Last update to our questions: 9/31/16
FAA Private Pilot Question Bank: 09/28/16
We update our questions as often as the FAA updates their questions bank, or as often you report new questions to us.

Chapter 5. Air Traffic Procedures | Section 1. Preflight

5-1-1. Preflight Preparation

a. Every pilot is urged to receive a preflight briefing and to file a flight plan. This briefing should consist of the latest or most current weather, airport, and en route NAVAID information. Briefing service may be obtained from an FSS either by telephone or interphone, by radio when airborne, or by a personal visit to the station. Pilots with a current medical certificate in the 48 contiguous States may access toll‐free the Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS) through a personal computer. DUATS will provide alpha‐numeric preflight weather data and allow pilots to file domestic VFR or IFR flight plans.

REFERENCE-
AIM, FAA Weather Services, Paragraph 7-1-2, lists DUATS vendors.

NOTE-
Pilots filing flight plans via “fast file” who desire to have their briefing recorded, should include a statement at the end of the recording as to the source of their weather briefing.

b. The information required by the FAA to process flight plans is contained on FAA Form 7233-1, Flight Plan, or FAA Form 7233-4, International Flight Plan. The forms are available at all flight service stations. Additional copies will be provided on request.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Flight Plan- VFR Flights, Paragraph 5-1-4
AIM, Flight Plan- IFR Flights, Paragraph 5-1-8
AIM, International Flight Plan- IFR Flights, Paragraph 5-1-9

c. Consult an FSS or a Weather Service Office (WSO) for preflight weather briefing. Supplemental Weather Service Locations (SWSLs) do not provide weather briefings.

d. FSSs are required to advise of pertinent NOTAMs if a standard briefing is requested, but if they are overlooked, don't hesitate to remind the specialist that you have not received NOTAM information.

NOTE-
NOTAMs which are known in sufficient time for publication and are of 7 days duration or longer are normally incorporated into the Notices to Airmen Publication and carried there until cancellation time. FDC NOTAMs, which apply to instrument flight procedures, are also included in the Notices to Airmen Publication up to and including the number indicated in the FDC NOTAM legend. Printed NOTAMs are not provided during a briefing unless specifically requested by the pilot since the FSS specialist has no way of knowing whether the pilot has already checked the Notices to Airmen Publication prior to calling. Remember to ask for NOTAMs in the Notices to Airmen Publication. This information is not normally furnished during your briefing.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System, Paragraph 5-1-3.

e. Pilots are urged to use only the latest issue of aeronautical charts in planning and conducting flight operations. Aeronautical charts are revised and reissued on a regular scheduled basis to ensure that depicted data are current and reliable. In the conterminous U.S., Sectional Charts are updated every 6 months, IFR En Route Charts every 56 days, and amendments to civil IFR Approach Charts are accomplished on a 56-day cycle with a change notice volume issued on the 28-day midcycle. Charts that have been superseded by those of a more recent date may contain obsolete or incomplete flight information.

REFERENCE-
AIM, General Description of Each Chart Series, Paragraph 9-1-4.

f. When requesting a preflight briefing, identify yourself as a pilot and provide the following:

1. Type of flight planned; e.g., VFR or IFR.

2. Aircraft's number or pilot's name.

3. Aircraft type.

4. Departure Airport.

5. Route of flight.

6. Destination.

7. Flight altitude(s).

8. ETD and ETE.

g. Prior to conducting a briefing, briefers are required to have the background information listed above so that they may tailor the briefing to the needs of the proposed flight. The objective is to communicate a “picture” of meteorological and aeronautical information necessary for the conduct of a safe and efficient flight. Briefers use all available weather and aeronautical information to summarize data applicable to the proposed flight. They do not read weather reports and forecasts verbatim unless specifically requested by the pilot. FSS briefers do not provide FDC NOTAM information for special instrument approach procedures unless specifically asked. Pilots authorized by the FAA to use special instrument approach procedures must specifically request FDC NOTAM information for these procedures. Pilots who receive the information electronically will receive NOTAMs for special IAPs automatically.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Preflight Briefings, Paragraph 7-1-4, contains those items of a weather briefing that should be expected or requested.

h. FAA by 14 CFR Part 93, Subpart K, has designated High Density Traffic Airports (HDTAs) and has prescribed air traffic rules and requirements for operating aircraft (excluding helicopter operations) to and from these airports.

REFERENCE-
Airport/Facility Directory, Special Notices Section.
AIM, Airport Reservation Operations and Special Traffic Management Programs, Paragraph 4-1-22.

i. In addition to the filing of a flight plan, if the flight will traverse or land in one or more foreign countries, it is particularly important that pilots leave a complete itinerary with someone directly concerned and keep that person advised of the flight's progress. If serious doubt arises as to the safety of the flight, that person should first contact the FSS.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Flights Outside the U.S. and U.S. Territories, Paragraph 5-1-11

j. Pilots operating under provisions of 14 CFR Part 135 on a domestic flight and not having an FAA assigned 3-letter designator, are urged to prefix the normal registration (N) number with the letter “T” on flight plan filing; e.g., TN1234B.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Aircraft Call Signs, Paragraph 4-2-4

5-1-2. Follow IFR Procedures Even When Operating VFR

a. To maintain IFR proficiency, pilots are urged to practice IFR procedures whenever possible, even when operating VFR. Some suggested practices include:

1. Obtain a complete preflight and weather briefing. Check the NOTAMs.

2. File a flight plan. This is an excellent low cost insurance policy. The cost is the time it takes to fill it out. The insurance includes the knowledge that someone will be looking for you if you become overdue at your destination.

3. Use current charts.

4. Use the navigation aids. Practice maintaining a good course-keep the needle centered.

5. Maintain a constant altitude which is appropriate for the direction of flight.

6. Estimate en route position times.

7. Make accurate and frequent position reports to the FSSs along your route of flight.

b. Simulated IFR flight is recommended (under the hood); however, pilots are cautioned to review and adhere to the requirements specified in 14 CFR Section 91.109 before and during such flight.

c. When flying VFR at night, in addition to the altitude appropriate for the direction of flight, pilots should maintain an altitude which is at or above the minimum en route altitude as shown on charts. This is especially true in mountainous terrain, where there is usually very little ground reference. Do not depend on your eyes alone to avoid rising unlighted terrain, or even lighted obstructions such as TV towers.

5-1-3. Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System

a. Time‐critical aeronautical information which is of either a temporary nature or not sufficiently known in advance to permit publication on aeronautical charts or in other operational publications receives immediate dissemination via the National NOTAM System.

NOTE-
1. NOTAM information is that aeronautical information that could affect a pilot's decision to make a flight. It includes such information as airport or aerodrome primary runway closures, taxiways, ramps, obstructions, communications, airspace, changes in the status of navigational aids, ILSs, radar service availability, and other information essential to planned en route, terminal, or landing operations.

2. NOTAM information is transmitted using standard contractions to reduce transmission time. See TBL 5-1-1 for a listing of the most commonly used contractions. For a complete listing, see FAA Order JO 7340.2, Contractions.

b. NOTAM information is classified into four categories. These are NOTAM (D) or distant, Flight Data Center (FDC) NOTAMs, Pointer NOTAMs, and Military NOTAMs.

1. NOTAM (D) information is disseminated for all navigational facilities that are part of the National Airspace System (NAS), all public use airports, seaplane bases, and heliports listed in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD). The complete file of all NOTAM (D) information is maintained in a computer database at the Weather Message Switching Center (WMSC), located in Atlanta, Georgia. This category of information is distributed automatically via Service A telecommunications system. Air traffic facilities, primarily FSSs, with Service A capability have access to the entire WMSC database of NOTAMs. These NOTAMs remain available via Service A for the duration of their validity or until published. Once published, the NOTAM data is deleted from the system. NOTAM (D) information includes such data as taxiway closures, personnel and equipment near or crossing runways, and airport lighting aids that do not affect instrument approach criteria, such as VASI.

All NOTAM Ds must have one of the following keywords as the first part of the text after the location identifier:

Keyword

Definition

RWY
Example

Runway
ABC XX/XXX ABC RWY 3/21 CLSD

TWY
Example

Taxiway
ABC XX/XXX ABC TWY F LGTS OTS

RAMP
Example

Ramp
ABC XX/XXX ABC RAMP TERMINAL EAST SIDE CONSTRUCTION

APRON
Example

Apron
ABC XX/XXX ABC APRON SW TWY C NEAR HANGARS CLSD

AD
Example

Aerodrome
ABC XX/XXX ABC AD ABN OTS

OBST
Example

Obstruction
ABC XX/XXX ABC OBST TOWER 283 (246 AGL) 2.2 S LGTS OTS (ASR 1065881) TIL 1003282300

NAV
Example

Navigation
ABC XX/XXX ABC NAV VOR OTS

COM
Example

Communications
ABC XX/XXX ABC COM ATIS OTS

SVC
Example

Services
XX/XXX ABC SVC JET FUEL UNAVBL TIL 1003291600

Keyword

Definition

AIRSPACE
Example

Airspace
ABC XX/XXX ABC AIRSPACE AIRSHOW ACFT 5000/BLW 5 NMR AIRPORT AVOIDANCE ADZD TIL 1003152200

U

Unverified Aeronautical Information
(for use only where authorized by Letter of Agreement)*

O

Other Aeronautical Information**

* Unverified Aeronauticatical Information can be movement area or other information received that meets NOTAM criteria and has not been confirmed by the Airport Manager (AMGR) or their designee. If Flight Service is unable to contact airport management, Flight Service must forward (U) NOTAM information to the United States NOTAM System (USNS). Subsequent to USNS distribution of a (U) NOTAM, Flight Service will inform airport management of the action taken as soon as practical. Any such NOTAM will be prefaced with “(U)” as the keyword and followed by the appropriate keyword contraction, following the location identifier.

