving a flight test. If they're saying otherwise these days I want to know what's so different that keeps the flight plan active through multiple low approaches, including circling and maybe even a touch and go or landing with a taxi back for departure, things that may happen without being pre-planned.
     
  35. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    All that happened on my watch (unfortunately), but I'm not done yet, just on hiatus.

    Speaking of round dials on phones, here I sit unable to call out because the LCD display on my cell phone is Tango Uniform. Can't see where the touch buttons are. Had to buy a $40 Tracfone last night for emergency use, but before I could activate it online the power went out too! Luckily, I have a Generac that operated flawlessly, so I could still charge the battery. Unluckily, the Internet went out too! Couldn't activate the thing. Don't tell me about how great modern technology is. $40 for a round dial would have been a better investment. :p Hmmm... necessity being the mother of invention, I wonder if there's a way to connect a dialer to a cell phone for emergency calling when the display burns out? Seed money investors anyone?
     
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  36. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Nothing has changed as far as allowing practice approaches enroute to a final destination. It doesn’t matter if it’s one approach or several either. Just indicate in the remarks what airport you’re requesting practice approaches at and calculate that delay into your total ETE. I only did a couple of times in my IFR training but had no problems. Military I did it probably a couple hundred times. At indicated below, the DD-175 allows for a terminal delay for approaches in the route of flight.

    Now trying to pull off multiple approaches at a busy non towered field, you might have some serious delays. Its gonna be one in and one out and practice approaches aren’t allowed to disrupt the flow of IFR inbound / outbounds.

    ACAD1216-A6E3-4888-BBFA-7D4E3351F9D8.jpeg
     
  37. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This seminar was about how to work harmoniously with Norcal Approach. There's no guarantee that their recommendations will work elsewhere. As for whether this would work if you land at one of the intermediate airports, that question did not come up.

    As a pilot, I would not assume that my IFR flight plan would stay open during a touch-and-go or taxiback without specific communication with the controllers involved, because in normal operations it's closed when you land. I would not expect it to be automatically closed during a missed approach. But that's just my guess.
     
  38. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bottom line is to let ATC know your intentions and get on the same page. One of my "Universal Rules" of flight.
     
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  39. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I was going to open that can of worms by showing how easy it was on the 175 form, but I didn't think it would help much, since civil pilots have probably never seen one...

    The 175 is almost gone now and Military flight plans are moving to DD1801s and ICAO now. Either way, a remark in the appropriate box will transmit the message of requested enroute and terminal delays.

    I don't think I ever had a miscommunication regarding multiple approaches at whichever airfield I wrote in the Remarks on a 175 form. When filing the old 7233-1 form, I would write when and where I wanted approaches and I always called the FSS to file it to make sure it was understood. Never a problem...
     
  40. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-Flight

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    Until a couple of years ago, California TEC was published in the chart supplement only in southern CA. Now, it's also published for northern CA. I know, I know... lots of folks would insist it existed up here, but I'm only citing what was in the chart supplement.

    I've done training in SOCAL and it was easy to go places IFR. Just call up ground and ask for Tower Enroute such and such place. No need to pre-file. I tried it up here in NORCAL (after TEC was published in the chart supplement) and got "say again? what are you asking?!" After I got a chance to talk with the tower controllers (a couple times at different facilities) and was told they don't have the coordination that SOCAL has to do what they do. So, just file as normal and get a clearance as usual. So, other than having a big hint about the route, there's not a big difference from a pilot perspective.

    Having said that, and before others chime in insisting they can get tower enroute, yes - I've asked nicely and got tower to file a route for me. But, it was time-permitting and they were doing me a favor.
     
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