POTUS TFR Procedure - VFR

ArrowFlyer86

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The Little Arrow That Could
My understanding is that to fly in the outer-ring of the POTUS TFR under VFR you need to:
(0) File a VFR flight plan;
(1) Have a discrete squawk code;
(2) Stay in 2-way communication with ATC the whole time you're in the TFR;
(3) Be departing/arriving the area, no loitering or practice allowed

Since I'm at a towered airfield, would that just mean that I file a VFR flight plan, activate it on the ground, then ask ground control to set me up with flight following before takeoff so I can get that squawk? Then they just pass me off to departure after takeoff, similar to flying IFR?

I'm asking because I'm supposed to fly tomorrow and had not anticipated POTUS coming to town... And I'd prefer not to show up on Aviation Mishaps tomorrow evening :p
 
My understanding is that to fly in the outer-ring of the POTUS TFR under VFR you need to:
(0) File a VFR flight plan;
(1) Have a discrete squawk code;
(2) Stay in 2-way communication with ATC the whole time you're in the TFR;
(3) Be departing/arriving the area, no loitering or practice allowed

Since I'm at a towered airfield, would that just mean that I file a VFR flight plan, activate it on the ground, then ask ground control to set me up with flight following before takeoff so I can get that squawk? Then they just pass me off to departure after takeoff, similar to flying IFR?

I'm asking because I'm supposed to fly tomorrow and had not anticipated POTUS coming to town... And I'd prefer not to show up on Aviation Mishaps tomorrow evening :p

You do not need to activate the VFR flight plan to fly into or out of the TFR; you only need to have it on file.

Are you flying out of the TFR or into the TFR?

If into the TFR, you can pick up flight following in the air after you've left the class D, any time before you reach the TFR.

If out of the TFR in a Delta, yes, you have to have a squawk and talking to ATC before departure.

If out of a TFR without a tower (I know you didn't ask, but I'm answering for others), you have to contact departure, get a squawk, then depart the non-towered airfield, and then contact departure once you're clear of the CTAF responsibilities.
 
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You do not need to activate the VFR flight plan to fly into or out of the TFR; you only need to have it on file.

Are you flying out of the TFR or into the TFR?

If into the TFR, you can pick up flight following in the air after you've left the class D, any time before you reach the TFR.

If out of the TFR in a Delta, yes, you have to have a squawk and talking to ATC before departure.

If out of a TFR without a tower (I know you didn't ask, but I'm answering for others), you have to contact departure, get a squawk and then contact departure once you're clear of the CTAF responsibilities.
Thank you for answering the non-towered scenario as well.

My case this time will be leaving the TFR, not flying into it.

I guess two follow-ups:
So you do not need to activate the VFR plan? Just have it filed?
What phone number would you call to get a hold of departure and get a squawk?
 
Thank you for answering the non-towered scenario as well.

My case this time will be leaving the TFR, not flying into it.

I guess two follow-ups:
So you do not need to activate the VFR plan? Just have it filed?
What phone number would you call to get a hold of departure and get a squawk?

you said you're flying out of a towered, field, no?
 
What phone number would you call to get a hold of departure and get a squawk?

The AFD (chart supplement) lists ATC phone numbers for non-towered airports. It’s what we now use to get IFR clearances. I’m assuming they would serve this purpose as well?

fc7115ae99b2ce4f0849a6e66e509107.jpg



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
You do not need to activate the VFR flight plan to fly into or out of the TFR; you only need to have it on file.

Are you flying out of the TFR or into the TFR?

If into the TFR, you can pick up flight following in the air after you've left the class D, any time before you reach the TFR.

If out of the TFR in a Delta, yes, you have to have a squawk and talking to ATC before departure.

If out of a TFR without a tower (I know you didn't ask, but I'm answering for others), you have to contact departure, get a squawk and then contact departure once you're clear of the CTAF responsibilities.
I often fly a VFR trip that can cross class B (or go around with added distance) near the end of the trip. A flight briefer once advised me to file an IFR flight plan, noting in the comments that I was flying VFR instead. Why? He told me an IFR flight plan is available for ATC to look at any time during my entire flight, but a VFR flight plan is purged from the system shortly after takeoff unless activated. If there is a question about your intentions, just let ATC know there is an IFR flight plan on file for his review. I used that trick and it worked and was granted access across class B exactly as I wanted. I am not sure why it worked, but it did.