** Other Aeronautical Information is that which is received from any authorized source that may be beneficial to aircraft operations and does not meet defined NOTAM criteria. Any such NOTAM will be prefaced with “(O)” as the keyword following the location identifier.

2. FDC NOTAMs

(a) On those occasions when it becomes necessary to disseminate information which is regulatory in nature, the National Flight Data Center (NFDC), in Washington, DC, will issue an FDC NOTAM. FDC NOTAMs contain such things as amendments to published IAPs and other current aeronautical charts. They are also used to advertise temporary flight restrictions caused by such things as natural disasters or large‐scale public events that may generate a congestion of air traffic over a site.

(b) FDC NOTAMs are transmitted via Service A only once and are kept on file at the FSS until published or canceled. FSSs are responsible for maintaining a file of current, unpublished FDC NOTAMs concerning conditions within 400 miles of their facilities. FDC information concerning conditions that are more than 400 miles from the FSS, or that is already published, is given to a pilot only on request.

NOTE-
1. DUATS vendors will provide FDC NOTAMs only upon site‐specific requests using a location identifier.

2. NOTAM data may not always be current due to the changeable nature of national airspace system components, delays inherent in processing information, and occasional temporary outages of the U.S. NOTAM system. While en route, pilots should contact FSSs and obtain updated information for their route of flight and destination.

3. Pointer NOTAMs. NOTAMs issued by a flight service station to highlight or point out another NOTAM, such as an FDC or NOTAM (D) NOTAM. This type of NOTAM will assist users in cross-referencing important information that may not be found under an airport or NAVAID identifier. Keywords in pointer NOTAMs must match the keywords in the NOTAM that is being pointed out. The keyword in pointer NOTAMs related to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) must be AIRSPACE.

4. Special Use Airspace (SUA) NOTAMs. SUA NOTAMs are issued when Special Use Airspace will be active outside the published schedule times and when required by the published schedule. Pilots and other users are still responsible to check published schedule times for Special Use Airspace as well as any NOTAMs for that airspace.

5. Military NOTAMs. NOTAMs pertaining to U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine, and Navy navigational aids/airports that are part of the NAS.

c. An integral part of the NOTAM System is the Notices to Airmen Publication (NTAP) published every four weeks. Data is included in this publication to reduce congestion on the telecommunications circuits and, therefore, is not available via Service A. Once published, the information is not provided during pilot weather briefings unless specifically requested by the pilot. This publication contains two sections.

1. The first section consists of notices that meet the criteria for NOTAM (D) and are expected to remain in effect for an extended period and FDC NOTAMs that are current at the time of publication. Occasionally, unique information is included in this section when it will contribute to flight safety.

2. The second section contains special notices that are either too long or concern a wide or unspecified geographic area and are not suitable for inclusion in the first section. The content of these notices vary widely and there are no specific criteria for their inclusion, other than their enhancement of flight safety.

3. The number of the last FDC NOTAM included in the publication is noted on the first page to aid the user in updating the listing with any FDC NOTAMs which may have been issued between the cut‐off date and the date the publication is received. All information contained will be carried until the information expires, is canceled, or in the case of permanent conditions, is published in other publications, such as the A/FD.

4. All new notices entered, excluding FDC NOTAMs, will be published only if the information is expected to remain in effect for at least 7 days after the effective date of the publication.

d. NOTAM information is not available from a Supplemental Weather Service Locations (SWSL).

TBL 5-1-1
NOTAM CONTRACTIONS

A

AADC

Approach and Departure Control

ABV

Above

A/C

Approach Control

ACCUM

Accumulate

ACFT

Aircraft

ACR

Air Carrier

ACTV/ACTVT

Active/Activate

ADF

Automatic Direction Finder

ADJ

Adjacent

ADZ/ADZD

Advise/Advised

AFD

Airport/Facility Directory

ALS

Approach Light System

ALTM

Altimeter

ALTN/ALTNLY

Alternate/Alternately

ALSTG

Altimeter Setting

AMDT

Amendment

APCH

Approach

APL

Airport Lights

ARFF

Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting

ARPT

Airport

ARSR

Air Route Surveillance Radar

ASDE

Airport Surface Detection Equipment

ASOS

Automated Surface Observing System

ASPH

Asphalt

ASR

Airport Surveillance Radar

ATC

Air Traffic Control

ATCT

Airport Traffic Control Tower

ATIS

Automated Terminal Information Service

AVBL

Available

AWOS

Automatic Weather Observing System

AWSS

Automated Weather Sensor System

AZM

Azimuth

B

BC

Back Course

BCN

Beacon

BERM

Snowbank/s Containing Earth/Gravel

BLO

Below

BND

Bound

BRAF

Braking Action Fair

BRAG

Braking Action Good

BRAN

Braking Action Nil

BRAP

Braking Action Poor

BYD

Beyond

C

CAAS

Class A Airspace

CAT

Category

CBAS

Class B Airspace

CBSA

Class B Surface Area

CCAS

Class C Airspace

CCLKWS

Counterclockwise

CCSA

Class C Surface Area

CD

Clearance Delivery

CDAS

Class D Airspace

CDSA

Class D Surface Area

CEAS

Class E Airspace

CESA

Class E Surface Area

CFA

Controlled Firing Area

CGAS

Class G Airspace

CHG

Change

CLKWS

Clockwise

CLNC

Clearance

CLSD

Closed

CMSN/CMSND

Commission/Commissioned

CNCL/CNCLD/CNL

Cancel/Canceled/Cancel

CNTRLN

Centerline

CONC

Concrete

CONT

Continue/Continuously

CRS

Course

CTAF

Common Traffic Advisory Frequency

CTLZ

Control Zone

D

DALGT

Daylight

DCMS/DCMSND

Decommission/Decommissioned

DCT

Direct

DEP

Depart/Departure

DEPT

Department

DH

Decision Height

DISABLD

Disabled

DLA/DLAD

Delay/Delayed

DLT/DLTD

Delete/Deleted

DLY

Daily

DME

Distance Measuring Equipment

DMSTN

Demonstration

DP

Instrument Departure Procedure

DPCR

Departure Procedure

DRCT

Direct

DRFT/DRFTD

Drift/Drifted Snowbank/s Caused By Wind Action

DSPLCD

Displaced

DSTC

Distance

DWPNT

Dew Point

E

E

East

EBND

Eastbound

EFAS

En Route Flight Advisory Service

EFF

Effective

ELEV

Elevate/Elevation

ENG

Engine

ENTR

Entire

EXCP

Except

F

FA

Final Approach

FAC

Facility

FAF

Final Approach Fix

FDC

Flight Data Center

FM

Fan Marker

FREQ

Frequency

FRH

Fly Runway Heading

FRZN

Frozen

FRNZ SLR

Frozen Slush on Runway/s

FSS

Flight Service Station

G

GC

Ground Control

GCA

Ground Controlled Approach

GOVT

Government

GP

Glide Path

GPS

Global Positioning System

GRVL

Gravel

GS

Glide Slope

H

HAA

Height Above Airport

HAT

Height Above Touchdown

HAZ

Hazard

HEL

Helicopter

HELI

Heliport

HF

High Frequency

HIRL

High Intensity Runway Lights

HIWAS

Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service

HOL

Holiday

HP

Holding Pattern

I

IAP

Instrument Approach Procedure

IBND

Inbound

ID

Identification

IDENT

Identify/Identifier/Identification

IFR

Instrument Flight Rules

ILS

Instrument Landing System

IM

Inner Marker

IN

Inch/Inches

INDEFLY

Indefinitely

INOP

Inoperative

INST

Instrument

INT

Intersection

INTST

Intensity

IR

Ice On Runway/s

L

L

Left

LAA

Local Airport Advisory

LAT

Latitude

LAWRS

Limited Aviation Weather Reporting Station

LB

Pound/Pounds

LC

Local Control

LCL

Local

LCTD

Located

LDA

Localizer Type Directional Aid

LGT/LGTD/LGTS

Light/Lighted/Lights

LIRL

Low Intensity Runway Edge Lights

LLWAS

Low Level Wind Shear Alert System

LMM

Compass Locator at ILS Middle Marker

LNDG

Landing

LOC

Localizer

LOM

Compass Locator at ILS Outer Marker

LONG

Longitude

LSR

Loose Snow on Runway/s

LT

Left Turn After Take‐off

M

MALS

Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System

MALSF

Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System with Sequenced Flashers

