How to ask:IFR clearance for maneuvers

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by tree96, May 14, 2017.

  1. tree96

    tree96 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lets say there is an overcast or broken layer at 3000 feet near a VOR, or any fix for that matter, and I wanted to do some maneuvers in the layer in actual. When I file, should I file to the fix then back to my home drone, then when I call clearance, tell them what I'd like to do?

    I've heard of filing to a fix, then asking for a block altitude in whatever quadrant. I have been aprehensive of asking for this, as we have trainees in our approach facility. Is this a feasible request? Does it happen often? Am I wording it properly? Our area generally isn't too busy. I would assume it might be workload permitting? Any pointers?
     
  2. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Pick up the phone and call the Tracon you want to work with. They will either tell you yes or no.
     
  3. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's sometimes referred to as a "quadrant clearance" or "local IFR" clearance. You can request it from the approach controller without filing a flight plan. And if you're departing from an airport whose tower has an approach control, you can request it on the ground without filing a flight plan, too. "Request IFR clearance to the northwest quadrant of Flint, block 3,000 through 5,000."

    The clearance should read something like "Cleared to fly the northwest quadrant of the Flint VOR between 10 and 20 miles. Maintain 3,000 block 5,000."

    And yes, it will sometimes take a few tries before the controllers get used to this if they don't see it frequently. I'd definitely suggest giving them a call before you do it the first time.
     
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  4. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    What HR said. I'd add the controller might restrict you a bit further because of airspace, traffic, MIA, instead of allowing the whole quadrant. Example: "Cessna 345, cleared to fly northwest of XYZ VOR between the 270 and 340 radials within 15 mile radius. Maintain 3000 block 5000."

    No, it's not a very common thing as clearances go. Think I might have issued it half a dozen times. Only specific time I remember was an F-18 emergency and needed an area to dump fuel. I wouldn't be aprehensive because of trainees either. It's not common so you'd be providing them a good training opportunity.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  5. RussR

    RussR Line Up and Wait

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    I do exactly this fairly regularly. We have a VOR about 20 nm NW of the airports I fly out of that makes a great reference for various maneuvers. If we get a good cloud layer I will often take students up in it for actual IMC practice.

    I file IFR, filing KAAA - VOR - KAAA. Depending on the weather, I may pick up the clearance on the ground or in the air. I just tell ATC what I want to do. "Request a block of airspace, 4000-7000, near the VOR for training". We then usually do a little negotiation depending on the altitude of the clouds and what I want to accomplish with my student. They will usually give me a block something like the 090 radial CW to the 180 radial, within 10 nm. I have done general maneuvering practice like this, VOR tracking practice, and even holding patterns. Works great.
     
  6. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. You may get a no. The op said he was reluctant to ask over the air because there are trainees at the facility. You may get some "head scratcing" with the guy who answers the phone when you call to talk about it also. If the answer is no then you can try pointing him to where in the 7110.65 it's referenced. This may or may not get recieved well depending on who's answering the phone that day.

    7110.65 4-4-1
    ..................
    i. Courses, azimuths, bearings, quadrants, or
    radials within a radius of a NAVAID.
    PHRASEOLOGY−
    CLEARED TO FLY (general direction from NAVAID) OF
    (NAVAID name and type) BETWEEN (specified)
    COURSES TO/BEARINGS FROM/RADIALS (NAVAID
    name when a NDB) WITHIN (number of miles) MILE
    RADIUS,
    or
    CLEARED TO FLY (specified) QUADRANT OF (NAVAID
    name and type) WITHIN (number of miles) MILE RADIUS.
    EXAMPLE−
    1. “Cleared to fly east of Allentown VORTAC between the
    zero four five and the one three five radials within four zero
    mile radius.”
    2. “Cleared to fly east of Crystal Lake radio beacon
    between the two two five and the three one five courses to
    Crystal Lake within three zero mile radius.”
    3. “Cleared to fly northeast quadrant of Philipsburg
    VORTAC within four zero mile radius.”
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  7. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    CAP needs to do this sort of thing to isolate ELTs on occasion, when someone blows it in IMC. Though the one time I did it myself, I just got an IFR clearance to on-top and then canceled IFR and searched above the layer. NorCal helped out tremendously with an unrestricted Class B clearance, and the rather unsurprising pop-up approach clearance that came at the end.
     
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  8. tree96

    tree96 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I fly out of a class D with a TRSA. Spoke with a controller at my airport, he basically said, just tell us what you want, if we can make it work, we will. But have a plan. Pick a quadrant and altitude yourself, makes it easier on us, and we will let you know if it's not gonna work. We like the training opportunities and the operation counts.


    Will report back with the results when we get some actual imc, it's been clear and a million last few times I've flown.
     
  9. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-Flight

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    What you are looking for is called a "quadrant clearance". The controller will (or should) clear you thusly....

    "Cleared to the Ranger VORTAC (clearance limit for lost communications purposes) via radar vectors. Fly between the Ranger 360 radial and the 050 radial, 10 DME to 20 DME, maintain block atitude 4000 through 7000". Or something similar depending on what the controller can handle.

    He will then (or should) give you a vector and altitude to get you within that block of airspace after which he will tell you to resume own navigation.

    I have argued for years, including requests to Washington HQ, that an expect further clearance time is mandated in this situation because you have what is essentially IFR holding but instead of a holding pattern you are holding in a designated airspace. What happens if you lose radios while in this airspace? There is no time on which to base lost communication procedures. Thus an EFC is required in my humble 35 year's experience as a controller. But what do I know? Anyway, I always issued "for lost communications purposes expect further clearance at 2300" or something similar.

    Quadrant clearance is what you want. Seldom used and a lot of controllers will wonder what you are talking about. Just ask for the dimensions specifically if necessary.

    tex