Hope this helps.
 
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Thank you for answering the non-towered scenario as well.

My case this time will be leaving the TFR, not flying into it.

I guess two follow-ups:
So you do not need to activate the VFR plan? Just have it filed?
What phone number would you call to get a hold of departure and get a squawk?

The NOTAM often states "filed VFR". Here's an example from the NOTAM for the 11/11/23 VIP TFR in the Philly area:

B. FOR OPERATIONS WITHIN THE AIRSPACE BETWEEN THE 12 NMR AND 28 NMR AREA(S) LISTED ABOVE, KNOWN AS THE OUTER RING(S): ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATING WITHIN THE OUTER RING(S) LISTED ABOVE ARE LIMITED TO AIRCRAFT ARRIVING OR DEPARTING LOCAL AIRFIELDS, AND WORKLOAD PERMITTING, ATC MAY AUTHORIZE TRANSIT OPERATIONS. AIRCRAFT MAY NOT LOITER. ALL AIRCRAFT MUST BE ON AN ACTIVE IFR OR FILED VFR FLIGHT PLAN WITH A DISCRETE CODE ASSIGNED BY AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (ATC) FACILITY. AIRCRAFT MUST BE SQUAWKING THE DISCRETE CODE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND AT ALL TIMES WHILE IN THE TFR AND MUST REMAIN IN TWO-WAY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ATC.

The suggestion to file IFR and note as VFR won't work because the IFR plan must be active, while the VFR plan only filed.

Hope the color coding helps.

In a lot of airports, Approach and Departure frequencies are listed and sometimes one can reach them from the ground (the example is non-towered). If not, there often is a number listed as mentioned above.

Here's an example:

Airport Communications​

CTAF/UNICOM:​
123.075
WX AWOS-3T:​
121.4 ((610) 692-6190)
PHILADELPHIA APPROACH:​
124.35
PHILADELPHIA DEPARTURE:​
124.35
CLEARANCE DELIVERY:​
125.6
  • CLEARANCE DELIVERY PHILADELPHIA APCH TF 800-354-9884.
 
At my school all flight training got cancelled due to the POTUS TFR. Would we have still been able to train if we had just filed a VFR plan?

I could see pattern work or going to the practice area as "loitering", so perhaps that's not allowed. But what if we were practicing a XC flight and filed a plan?
 
At my school all flight training got cancelled due to the POTUS TFR. Would we have still been able to train if we had just filed a VFR plan?

I could see pattern work or going to the practice area as "loitering", so perhaps that's not allowed. But what if we were practicing a XC flight and filed a plan?
Flight training is specifically prohibited in a POTUS TFR, read the fine print.
 
Flight training is specifically prohibited in a POTUS TFR, read the fine print.
How is anyone to know it's a cross-country training flight if...two people are in an airplane, a flight plan is filed to immediately leave the area (as per the rules), but returns 2 hours later, again on a flight plan (as per the rules). How is anyone to know that one person is a CFI and the other a student pilot?

How is anyone to know it's a solo cross-country training flight if....a flight plan is filed to immediately leave the area (as per the rules), but returns 2 hours later, again on a flight plan (as per the rules).
 
How is anyone to know it's a cross-country training flight if...two people are in an airplane, a flight plan is filed to immediately leave the area (as per the rules), but returns 2 hours later, again on a flight plan (as per the rules). How is anyone to know that one person is a CFI and the other a student pilot?

How is anyone to know it's a solo cross-country training flight if....a flight plan is filed to immediately leave the area (as per the rules), but returns 2 hours later, again on a flight plan (as per the rules).
If the CFI had a second class or higher medical, couldn't he or she just exercise commercial pilot privileges and fly the both of them out of the TFR and then begin instruction? And then they would do the reverse on the way home. Of course the portion of the flight inside the TFR would have to be excluded from the logging of dual given/received.
 