MALSR

Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights

MAP

Missed Approach Point

MCA

Minimum Crossing Altitude

MDA

Minimum Descent Altitude

MEA

Minimum En Route Altitude

MED

Medium

MIN

Minute

MIRL

Medium Intensity Runway Edge Lights

MLS

Microwave Landing System

MM

Middle Marker

MNM

Minimum

MOCA

Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude

MONTR

Monitor

MSA

Minimum Safe Altitude/Minimum Sector Altitude

MSAW

Minimum Safe Altitude Warning

MSL

Mean Sea Level

MU

Designate a Friction Value Representing Runway Surface Conditions

MUD

Mud

MUNI

Municipal

N

N

North

NA

Not Authorized

NBND

Northbound

NDB

Nondirectional Radio Beacon

NE

Northeast

NGT

Night

NM

Nautical Mile/s

NMR

Nautical Mile Radius

NOPT

No Procedure Turn Required

NTAP

Notice To Airmen Publication

NW

Northwest

O

OBSC

Obscured

OBSTN

Obstruction

OM

Outer Marker

OPER

Operate

OPN

Operation

ORIG

Original

OTS

Out of Service

OVR

Over

P

PAEW

Personnel and Equipment Working

PAJA

Parachute Jumping Activities

PAPI

Precision Approach Path Indicator

PAR

Precision Approach Radar

PARL

Parallel

PAT

Pattern

PCL

Pilot Controlled Lighting

PERM/PERMLY

Permanent/Permanently

PLA

Practice Low Approach

PLW

Plow/Plowed

PN

Prior Notice Required

PPR

Prior Permission Required

PREV

Previous

PRIRA

Primary Radar

PROC

Procedure

PROP

Propeller

PSGR

Passenger/s

PSR

Packed Snow on Runway/s

PT/PTN

Procedure Turn

PVT

Private

R

RAIL

Runway Alignment Indicator Lights

RCAG

Remote Communication Air/Ground Facility

RCL

Runway Centerline

RCLS

Runway Centerline Light System

RCO

Remote Communication Outlet

RCV/RCVR

Receive/Receiver

REF

Reference

REIL

Runway End Identifier Lights

RELCTD

Relocated

RLLS

Runway Lead-in Light System

RMDR

Remainder

RNAV

Area Navigation

RPRT

Report

RQRD

Required

RRL

Runway Remaining Lights

RSVN

Reservation

RT

Right Turn after Take‐off

RTE

Route

RTR

Remote Transmitter/Receiver

RTS

Return to Service

RUF

Rough

RVR

Runway Visual Range

RVRM

RVR Midpoint

RVRR

RVR Rollout

RVRT

RVR Touchdown

RVV

Runway Visibility Value

RY/RWY

Runway

S

S

South

SAA

Special Activity Airspace

SBND

Southbound

SDF

Simplified Directional Facility

SE

Southeast

SECRA

Secondary Radar

SFL

Sequenced Flashing Lights

SI

Straight‐In Approach

SIR

Packed or Compacted Snow and Ice on Runway/s

SKED

Scheduled

SLR

Slush on Runway/s

SNBNK

Snowbank/s Caused by Plowing

SND

Sand/Sanded

SNGL

Single

SNW

Snow

SPD

Speed

SR

Sunrise

SS

Sunset

SSALF

Simplified Short Approach Lighting System with Sequenced Flashers

SSALR

Simplified Short Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights

SSALS

Simplified Short Approach Lighting System

STAR

Standard Terminal Arrival

SUA

Special Use Airspace

SVC

Service

SW

Southwest

SWEPT

Swept or Broom/Broomed

T

TACAN

Tactical Air Navigational Aid

TDZ/TDZL

Touchdown Zone/Touchdown Zone Lights

TFC

Traffic

TFR

Temporary Flight Restriction

TGL

Touch and Go Landings

THN

Thin

THR

Threshold

THRU

Through

TIL

Until

TKOF

Takeoff

TMPRY

Temporary

TRML

Terminal

TRNG

Training

TRSA

Terminal Radar Service Area

TRSN

Transition

TSNT

Transient

TWEB

Transcribed Weather Broadcast

TWR

Tower

TWY

Taxiway

U

UNAVBL

Unavailable

UNLGTD

Unlighted

UNMKD

Unmarked

UNMON

Unmonitored

UNRELBL

Unreliable

UNUSBL

Unusable

V

VASI

Visual Approach Slope Indicator

VDP

Visual Descent Point

VFR

Visual Flight Rules

VIA

By Way Of

VICE

Instead/Versus

VIS/VSBY

Visibility

VMC

Visual Meteorological Conditions

VOL

Volume

VOLMET

Meteorlogical Information for Aircraft in Flight

VOR

VHF Omni‐Directional Radio Range

VORTAC

VOR and TACAN (collocated)

VOT

VOR Test Signal

W

W

West

WBND

Westbound

WEA/WX

Weather

WI

Within

WKDAYS

Monday through Friday

WKEND

Saturday and Sunday

WND

Wind

WP

Waypoint

WSR

Wet Snow on Runway/s

WTR

Water on Runway/s

WX

Weather

/

And

+

In Addition/Also

5-1-4. Flight Plan - VFR Flights

a. Except for operations in or penetrating a Coastal or Domestic ADIZ or DEWIZ a flight plan is not required for VFR flight.

REFERENCE-
AIM, National Security, Paragraph 5-6-1.

b. It is strongly recommended that a flight plan (for a VFR flight) be filed with an FAA FSS. This will ensure that you receive VFR Search and Rescue Protection.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Search and Rescue, Paragraph 6-2-7 gives the proper method of filing a VFR flight plan.

c. To obtain maximum benefits from the flight plan program, flight plans should be filed directly with the nearest FSS. For your convenience, FSSs provide aeronautical and meteorological briefings while accepting flight plans. Radio may be used to file if no other means are available.

NOTE-
Some states operate aeronautical communications facilities which will accept and forward flight plans to the FSS for further handling.

d. When a “stopover” flight is anticipated, it is recommended that a separate flight plan be filed for each “leg” when the stop is expected to be more than 1 hour duration.

e. Pilots are encouraged to give their departure times directly to the FSS serving the departure airport or as otherwise indicated by the FSS when the flight plan is filed. This will ensure more efficient flight plan service and permit the FSS to advise you of significant changes in aeronautical facilities or meteorological conditions. When a VFR flight plan is filed, it will be held by the FSS until 1 hour after the proposed departure time unless:

1. The actual departure time is received.

2. A revised proposed departure time is received.

3. At a time of filing, the FSS is informed that the proposed departure time will be met, but actual time cannot be given because of inadequate communications (assumed departures).

f. On pilot's request, at a location having an active tower, the aircraft identification will be forwarded by the tower to the FSS for reporting the actual departure time. This procedure should be avoided at busy airports.

g. Although position reports are not required for VFR flight plans, periodic reports to FAA FSSs along the route are good practice. Such contacts permit significant information to be passed to the transiting aircraft and also serve to check the progress of the flight should it be necessary for any reason to locate the aircraft.

EXAMPLE-
1. Bonanza 314K, over Kingfisher at (time), VFR flight plan, Tulsa to Amarillo.

2. Cherokee 5133J, over Oklahoma City at (time), Shreveport to Denver, no flight plan.

h. Pilots not operating on an IFR flight plan and when in level cruising flight, are cautioned to conform with VFR cruising altitudes appropriate to the direction of flight.

i. When filing VFR flight plans, indicate aircraft equipment capabilities by appending the appropriate suffix to aircraft type in the same manner as that prescribed for IFR flight.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Flight Plan- Domestic IFR Flights, Paragraph 5-1-8.

j. Under some circumstances, ATC computer tapes can be useful in constructing the radar history of a downed or crashed aircraft. In each case, knowledge of the aircraft's transponder equipment is necessary in determining whether or not such computer tapes might prove effective.

FIG 5-1-1
FAA Flight Plan
Form 7233-1 (8-82)

aim0501_Auto1

k. Flight Plan Form - (See FIG 5-1-1).

l. Explanation of VFR Flight Plan Items.

1. Block 1. Check the type flight plan. Check both the VFR and IFR blocks if composite VFR/IFR.

2. Block 2. Enter your complete aircraft identification including the prefix “N” if applicable.

3. Block 3. Enter the designator for the aircraft, or if unknown, consult an FSS briefer.

4. Block 4. Enter your true airspeed (TAS).

5. Block 5. Enter the departure airport identifier code, or if unknown, the name of the airport.

6. Block 6. Enter the proposed departure time in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (Z). If airborne, specify the actual or proposed departure time as appropriate.

7. Block 7. Enter the appropriate VFR altitude (to assist the briefer in providing weather and wind information).

8. Block 8. Define the route of flight by using NAVAID identifier codes and airways.

9. Block 9. Enter the destination airport identifier code, or if unknown, the airport name.

NOTE-
Include the city name (or even the state name) if needed for clarity.

10. Block 10. Enter your estimated time en route in hours and minutes.

11. Block 11. Enter only those remarks that may aid in VFR search and rescue, such as planned stops en route or student cross country, or remarks pertinent to the clarification of other flight plan information, such as the radiotelephony (call sign) associated with a designator filed in Block 2, if the radiotelephony is new, has changed within the last 60 days, or is a special FAA-assigned temporary radiotelephony. Items of a personal nature are not accepted.

12. Block 12. Specify the fuel on board in hours and minutes.

13. Block 13. Specify an alternate airport if desired.

14. Block 14. Enter your complete name, address, and telephone number. Enter sufficient information to identify home base, airport, or operator.

NOTE-
This information is essential in the event of search and rescue operations.

15. Block 15. Enter total number of persons on board (POB) including crew.

16. Block 16. Enter the predominant colors.

17. Block 17. Record the FSS name for closing the flight plan. If the flight plan is closed with a different FSS or facility, state the recorded FSS name that would normally have closed your flight plan.

NOTE-
1. Optional- record a destination telephone number to assist search and rescue contact should you fail to report or cancel your flight plan within 1/2 hour after your estimated time of arrival (ETA).

2. The information transmitted to the destination FSS will consist only of flight plan blocks 2, 3, 9, and 10. Estimated time en route (ETE) will be converted to the correct ETA.

5-1-5. Operational Information System (OIS)

a. The FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) maintains a web site with near real-time National Airspace System (NAS) status information. NAS operators are encouraged to access the web site at http://www.fly.faa.gov prior to filing their flight plan.

b. The web site consolidates information from advisories. An advisory is a message that is disseminated electronically by the ATCSCC that contains information pertinent to the NAS.

1. Advisories are normally issued for the following items:

(a) Ground Stops.

(b) Ground Delay Programs.

(c) Route Information.

(d) Plan of Operations.