I often fly a VFR trip that can cross class B (or go around with added dustance) near the end of the trip. A flight briefer once advised me to file an IFR flight plan, noting in the comments that I was flying VFR instead. Why? He told me an IFR flight plan is available for ATC to look at any time during my entire flight, but a VFR flight plan is purged from the system shortly after takeoff unless activated. If there is a question about your intentions, just let ATC know there is an IFR flight plan on file for his review. I used that trick and it worked and was granted access across class B exactly as I wanted. I am not sure why it worked, but it did.

Hope this helps.

So you have flown around the Los Angeles basin.

The NOTAM often states "filed VFR". Here's an example from the NOTAM for the 11/11/23 VIP TFR in the Philly area:

B. FOR OPERATIONS WITHIN THE AIRSPACE BETWEEN THE 12 NMR AND 28 NMR AREA(S) LISTED ABOVE, KNOWN AS THE OUTER RING(S): ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATING WITHIN THE OUTER RING(S) LISTED ABOVE ARE LIMITED TO AIRCRAFT ARRIVING OR DEPARTING LOCAL AIRFIELDS, AND WORKLOAD PERMITTING, ATC MAY AUTHORIZE TRANSIT OPERATIONS. AIRCRAFT MAY NOT LOITER. ALL AIRCRAFT MUST BE ON AN ACTIVE IFR OR FILED VFR FLIGHT PLAN WITH A DISCRETE CODE ASSIGNED BY AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (ATC) FACILITY. AIRCRAFT MUST BE SQUAWKING THE DISCRETE CODE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND AT ALL TIMES WHILE IN THE TFR AND MUST REMAIN IN TWO-WAY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ATC.

The suggestion to file IFR and note as VFR won't work because the IFR plan must be active, while the VFR plan only filed.

Hope the color coding helps.

In a lot of airports, Approach and Departure frequencies are listed and sometimes one can reach them from the ground (the example is non-towered). If not, there often is a number listed as mentioned above.

Here's an example:

Airport Communications​

CTAF/UNICOM:​
123.075
WX AWOS-3T:​
121.4 ((610) 692-6190)
PHILADELPHIA APPROACH:​
124.35
PHILADELPHIA DEPARTURE:​
124.35
CLEARANCE DELIVERY:​
125.6
  • CLEARANCE DELIVERY PHILADELPHIA APCH TF 800-354-9884.

I have a friend who flies out of N57 - and tells me the natives have become a little aggravated with having to start following some rules :)
 
For flights vfr in the outer ring Squawking and talking to ATC usually works.
 
I often fly a VFR trip that can cross class B (or go around with added distance) near the end of the trip. A flight briefer once advised me to file an IFR flight plan, noting in the comments that I was flying VFR instead. Why? He told me an IFR flight plan is available for ATC to look at any time during my entire flight, but a VFR flight plan is purged from the system shortly after takeoff unless activated. If there is a question about your intentions, just let ATC know there is an IFR flight plan on file for his review. I used that trick and it worked and was granted access across class B exactly as I wanted. I am not sure why it worked, but it did.

Hope this helps.
Is that legal for a non-IR pilot to do? I thought I read somewhere that a non-IR pilot filing an IFR flight plan was considered evidence that the pilot intended to violate regulations.
 
Is that legal for a non-IR pilot to do? I thought I read somewhere that a non-IR pilot filing an IFR flight plan was considered evidence that the pilot intended to violate regulations.
Someone at HQ said that once, but they are in idiot. They clearly have no clue how flight plans work. The ONLY thing that IFR/VFR checkbox does is determine if the plan is routed to ATC or not. Lots of stuff is operationally filed as IFR for VFR purposes to include FRZ and ADIZ access, and most VFR radar services.

You don't put VFR in the remarks, you put it in the altitude block.