(e) Facility Outages and Scheduled Facility Outages.

(f) Volcanic Ash Activity Bulletins.

(g) Special Traffic Management Programs.

2. This list is not all-inclusive. Any time there is information that may be beneficial to a large number of people, an advisory may be sent. Additionally, there may be times when an advisory is not sent due to workload or the short length of time of the activity.

3. Route information is available on the web site and in specific advisories. Some route information, subject to the 56-day publishing cycle, is located on the “OIS” under “Products,” Route Management Tool (RMT), and “What's New” Playbook. The RMT and Playbook contain routings for use by Air Traffic and NAS operators when they are coordinated “real-time” and are then published in an ATCSCC advisory.

4. Route advisories are identified by the word “Route” in the header; the associated action is required (RQD), recommended (RMD), planned (PLN), or for your information (FYI). Operators are expected to file flight plans consistent with the Route RQD advisories.

5. Electronic System Impact Reports are on the intranet at http://www.atcscc.faa.gov/ois/ under “System Impact Reports." This page lists scheduled outages/events/projects that significantly impact the NAS; for example, runway closures, air shows, and construction projects. Information includes anticipated delays and traffic management initiatives (TMI) that may be implemented.

5-1-6. Flight Plan- Defense VFR (DVFR) Flights

VFR flights into a Coastal or Domestic ADIZ/DEWIZ are required to file DVFR flight plans for security purposes. Detailed ADIZ procedures are found in Section 6, National Security and Interception Procedures, of this chapter. (See 14 CFR Part 99.)

5-1-7. Composite Flight Plan (VFR/IFR Flights)

a. Flight plans which specify VFR operation for one portion of a flight, and IFR for another portion, will be accepted by the FSS at the point of departure. If VFR flight is conducted for the first portion of the flight, pilots should report their departure time to the FSS with whom the VFR/IFR flight plan was filed; and, subsequently, close the VFR portion and request ATC clearance from the FSS nearest the point at which change from VFR to IFR is proposed. Regardless of the type facility you are communicating with (FSS, center, or tower), it is the pilot's responsibility to request that facility to “CLOSE VFR FLIGHT PLAN.” The pilot must remain in VFR weather conditions until operating in accordance with the IFR clearance.

b. When a flight plan indicates IFR for the first portion of flight and VFR for the latter portion, the pilot will normally be cleared to the point at which the change is proposed. After reporting over the clearance limit and not desiring further IFR clearance, the pilot should advise ATC to cancel the IFR portion of the flight plan. Then, the pilot should contact the nearest FSS to activate the VFR portion of the flight plan. If the pilot desires to continue the IFR flight plan beyond the clearance limit, the pilot should contact ATC at least 5 minutes prior to the clearance limit and request further IFR clearance. If the requested clearance is not received prior to reaching the clearance limit fix, the pilot will be expected to enter into a standard holding pattern on the radial or course to the fix unless a holding pattern for the clearance limit fix is depicted on a U.S. Government or commercially produced (meeting FAA requirements) low or high altitude enroute, area or STAR chart. In this case the pilot will hold according to the depicted pattern.

5-1-8. Flight Plan (FAA Form 7233-1)- Domestic IFR Flights

NOTE-
1. Procedures outlined in this section apply to operators filing FAA Form 7233-1 (Flight Plan) and to flights that will be conducted entirely within U.S. domestic airspace.

2. Filers utilizing FAA Form 7233-1 may not be eligible for assignment of RNAV SIDs and STARs. Filers desiring assignment of these procedures should file using FAA Form 7233-4 (International Flight Plan), as described in paragraph 5-1-9.

a. General

1. Prior to departure from within, or prior to entering controlled airspace, a pilot must submit a complete flight plan and receive an air traffic clearance, if weather conditions are below VFR minimums. Instrument flight plans may be submitted to the nearest FSS or ATCT either in person or by telephone (or by radio if no other means are available). Pilots should file IFR flight plans at least 30 minutes prior to estimated time of departure to preclude possible delay in receiving a departure clearance from ATC. In order to provide FAA traffic management units strategic route planning capabilities, nonscheduled operators conducting IFR operations above FL 230 are requested to voluntarily file IFR flight plans at least 4 hours prior to estimated time of departure (ETD). To minimize your delay in entering Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E surface areas at destination when IFR weather conditions exist or are forecast at that airport, an IFR flight plan should be filed before departure. Otherwise, a 30 minute delay is not unusual in receiving an ATC clearance because of time spent in processing flight plan data. Traffic saturation frequently prevents control personnel from accepting flight plans by radio. In such cases, the pilot is advised to contact the nearest FSS for the purpose of filing the flight plan.

NOTE-
1. There are several methods of obtaining IFR clearances at nontower, non-FSS, and outlying airports. The procedure may vary due to geographical features, weather conditions, and the complexity of the ATC system. To determine the most effective means of receiving an IFR clearance, pilots should ask the nearest FSS the most appropriate means of obtaining the IFR clearance.

2. When requesting an IFR clearance, it is highly recommended that the departure airport be identified by stating the city name and state and/or the airport location identifier in order to clarify to ATC the exact location of the intended airport of departure.

2. When filing an IFR flight plan, include as a prefix to the aircraft type, the number of aircraft when more than one and/or heavy aircraft indicator “H/” if appropriate.

EXAMPLE-
H/DC10/A
2/F15/A

3. When filing an IFR flight plan, identify the equipment capability by adding a suffix, preceded by a slant, to the AIRCRAFT TYPE, as shown in TBL 5-1-2, Aircraft Suffixes.

NOTE-
1. ATC issues clearances based on filed suffixes. Pilots should determine the appropriate suffix based upon desired services and/or routing. For example, if a desired route/procedure requires GPS, a pilot should file /G even if the aircraft also qualifies for other suffixes.

2. For procedures requiring GPS, if the navigation system does not automatically alert the flight crew of a loss of GPS, the operator must develop procedures to verify correct GPS operation.

3. The suffix is not to be added to the aircraft identification or be transmitted by radio as part of the aircraft identification.

4. It is recommended that pilots file the maximum transponder or navigation capability of their aircraft in the equipment suffix. This will provide ATC with the necessary information to utilize all facets of navigational equipment and transponder capabilities available.

5. When filing an IFR flight plan via telephone or radio, it is highly recommended that the departure airport be clearly identified by stating the city name and state and/or airport location identifier. With cell phone use and flight service specialists covering larger areas of the country, clearly identifying the departure airport can prevent confusing your airport of departure with those of identical or similar names in other states.

TBL 5-1-2
Aircraft Suffixes

Suffix

Equipment Capability

NO DME

/X

No transponder

/T

Transponder with no Mode C

/U

Transponder with Mode C

DME

/D

No transponder

/B

Transponder with no Mode C

/A

Transponder with Mode C

TACAN ONLY

/M

No transponder

/N

Transponder with no Mode C

/P

Transponder with Mode C

AREA NAVIGATION (RNAV)

/Y

VOR/DME, or INS with no transponder

/C

VOR/DME, or INS, transponder with no Mode C

/I

VOR/DME, or INS, transponder with Mode C

ADVANCED RNAV WITH TRANSPONDER AND MODE C (If an aircraft is unable to operate with a transponder and/or Mode C, it will revert to the appropriate code listed above under Area Navigation.)

/E

Flight Management System (FMS) with DME/DME and IRU position updating

/F

FMS with DME/DME position updating

/G

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), including GPS or Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), with en route and terminal capability.

/R

Required Navigational Performance (RNP). The aircraft meets the RNP type prescribed for the route segment(s), route(s) and/or area concerned.

REDUCED VERTICAL SEPARATION MINIMUM (RVSM). Prior to conducting RVSM operations within the U.S., the operator must obtain authorization from the FAA or from the responsible authority, as appropriate.

/J

/E with RVSM

/K

/F with RVSM

/L

/G with RVSM

/Q

/R with RVSM

/W

RVSM

b. Airways and Jet Routes Depiction on Flight Plan

1. It is vitally important that the route of flight be accurately and completely described in the flight plan. To simplify definition of the proposed route, and to facilitate ATC, pilots are requested to file via airways or jet routes established for use at the altitude or flight level planned.

2. If flight is to be conducted via designated airways or jet routes, describe the route by indicating the type and number designators of the airway(s) or jet route(s) requested. If more than one airway or jet route is to be used, clearly indicate points of transition. If the transition is made at an unnamed intersection, show the next succeeding NAVAID or named intersection on the intended route and the complete route from that point. Reporting points may be identified by using authorized name/code as depicted on appropriate aeronautical charts. The following two examples illustrate the need to specify the transition point when two routes share more than one transition fix.

EXAMPLE-
1. ALB J37 BUMPY J14 BHM
Spelled out: from Albany, New York, via Jet Route 37 transitioning to Jet Route 14 at BUMPY intersection, thence via Jet Route 14 to Birmingham, Alabama.

2. ALB J37 ENO J14 BHM
Spelled out: from Albany, New York, via Jet Route 37 transitioning to Jet Route 14 at Smyrna VORTAC (ENO) thence via Jet Route 14 to Birmingham, Alabama.

3. The route of flight may also be described by naming the reporting points or NAVAIDs over which the flight will pass, provided the points named are established for use at the altitude or flight level planned.

EXAMPLE-
BWI V44 SWANN V433 DQO
Spelled out: from Baltimore‐Washington International, via Victor 44 to Swann intersection, transitioning to Victor 433 at Swann, thence via Victor 433 to Dupont.

4. When the route of flight is defined by named reporting points, whether alone or in combination with airways or jet routes, and the navigational aids (VOR, VORTAC, TACAN, NDB) to be used for the flight are a combination of different types of aids, enough information should be included to clearly indicate the route requested.