Years ago, having been based at VKX on 9/11, I was in the first bunch of people cleared to operate in and out of the DC-3. We're at the meeting where they're explaining how all this is going to work and handing out our secret password for filing plans, and Marty from the FAA is up there saying that it was going to be very involved getting the plans from the Leesburg AFSS down to Washington Approach. I hop up to him after the meeting and ask why they just put them in as IFR. He's dumfounded. He walks me over to the guy who runs the FSS and has me ask the same question. "Of course, we're going to put them in as IFR. How else would it work?" is their answer. Jeez, always great that the guy in charge at the FAA has no operational clue.
 
Is that legal for a non-IR pilot to do? I thought I read somewhere that a non-IR pilot filing an IFR flight plan was considered evidence that the pilot intended to violate regulations.
I share Flyingron's disdain for that Chief Counsel opinion. My understanding is that in the real-world legal system, "evidence of intent" only matters when an actual violation has occurred. An example would be accepting an IFR clearance that you're not qualified to fly. Don't do that.

I hope we haven't gotten to the point yet where thoughtcrime by itself becomes a punishable offense.

Personally, I will be reluctant to use the 'IFR flight plan for VFR flight-following' hack because I've heard that it's not universally known and accepted by controllers. Saves explaining this way. If they put it in the AIM and the controllers' manual, that would be different.
 
Is that legal for a non-IR pilot to do? I thought I read somewhere that a non-IR pilot filing an IFR flight plan was considered evidence that the pilot intended to violate regulations.

The way it was explained is that "membership has its privileges."

There is no violation in filing an IFR flight plan as a non-instrument-rated pilot; however, accepting an instrument clearance without the appropriate rating is a violation of the regulations.

Now we open the can of worms about currency and filing - as explained, you can't fly in IMC if you don't meet the currency standards, however, Sever Clear-CAVU does not present a problem with filing and accepting. I have questioned this on many occasions and the concession is the same.. If you're not IFR current, stay out of the IMC otherwise you can do everything else the rating allows you.

Maybe someone here can put clarity on this for us.


I asked as when flying around the LA Basin and the complexity of the LAX Class Bravo, many of us who know the IFR secret handshake will file an IFR plan. I have done the same flying around San Francisco and Philadelphia/New York airspace.
 
Now we open the can of worms about currency and filing - as explained, you can't fly in IMC if you don't meet the currency standards, however, Sever Clear-CAVU does not present a problem with filing and accepting. I have questioned this on many occasions and the concession is the same.. If you're not IFR current, stay out of the IMC otherwise you can do everything else the rating allows you.

Maybe someone here can put clarity on this for us.

This says acting as PIC under -IFR-. No mention of IMC.

IFR<>IMC
2166f65eb1eb10ceb655e848146140b0.jpg



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Keep in mind a purpose of the VFR filed flight plan in VIP TRFs...ATC is not the only one looking over the airspace during a POTUS TFR...nor does ATC really care if you have a Flight Plan on file to enter if on FF...they are not the entirety of legal jurisdiction. DOD and who knows what other agencies are also monitoring airspace and they have access to those filed flight plans...if they know who you are and what your intentions are there is a lot less uncertainty to you being in said TFR

To the OP's question...call up your tower and ask what to expect for procedures.
 
You do not need to activate the VFR flight plan to fly into or out of the TFR; you only need to have it on file.

Only recently has the instructions been to have a VFR flight plan on file. In the recent past, it also needed to be active. Going forward, I would still read the instructions and notes to make sure. They may change their mind and require an active VFR flight plan next time.


... A flight briefer once advised me to file an IFR flight plan, ...

So, I'm curious...
1. What do you put in the route portion?
2. How do you get an IFR release without accepting a clearance?
 
This says acting as PIC under -IFR-. No mention of IMC.

IFR<>IMC
2166f65eb1eb10ceb655e848146140b0.jpg



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This is exactly why I question it.

Oh! Minimums prescribed for VFR... usually means IMC to me...:)
 
Now we open the can of worms about currency and filing - as explained, you can't fly in IMC if you don't meet the currency standards, however, Sever Clear-CAVU does not present a problem with filing and accepting. I have questioned this on many occasions and the concession is the same.. If you're not IFR current, stay out of the IMC otherwise you can do everything else the rating allows you.
This is 100% false. You can not fly IFR in any way (which is all the rating allows you to do) as PIC unless you meet the currency requirement. The regs say nothing about the meteorological conditions.