EXAMPLE-
LAX J5 LKV J3 GEG YXC FL 330 J500 VLR J515 YWG
Spelled out: from Los Angeles International via Jet Route 5 Lakeview, Jet Route 3 Spokane, direct Cranbrook, British Columbia VOR/DME, Flight Level 330 Jet Route 500 to Langruth, Manitoba VORTAC, Jet Route 515 to Winnepeg, Manitoba.

5. When filing IFR, it is to the pilot's advantage to file a preferred route.

REFERENCE-
Preferred IFR Routes are described and tabulated in the Airport/Facility Directory.

6. ATC may issue a SID or a STAR, as appropriate.

REFERENCE-
AIM, Instrument Departure Procedures (DP) - Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODP) and Standard Instrument Departures (SID), Paragraph 5-2-8.
AIM, Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR), Area Navigation (RNAV) STAR, and Flight Management System Procedures (FMSP) for Arrivals, Paragraph 5-4-1.

NOTE-
Pilots not desiring a SID or STAR should so indicate in the remarks section of the flight plan as “no SID” or “no STAR.”

c. Direct Flights

1. All or any portions of the route which will not be flown on the radials or courses of established airways or routes, such as direct route flights, must be defined by indicating the radio fixes over which the flight will pass. Fixes selected to define the route must be those over which the position of the aircraft can be accurately determined. Such fixes automatically become compulsory reporting points for the flight, unless advised otherwise by ATC. Only those navigational aids established for use in a particular structure; i.e., in the low or high structures, may be used to define the en route phase of a direct flight within that altitude structure.

2. The azimuth feature of VOR aids and that azimuth and distance (DME) features of VORTAC and TACAN aids are assigned certain frequency protected areas of airspace which are intended for application to established airway and route use, and to provide guidance for planning flights outside of established airways or routes. These areas of airspace are expressed in terms of cylindrical service volumes of specified dimensions called “class limits” or “categories.”

REFERENCE-
AIM, Navigational Aid (NAVAID) Service Volumes, Paragraph 1-1-8.

3. An operational service volume has been established for each class in which adequate signal coverage and frequency protection can be assured. To facilitate use of VOR, VORTAC, or TACAN aids, consistent with their operational service volume limits, pilot use of such aids for defining a direct route of flight in controlled airspace should not exceed the following:

(a) Operations above FL 450 - Use aids not more than 200 NM apart. These aids are depicted on enroute high altitude charts.

(b) Operation off established routes from 18,000 feet MSL to FL 450 - Use aids not more than 260 NM apart. These aids are depicted on enroute high altitude charts.

(c) Operation off established airways below 18,000 feet MSL - Use aids not more than 80 NM apart. These aids are depicted on enroute low altitude charts.

(d) Operation off established airways between 14,500 feet MSL and 17,999 feet MSL in the conterminous U.S. - (H) facilities not more than 200 NM apart may be used.

4. Increasing use of self‐contained airborne navigational systems which do not rely on the VOR/VORTAC/TACAN system has resulted in pilot requests for direct routes which exceed NAVAID service volume limits. These direct route requests will be approved only in a radar environment, with approval based on pilot responsibility for navigation on the authorized direct route. Radar flight following will be provided by ATC for ATC purposes.

5. At times, ATC will initiate a direct route in a radar environment which exceeds NAVAID service volume limits. In such cases ATC will provide radar monitoring and navigational assistance as necessary.

6. Airway or jet route numbers, appropriate to the stratum in which operation will be conducted, may also be included to describe portions of the route to be flown.

EXAMPLE-
MDW V262 BDF V10 BRL STJ SLN GCK
Spelled out: from Chicago Midway Airport via Victor 262 to Bradford, Victor 10 to Burlington, Iowa, direct St. Joseph, Missouri, direct Salina, Kansas, direct Garden City, Kansas.

NOTE-
When route of flight is described by radio fixes, the pilot will be expected to fly a direct course between the points named.

7. Pilots are reminded that they are responsible for adhering to obstruction clearance requirements on those segments of direct routes that are outside of controlled airspace. The MEAs and other altitudes shown on low altitude IFR enroute charts pertain to those route segments within controlled airspace, and those altitudes may not meet obstruction clearance criteria when operating off those routes.

d. Area Navigation (RNAV)

1. Random RNAV routes can only be approved in a radar environment. Factors that will be considered by ATC in approving random RNAV routes include the capability to provide radar monitoring and compatibility with traffic volume and flow. ATC will radar monitor each flight, however, navigation on the random RNAV route is the responsibility of the pilot.

2. Pilots of aircraft equipped with approved area navigation equipment may file for RNAV routes throughout the National Airspace System and may be filed for in accordance with the following procedures.

(a) File airport‐to‐airport flight plans.

(b) File the appropriate RNAV capability certification suffix in the flight plan.

(c) Plan the random route portion of the flight plan to begin and end over appropriate arrival and departure transition fixes or appropriate navigation aids for the altitude stratum within which the flight will be conducted. The use of normal preferred departure and arrival routes (DP/STAR), where established, is recommended.

(d) File route structure transitions to and from the random route portion of the flight.

(e) Define the random route by waypoints. File route description waypoints by using degree‐ distance fixes based on navigational aids which are appropriate for the altitude stratum.

(f) File a minimum of one route description waypoint for each ARTCC through whose area the random route will be flown. These waypoints must be located within 200 NM of the preceding center's boundary.

(g) File an additional route description waypoint for each turnpoint in the route.

(h) Plan additional route description waypoints as required to ensure accurate navigation via the filed route of flight. Navigation is the pilot's responsibility unless ATC assistance is requested.

(i) Plan the route of flight so as to avoid prohibited and restricted airspace by 3 NM unless permission has been obtained to operate in that airspace and the appropriate ATC facilities are advised.

NOTE-
To be approved for use in the National Airspace System, RNAV equipment must meet the appropriate system availability, accuracy, and airworthiness standards. For additional guidance on equipment requirements see AC 20-130, Airworthiness Approval of Vertical Navigation (VNAV) Systems for use in the U.S. NAS and Alaska, or AC 20-138, Airworthiness Approval of Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation Equipment for Use as a VFR and IFR Supplemental Navigation System. For airborne navigation database, see AC 90-94, Guidelines for Using GPS Equipment for IFR En Route and Terminal Operations and for Nonprecision Instrument Approaches in the U.S. National Airspace System, Section 2.

3. Pilots of aircraft equipped with latitude/longitude coordinate navigation capability, independent of VOR/TACAN references, may file for random RNAV routes at and above FL 390 within the conterminous U.S. using the following procedures.

(a) File airport‐to‐airport flight plans prior to departure.

(b) File the appropriate RNAV capability certification suffix in the flight plan.

(c) Plan the random route portion of the flight to begin and end over published departure/arrival transition fixes or appropriate navigation aids for airports without published transition procedures. The use of preferred departure and arrival routes, such as DP and STAR where established, is recommended.

(d) Plan the route of flight so as to avoid prohibited and restricted airspace by 3 NM unless permission has been obtained to operate in that airspace and the appropriate ATC facility is advised.

(e) Define the route of flight after the departure fix, including each intermediate fix (turnpoint) and the arrival fix for the destination airport in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates plotted to the nearest minute or in terms of Navigation Reference System (NRS) waypoints. For latitude/longitude filing the arrival fix must be identified by both the latitude/longitude coordinates and a fix identifier.

EXAMPLE-
MIA1 SRQ2 3407/106153 3407/11546 TNP4 LAX 5

1
Departure airport.
2 Departure fix.
3 Intermediate fix (turning point).
4 Arrival fix.
5 Destination airport.
or

ORD1 IOW2 KP49G3 KD34U4 KL16O5 OAL6 MOD27 SFO8

1 Departure airport.
2 Transition fix (pitch point).
3 Minneapolis ARTCC waypoint.
4 Denver ARTCC Waypoint.
5 Los Angeles ARTCC waypoint (catch point).
6 Transition fix.
7 Arrival.
8 Destination airport.

(f) Record latitude/longitude coordinates by four figures describing latitude in degrees and minutes followed by a solidus and five figures describing longitude in degrees and minutes.

(g) File at FL 390 or above for the random RNAV portion of the flight.

(h) Fly all routes/route segments on Great Circle tracks.

(i) Make any inflight requests for random RNAV clearances or route amendments to an en route ATC facility.

e. Flight Plan Form- See FIG 5-1-2.

f. Explanation of IFR Flight Plan Items.

1. Block 1. Check the type flight plan. Check both the VFR and IFR blocks if composite VFR/IFR.

2. Block 2. Enter your complete aircraft identification including the prefix “N” if applicable.

3. Block 3. Enter the designator for the aircraft, followed by a slant(/), and the transponder or DME equipment code letter; e.g., C-182/U. Heavy aircraft, add prefix “H” to aircraft type; example: H/DC10/U. Consult an FSS briefer for any unknown elements.

FIG 5-1-2
FAA Flight Plan
Form 7233-1 (8-82)

aim0501_Auto0

 

4. Block 4. Enter your computed true airspeed (TAS).

NOTE-
If the average TAS changes plus or minus 5 percent or 10 knots, whichever is greater, advise ATC.

5. Block 5. Enter the departure airport identifier code (or the airport name, city and state, if the identifier is unknown).

NOTE-
Use of identifier codes will expedite the processing of your flight plan.

6. Block 6. Enter the proposed departure time in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (Z). If airborne, specify the actual or proposed departure time as appropriate.

7. Block 7. Enter the requested en route altitude or flight level.

NOTE-
Enter only the initial requested altitude in this block. When more than one IFR altitude or flight level is desired along the route of flight, it is best to make a subsequent request direct to the controller.

8. Block 8. Define the route of flight by using NAVAID identifier codes (or names if the code is unknown), airways, jet routes, and waypoints (for RNAV).

NOTE-
Use NAVAIDs or waypoints to define direct routes and radials/bearings to define other unpublished routes.

9. Block 9. Enter the destination airport identifier code (or name if the identifier is unknown).

10. Block 10. Enter your estimated time en route based on latest forecast winds.

11. Block 11. Enter only those remarks pertinent to ATC or to the clarification of other flight plan information, such as the appropriate radiotelephony (call sign) associated with the FAA-assigned three-letter company designator filed in Block 2, if the radiotelephony is new or has changed within the last 60 days. In cases where there is no three-letter designator but only an assigned radiotelephony or an assigned three-letter designator is used in a medical emergency, the radiotelephony must be included in the remarks field. Items of a personal nature are not accepted.

NOTE-
1.
The pilot is responsible for knowing when it is appropriate to file the radiotelephony in remarks under the 60­day rule or when using FAA special radiotelephony assignments.

2. “DVRSN” should be placed in Block 11 only if the pilot/company is requesting priority handling to their original destination from ATC as a result of a diversion as defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary.

3. Do not assume that remarks will be automatically transmitted to every controller. Specific ATC or en route requests should be made directly to the appropriate controller.

12. Block 12. Specify the fuel on board, computed from the departure point.

13. Block 13. Specify an alternate airport if desired or required, but do not include routing to the alternate airport.

14. Block 14. Enter the complete name, address, and telephone number of pilot‐in‐command, or in the case of a formation flight, the formation commander. Enter sufficient information to identify home base, airport, or operator.

NOTE-
This information would be essential in the event of search and rescue operation.

15. Block 15. Enter the total number of persons on board including crew.

16. Block 16. Enter the predominant colors.

NOTE-
Close IFR flight plans with tower, approach control, or ARTCC, or if unable, with FSS. When landing at an airport with a functioning control tower, IFR flight plans are automatically canceled.

g. The information transmitted to the ARTCC for IFR flight plans will consist of only flight plan blocks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

h. A description of the International Flight Plan Form is contained in the International Flight Information Manual (IFIM).

5-1-9. International Flight Plan (FAA Form 7233-4)- IFR Flights (For Domestic or International Flights)

a. General

Use of FAA Form 7233-4 is recommended for domestic IFR flights and is mandatory for all IFR flights that will depart U.S. domestic airspace.

NOTE-
1. An abbreviated description of FAA Form 7233-4 (International Flight Plan) may be found in this section. A detailed description of FAA Form 7233-4 may be found on the FAA website at:
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/
enroute/flight_plan_filing/

2. Filers utilizing FAA Form 7233-1 (Flight Plan) may not be eligible for assignment of RNAV SIDs and STARs. Filers desiring assignment of these procedures should file using FAA Form 7233-4, as described in this section.

3. When filing an IFR flight plan using FAA Form 7233-4, it is recommended that filers include all operable navigation, communication, and surveillance equipment capabilities by adding appropriate equipment qualifiers as shown in Tables 5-1-3 and 5-1-4. These equipment qualifiers should be filed in Item 10 of FAA Form 7233-4.

4. ATC issues clearances based on equipment qualifiers filed in Items 10 and aircraft capabilities filed in Item 18 (NAV/) of FAA Form 7233-4. Operators should file all equipment qualifiers for which the aircraft is certified and capable. They should also file aircraft capabilities, following the NAV/ indicator in Item 18.

b. Explanation of Items Filed in FAA Form 7233-4

Procedures and other information provided in this section are designed to assist operators using FAA Form 7233-4 to file IFR flight plans for flights that will be conducted entirely within U.S. domestic airspace. Requirements and procedures for operating outside U.S. domestic airspace may vary significantly from country to country. It is, therefore, recommended that operators planning flights outside U.S. domestic airspace become familiar with applicable international documents, including Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP); International Flight Information Manuals (IFIM); and ICAO Document 4444, Procedures for Air Navigation Services/Air Traffic Management, Appendix 2.

NOTE-
FAA Form 7233-4 is shown in FIG 5-1-3. The filer is normally responsible for providing the information required in Items 3 through 19.

FIG 5-1-3
FAA International Flight Plan Form 7233-4 (9-06)

aim0501_Auto1

 

aim0501_Auto0

 

1. Item 7. Aircraft Identification. Insert the full registration number of the aircraft, or the approved FAA/ICAO company or organizational designator, followed by the flight number.

EXAMPLE-
N235RA, AAL3342, BONGO33

NOTE-
Callsigns filed in this item must begin with a letter followed by 1-6 additional alphanumeric characters.

2. Item 8. Flight Rules and Type of Flight.

(a) Flight Rules. Insert the character “I” to indicate IFR

(b) Type of Flight. Insert one of the following letters to denote the type of flight:

(1) S if scheduled air service

(2) N if non-scheduled air transport operation

(3) G if general aviation

(4) M if military

(5) X if other than any of the defined categories above.

NOTE-
Type of flight is optional for flights that will be conducted entirely within U.S. domestic airspace.

3. Item 9. Number, Type of Aircraft, and Wake Turbulence Category.

(a) Number. Insert the number of aircraft, if more than 1 (maximum 99).

(b) Type of Aircraft.

(1) Insert the appropriate designator as specified in ICAO Doc 8643, Aircraft Type Designators;

(2) Or, if no such designator has been assigned, or in the case of formation flights consisting of more than one type;

(3) Insert ZZZZ, and specify in Item 18, the (numbers and) type(s) of aircraft preceded by TYP/.

(c) Wake Turbulence Category. Insert an oblique stroke followed by one of the following letters to indicate the wake turbulence category of the aircraft:

(1) H — HEAVY, to indicate an aircraft type with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 300,000 pounds (136 000 kg), or more;

(2) M — MEDIUM, to indicate an aircraft type with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of less than 300,000 pounds (136,000 kg), but more than 15,500 pounds (7,000 kg);

(3) L — LIGHT, to indicate an aircraft type with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 15,500 pounds (7,000 kg) or less.

4. Item 10. Equipment

 

TBL 5-1-3
Aircraft COM, NAV, and Approach Equipment Qualifiers

INSERT one letter as follows:
N if no COM/NAV/approach aid equipment for the route to be flown is carried, or the equipment
is unserviceable,
(OR)
S if standard COM/NAV/approach aid equipment for the route to be flown is carried and
serviceable (see Note 1),
(AND/OR)
INSERT one or more of the following letters to indicate the COM/NAV/approach aid equipment available and serviceable:

A

(Not allocated)

O

VOR

B

(Not allocated)

P

(Not allocated)

D

DME

Q

(Not allocated)

E

(Not allocated)

R

RNP type certification - see Note 5

F

ADF

T

TACAN

G

(GNSS)

U

UHF RTF

H

HF RTF

V

VHF RTF

I

Inertial navigation

W

RVSM Certififed

J

(Data link) - see Note 3

X

When prescribed by ATS

K

(MLS)

Y

When prescribed by ATS

L

ILS

Z

Other equipment carried - see Note 2

NOTE-
1. Standard equipment is considered to be VHF RTF, ADF, VOR, and ILS within U.S. domestic airspace.

2. If the letter Z is used, specify in Item 18 the other equipment carried, preceded by COM/ and/or NAV/, as appropriate.

3. If the letter J is used, specify in Item 18 the equipment carried, preceded by DAT/ followed by one or more letters as appropriate.

4. Information on navigation capability is provided to ATC for clearance and routing purposes.

5. Inclusion of letter R indicates that an aircraft meets the RNP type prescribed for the route segment(s), route(s), and/or area concerned.

TBL 5-1-4
Aircraft Surveillance Equipment

INSERT one or two of the following letters to describe the serviceable surveillance equipment carried:

N

Nil

A

Transponder — Mode A (4 digits — 4 096 codes)

C

Transponder — Mode A (4 digits — 4 096 codes) and Mode C

X

Transponder — Mode S without both aircraft identification and pressure-altitude transmission

P

Transponder — Mode S, including pressure-altitude transmission, but no aircraft identification transmission

I

Transponder — Mode S, including aircraft identification transmission, but no pressure-altitude transmission

S

Transponder — Mode S, including both pressure-altitude and aircraft identification transmission

ADS equipment

D

ADS capability

EXAMPLE-
1. OFLV/C {VOR, ADF, ILS, VHF, Transponder, Mode C}

2. S/C {VOR, ADF, ILS, VHF, Transponder, Mode C}

3. OLVDGWZ/S {VOR, ILS, VHF, DME, GPS, RVSM, Other, Mode S w/ altitude reporting}

NOTE-
The equipment qualifier Z indicates that additional equipment or capability information can be found in Item 18, following the NAV/ indicator. Operators requesting assignment of RNAV SIDs and/or STARs are required to include a Z in Item 10 and associated RNAV capabilities in Item 18 following the NAV/ indicator.

5. Item 13. Departure Aerodrome/Time

(a) Insert the ICAO four-letter location indicator of the departure aerodrome, or

NOTE-
ICAO location indicators must consist of 4 letters. Airport identifiers such as 5IA7, 39LL and Z40 are not in ICAO standard format.

(b) If no four-letter location indicator has been assigned to the departure aerodrome, insert ZZZZ and specify the non-ICAO location identifier, or fix/radial/distance from a nearby navaid, followed by the name of the aerodrome, in Item 18, following characters DEP/,

(c) Then, without a space, insert the estimated off-block time.