If you want to go get your currency back in VFR you either need to not operate under IFR, or have someone else as PIC.
 
Only recently has the instructions been to have a VFR flight plan on file. In the recent past, it also needed to be active. Going forward, I would still read the instructions and notes to make sure. They may change their mind and require an active VFR flight plan next time.




So, I'm curious...
1. What do you put in the route portion?
2. How do you get an IFR release without accepting a clearance?
1. I put all the waypoints where I make turns.
2. I don't get an IFR release. I simply inform ATC that the flight plan is available to them when I ask for VFR flight following.

"Potomac Approach N1935Y out of CJR climbing for 10,500. Request VFR flight following to 2E8 in DEXTER MI, VIA KDUH Toledo Suburban. I am flying VFR but an IFR flight plan is on file for your reference."

In my flight plan I request direct from KDUH to 2E8 across BRAVO at 6500 or above. I also put my alternative route from KDUH to 2E8 around the western side in case my request is denied.
 
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This is exactly why I question it.

Oh! Minimums prescribed for VFR... usually means IMC to me...:)
There's an "or" between "IFR" and "weather conditions less than..." in that regulation. So without being instrument current, you can't act as PIC in either circumstance. If you are acting as pilot in command under instrument flight rules, which is what IFR means, then you must be instrument current even if the weather is not IMC (and also instrument rated, but that's another regulation).
 
1. I put all the waypoints where I make turns.
2. I don't get an IFR release. I simply inform ATC that the flight plan is available to them when I ask for VFR flight following.

"Potomac Approach N1935Y out of CJR climbing for 10,500. Request VFR flight following to 2E8 in DEXTER MI, VIA KDUH Toledo Suburban. I am flying VFR but an IFR flight plan is on file for your reference."

In my flight plan I request direct from KDUH to 2E8 across BRAVO at 6500 or above. I also put my alternative route from KDUH to 2E8 around the western side in case my request is denied.
I asked Potomac a very similar question: would an SFRA flight plan (which, as we know, is just an IFR plan under the hood) satisfy the regulatory requirements of the TFR outer ring? Their answer was no, it would not.

Would it work anyway? Probably, but remember that ATC is not enforcement... If someone came looking afterwards, I'd want my i's dotted and t's crossed.
 
1. I put all the waypoints where I make turns.
2. I don't get an IFR release. I simply inform ATC that the flight plan is available to them when I ask for VFR flight following.

"Potomac Approach N1935Y out of CJR climbing for 10,500. Request VFR flight following to 2E8 in DEXTER MI, VIA KDUH Toledo Suburban. I am flying VFR but an IFR flight plan is on file for your reference."

In my flight plan I request direct from KDUH to 2E8 across BRAVO at 6500 or above. I also put my alternative route from KDUH to 2E8 around the western side in case my request is denied.
Interesting. The TFR requires an active IFR flight plan but you don't activate it with a release. Alternatively, you can file a vfr flight plan but you don't have one. So, in your case, you have neither requirement fulfilled. Not a convincing method for me.
 
Interesting. The TFR requires an active IFR flight plan but you don't activate it with a release. Alternatively, you can file a vfr flight plan but you don't have one. So, in your case, you have neither requirement fulfilled. Not a convincing method for me.

I understand your position, but I am not trying to fly through a TFR. I am only trying to give ATC the information they need near the end of my trip to allow me to either cross Detroit Bravo where I want or to go around where I want. Previous experience tells me If left to their own discretion ATC will route me all over the place in areas where I prefer not to be, adding time, distance, and fuel to my trip. This way by the time I get to Detroit Approach, they can look at my flight plan and see my exact intentions.

I realize that these details for this flight are a little off topic, but I provided them because I was asked. My fist message (#7) was in response to filing and not activating a VFR flight plan. The big difference here apparently is a filed IFR flight plan can be pulled up by ATC for reference during your flight, whereas a VFR flight plan is purged from the system if not activated. I thought that bit of information would be relevant.

One Miracle at a time.
 
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