EXAMPLE-
1. KSMF2215

2. ZZZZ0330

6. Item 15. Cruise Speed, Level and Route

(a) Cruise Speed (maximum 5 characters). Insert the true airspeed for the first or the whole cruising portion of the flight, in terms of knots, expressed as N followed by 4 digits (e.g. N0485), or Mach number to the nearest hundredth of unit Mach, expressed as M followed by 3 digits (for example, M082).

(b) Cruising level (maximum 5 characters). Insert the planned cruising level for the first or the whole portion of the route to be flown, in terms of flight level, expressed as F followed by 3 figures (for example, F180; F330), or altitude in hundreds of feet, expressed as A followed by 3 figures (for example, A040; A170).

(c) Route. Insert the requested route of flight in accordance with guidance below.

NOTE-
Speed and/or altitude changes en route will be accepted by FAA computer systems, but will not be processed or forwarded to controllers. Pilots are expected to maintain the last assigned altitude and request revised altitude clearances directly from ATC.

(d) Insert the desired route of flight using a combination of published routes and/or fixes in the following formats:

(1) Consecutive fixes, navaids and waypoints should be separated by the characters “DCT”, meaning direct.

EXAMPLE-
FLACK DCT IRW DCT IRW125023

NOTE-
IRW125023 identifies the fix located on the Will Rogers VORTAC 125 radial at 23 DME.

(2) Combinations of published routes, and fixes, navaids or waypoints should be separated by a single space.

EXAMPLE-
WORTH5 MQP V66 ABI V385

(3) Although it is recommended that filed airway junctions be identified using a named junction fix when possible, there may be cases where it is necessary to file junctioning airways without a named fix. In these cases, separate consecutive airways with a space.

EXAMPLE-
V325 V49

NOTE-
This method of filing an airway junction may result in a processing ambiguity. This might cause the flight plan to be rejected in some cases.

7. Item 16. Destination Aerodrome, Total EET, Alternate and 2nd Alternate Aerodrome

(a) Destination Aerodrome and Total Estimated Elapsed Time (EET).

(1) Insert the ICAO four-letter location identifier for the destination aerodrome; or, if no ICAO location identifier has been assigned, (Location identifiers, such as WY66, A08, and 5B1, are not an ICAO standard format),

(2) Insert ZZZZ and specify the non-ICAO location identifier, or fix/radial/distance from a nearby navaid, followed the name of the aerodrome, in Item 18, following characters DEST/,

(3) Then, without a space, insert the total estimated time en route to the destination.

EXAMPLE-
1. KOKC0200

2. ZZZZ0330

(b) Alternate and 2nd Alternate Aerodrome (Optional).

(1) Following the intended destination, insert the ICAO four-letter location identifier(s) of alternate aerodromes; or, if no location identifier(s) have been assigned;

(2) Insert ZZZZ and specify the name of the aerodrome in Item 18, following the characters ALTN/.

EXAMPLE-
1. KDFW0234 KPWA

2. KBOS0304 ZZZZ

NOTE-
Although alternate airport information filed in an FPL will be accepted by air traffic computer systems, it will not be presented to controllers. If diversion to an alternate airport becomes necessary, pilots are expected to notify ATC and request an amended clearance.

8. Item 18. Other Information

(a) Insert 0 (zero) if no other information; or, any other necessary information in the preferred sequence shown hereunder, in the form of the appropriate indicator followed by an oblique stroke and the information to be recorded:

(1) EET/ Significant points or FIR boundary designators and accumulated estimated elapsed times to such points or FIR boundaries.

EXAMPLE-
EET/KZLA0745 KZAB0830

(2) REG/ The registration markings of the aircraft, if different from the aircraft identification in Item 7.

(3) CODE/ Aircraft address (expressed in the form of an alphanumerical code of six hexadecimal characters) when required by the appropriate ATS authority.

EXAMPLE-
“F00001” is the lowest aircraft address contained in the specific block administered by ICAO.

(4) SEL/ SELCAL code.

(5) OPR/ Name of the operator, if not obvious from the aircraft identification in Item 7.

(6) STS/ Reason for special handling by ATS.

EXAMPLE-
STS/HOSP

(7) TYP/ Insert the type of aircraft if ZZZZ was entered in Item 9. If necessary, insert the number and type(s) of aircraft in a formation.

EXAMPLE-
1. TYP/Homebuilt

2. TYP/2 P51 B17 B24

(8) COM/ Significant data related to communication.

(9) NAV/ Significant data related to navigation equipment.

(b) In addition to filing appropriate equipment qualifiers in Item10, operators requesting assignment of RNAV departure and/or arrival procedures should file appropriate RNAV capabilities for each segment of flight, following the NAV/ indicator.

NOTE-
Aircraft certification requirements for RNAV operations within U.S. airspace are defined in Advisory Circular AC 90-45A, Approval of Area Navigation Systems for Use in the U.S. National Airspace System, and AC 90-100A, U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations, as amended.

(c) Operators should file their maximum capabilities in order to qualify for the most advanced procedures.

EXAMPLE-
1. NAV/RNVD1E2A1, or

2. NAV/RNVE99

(d) Explanation:

(1) NAV/ = Indicates the beginning of additional navigation information.

(2) RNV = Precedes RNAV capability for each phase of flight.

(3) D# = Departure segment RNAV capability.

(4) E# = En route segment RNAV capability.

(5) A# = Arrival segment RNAV capability.

NOTE-
In the examples above, “#” indicates the numeric RNAV accuracy values, based on aircraft certification and capabilities.

(e) Follow each flight segment indicator with appropriate numeric RNAV accuracy values as defined in the Advisory Circulars below.

(f) Operators equipped for advanced RNAV procedures in accordance with AC 90-100A, may file any or all of the following, as appropriate:

EXAMPLE-
NAV/RNVD1E2A1

(g) Operators equipped for Point-to-Point (PTP) RNAV only, in accordance with AC 90-45A, should file the en route segment only, with a value of “E99”.

EXAMPLE-
NAV/RNVE99

NOTE-
Operators filing FAA Form 7233-4 may suppress application of RNAV procedures by omitting, or filing a 0 (zero) value in Item 18 data for any or all segments of flight.

(h) DEP/ Insert the non-ICAO identifier, or fix/radial/distance from navaid, followed by the name of the departure aerodrome, if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 13.

EXAMPLE-
1. DEP/T23 ALBANY MUNI

2. DEP/UKW197011 TICK HOLLR RANCH

(i) DEST/ Name of destination aerodrome, if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 16.

EXAMPLE-
1. DEST/T23 ALBANY MUNI

2. DEST/PIE335033 LEXI DUNES

(j) ALTN/ Name of destination alternate aerodrome(s), if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 16.

EXAMPLE-
1. ALTN/F35 POSSUM KINGDOM

2. ALTN/TCC233016 LAZY S RANCH

(k) RMK/ Any other plain-language remarks when required by the ATC or deemed necessary.

EXAMPLE-
1. RMK/LIFEGUARD

2. RMK/DRVSN

9. Item 19. Supplementary Information

NOTE-
Item 19 data must be included when completing FAA Form 7233-4. This information will be retained by the facility/organization that transmits the flight plan to Air Traffic Control (ATC), for Search and Rescue purposes, but it will not be transmitted to ATC as part of the FPL.

(a) E/ (ENDURANCE). Insert 4-digits group giving the fuel endurance in hours and minutes.

(b) P/ (PERSONS ON BOARD). Insert the total number of persons (passengers and crew) on board.

(c) Emergency and survival equipment

(1) R/ (RADIO).

[a] Cross out “UHF” if frequency 243.0 MHz is not available.

[b] Cross out “VHF” frequency 121.5 MHz is not available.

[c] Cross out “ELBA” if emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is not available.

(2) S/ (SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT).

[a] Cross out “POLAR” if polar survival equipment is not carried.

[b] Cross out “DESERT” if desert survival equipment is not carried.

[c] Cross out “MARITIME” if maritime survival equipment is not carried.

[d] Cross out J if “JUNGLE” survival equipment is not carried.

(3) J/ (JACKETS).

[a] Cross out “LIGHT” if life jackets are not equipped with lights.

[b] Cross out “FLUORES” if life jackets are not equipped with fluorescein.

[c] Cross out “UHF” or “VHF” or both as in R/ above to indicate radio capability of jackets, if any.

(4) D/ (DINGHIES).

[a] NUMBER. Cross out indicators “NUMBER” and “CAPACITY” if no dinghies are carried, or insert number of dinghies carried; and

[b] CAPACITY. Insert total capacity, in persons, of all dinghies carried; and

[c] COVER. Cross out indicator “COVER” if dinghies are not covered; and

[d] COLOR. Insert color of dinghies if carried.

(5) A/ (AIRCRAFT COLOR AND MARKINGS). Insert color of aircraft and significant markings.

(6) N/ (REMARKS). Cross out indicator N if no remarks, or indicate any other survival equipment carried and any other remarks regarding survival equipment.

(7) C/ (PILOT). Insert name of pilot-in-command.

5-1-10. IFR Operations to High Altitude Destinations

a. Pilots planning IFR flights to airports located in mountainous terrain are cautioned to consider the necessity for an alternate airport even when the forecast weather conditions would technically relieve them from the requirement to file one.

REFERENCE-
14 CFR Section 91.167.
AIM, Tower En Route Control (TEC), Paragraph 4-1-19.

b. The FAA has identified three possible situations where the failure to plan for an alternate airport when flying IFR to such a destination airport could result in a critical situation if the weather is less than forecast and sufficient fuel is not available to proceed to a suitable airport.

1. An IFR flight to an airport where the Minimum Descent Altitudes (MDAs) or landing visibility minimums for all instrument approaches are higher than the forecast weather minimums specified in 14 CFR Section 91.167(b). For example, there are 3 high altitude airports in the U.S. with approved instrument approach procedures where all of the MDAs are greater than 2,000 feet and/or the landing visibility minimums are greater than 3 miles (Bishop, California; South Lake Tahoe, California; and Aspen-Pitkin Co./Sardy Field, Colorado). In the case of these airports, it is possible for a pilot to elect, on the basis of forecasts, not to carry sufficient fuel to get to an alternate when the ceiling and/or visibility is actually lower than that necessary to complete the approach.

2. A small number of other airports in mountainous terrain have MDAs which are slightly (100 to 300 feet) below 2,000 feet AGL. In situations where there is an option as to whether to plan for an alternate, pilots should bear in mind that just a slight worsening of the weather conditions from those forecast could place the airport below the published IFR landing minimums.

3. An IFR flight to an airport which requires special equipment; i.e., DME, glide slope, etc., in order to make the available approaches to the lowest minimums. Pilots should be aware that all other minimums on the approach charts may require weather conditions better than those specified in 14 CFR Section 91.167(b). An inflight equipment malfunction could result in the inability to comply with the published approach procedures or, again, in the position of having the airport below the published IFR landing minimums for all remaining instrument approach alternatives.

5-1-11. Flights Outside the U.S. and U.S. Territories

a. When conducting flights, particularly extended flights, outside the U.S. and its territories, full account should be taken of the amount and quality of air navigation services available in the airspace to be traversed. Every effort should be made to secure information on the location and range of navigational aids, availability of communications and meteorological services, the provision of air traffic services, including alerting service, and the existence of search and rescue services.

b. Pilots should remember that there is a need to continuously guard the VHF emergency frequency 121.5 MHz when on long over‐water flights, except when communications on other VHF channels, equipment limitations, or cockpit duties prevent simultaneous guarding of two channels. Guarding of 121.5 MHz is particularly critical when operating in proximity to Flight Information Region (FIR) boundaries, for example, operations on Route R220 between Anchorage and Tokyo, since it serves to facilitate communications with regard to aircraft which may experience in‐flight emergencies, communications, or navigational difficulties.

REFERENCE-
ICAO Annex 10, Vol II, Paras 5.2.2.1.1.1 and 5.2.2.1.1.2.

c. The filing of a flight plan, always good practice, takes on added significance for extended flights outside U.S. airspace and is, in fact, usually required by the laws of the countries being visited or overflown. It is also particularly important in the case of such flights that pilots leave a complete itinerary and schedule of the flight with someone directly concerned and keep that person advised of the flight's progress. If serious doubt arises as to the safety of the flight, that person should first contact the appropriate FSS. Round Robin Flight Plans to Mexico are not accepted.

d. All pilots should review the foreign airspace and entry restrictions published in the IFIM during the flight planning process. Foreign airspace penetration without official authorization can involve both danger to the aircraft and the imposition of severe penalties and inconvenience to both passengers and crew. A flight plan on file with ATC authorities does not necessarily constitute the prior permission required by certain other authorities. The possibility of fatal consequences cannot be ignored in some areas of the world.

e. Current NOTAMs for foreign locations must also be reviewed. The publication Notices to Airmen, Domestic/International, published biweekly, contains considerable information pertinent to foreign flight. Current foreign NOTAMs are also available from the U.S. International NOTAM Office in Washington, D.C., through any local FSS.

f. When customs notification is required, it is the responsibility of the pilot to arrange for customs notification in a timely manner. The following guidelines are applicable:

1. When customs notification is required on flights to Canada and Mexico and a predeparture flight plan cannot be filed or an advise customs message (ADCUS) cannot be included in a predeparture flight plan, call the nearest en route domestic or International FSS as soon as radio communication can be established and file a VFR or DVFR flight plan, as required, and include as the last item the advise customs information. The station with which such a flight plan is filed will forward it to the appropriate FSS who will notify the customs office responsible for the destination airport.

2. If the pilot fails to include ADCUS in the radioed flight plan, it will be assumed that other arrangements have been made and FAA will not advise customs.

3. The FAA assumes no responsibility for any delays in advising customs if the flight plan is given too late for delivery to customs before arrival of the aircraft. It is still the pilot's responsibility to give timely notice even though a flight plan is given to FAA.

4. Air Commerce Regulations of the Treasury Department's Customs Service require all private aircraft arriving in the U.S. via:

(a) The U.S./Mexican border or the Pacific Coast from a foreign place in the Western Hemisphere south of 33 degrees north latitude and between 97 degrees and 120 degrees west longitude; or

(b) The Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coasts from a foreign place in the Western Hemisphere south of 30 degrees north latitude, must furnish a notice of arrival to the Customs service at the nearest designated airport. This notice may be furnished directly to Customs by:

(1) Radio through the appropriate FAA Flight Service Station.

(2) Normal FAA flight plan notification procedures (a flight plan filed in Mexico does not meet this requirement due to unreliable relay of data); or

(3) Directly to the district Director of Customs or other Customs officer at place of first intended landing but must be furnished at least 1 hour prior to crossing the U.S./Mexican border or the U.S. coastline.

(c) This notice will be valid as long as actual arrival is within 15 minutes of the original ETA, otherwise a new notice must be given to Customs. Notices will be accepted up to 23 hours in advance. Unless an exemption has been granted by Customs, private aircraft are required to make first landing in the U.S. at one of the following designated airports nearest to the point of border of coastline crossing:

Designated Airports

ARIZONA

Bisbee Douglas Intl Airport

Douglas Municipal Airport

Nogales Intl Airport

Tucson Intl Airport

Yuma MCAS-Yuma Intl Airport

CALIFORNIA

Calexico Intl Airport

Brown Field Municipal Airport (San Diego)

FLORIDA

Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Intl Airport

Key West Intl Airport (Miami Intl Airport)

Opa Locka Airport (Miami)

Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (Miami)

St. Lucie County Intl Airport (Fort Pierce)

Tampa Intl Airport

Palm Beach Intl Airport (West Palm Beach)

LOUISANA

New Orleans Intl Airport (Moisant Field)

New Orleans Lakefront Airport

NEW MEXICO

Las Cruces Intl Airport

NORTH CAROLINA

New Hanover Intl Airport (Wilmington)

TEXAS

Brownsville/South Padre Island Intl Airport

Corpus Christi Intl Airport

Del Rio Intl Airport

Eagle Pass Municipal Airport

El Paso Intl Airport

William P. Hobby Airport (Houston)

Laredo Intl Airport

McAllen Miller Intl Airport

Presidio Lely Intl Airport

5-1-12. Change in Flight Plan

In addition to altitude or flight level, destination and/or route changes, increasing or decreasing the speed of an aircraft constitutes a change in a flight plan. Therefore, at any time the average true airspeed at cruising altitude between reporting points varies or is expected to vary from that given in the flight plan by plus or minus 5 percent, or 10 knots, whichever is greater, ATC should be advised.

5-1-13. Change in Proposed Departure Time

a. To prevent computer saturation in the en route environment, parameters have been established to delete proposed departure flight plans which have not been activated. Most centers have this parameter set so as to delete these flight plans a minimum of 1 hour after the proposed departure time. To ensure that a flight plan remains active, pilots whose actual departure time will be delayed 1 hour or more beyond their filed departure time, are requested to notify ATC of their departure time.

b. Due to traffic saturation, control personnel frequently will be unable to accept these revisions via radio. It is recommended that you forward these revisions to the nearest FSS.

5-1-14. Closing VFR/DVFR Flight Plans

A pilot is responsible for ensuring that his/her VFR or DVFR flight plan is canceled. You should close your flight plan with the nearest FSS, or if one is not available, you may request any ATC facility to relay your cancellation to the FSS. Control towers do not automatically close VFR or DVFR flight plans since they do not know if a particular VFR aircraft is on a flight plan. If you fail to report or cancel your flight plan within 1/2 hour after your ETA, search and rescue procedures are started.

REFERENCE-
14 CFR Section 91.153.
14 CFR Section 91.169.

5-1-15. Canceling IFR Flight Plan

a. 14 CFR Sections 91.153 and 91.169 include the statement “When a flight plan has been activated, the pilot‐in‐command, upon canceling or completing the flight under the flight plan, must notify an FAA Flight Service Station or ATC facility.”

b. An IFR flight plan may be canceled at any time the flight is operating in VFR conditions outside Class A airspace by pilots stating “CANCEL MY IFR FLIGHT PLAN” to the controller or air/ground station with which they are communicating. Immediately after canceling an IFR flight plan, a pilot should take the necessary action to change to the appropriate air/ground frequency, VFR radar beacon code and VFR altitude or flight level.

c. ATC separation and information services will be discontinued, including radar services (where applicable). Consequently, if the canceling flight desires VFR radar advisory service, the pilot must specifically request it.

NOTE-
Pilots must be aware that other procedures may be applicable to a flight that cancels an IFR flight plan within an area where a special program, such as a designated TRSA, Class C airspace, or Class B airspace, has been established.

d. If a DVFR flight plan requirement exists, the pilot is responsible for filing this flight plan to replace the canceled IFR flight plan. If a subsequent IFR operation becomes necessary, a new IFR flight plan must be filed and an ATC clearance obtained before operating in IFR conditions.

e. If operating on an IFR flight plan to an airport with a functioning control tower, the flight plan is automatically closed upon landing.

f. If operating on an IFR flight plan to an airport where there is no functioning control tower, the pilot must initiate cancellation of the IFR flight plan. This can be done after landing if there is a functioning FSS or other means of direct communications with ATC. In the event there is no FSS and/or air/ground communications with ATC is not possible below a certain altitude, the pilot should, weather conditions permitting, cancel the IFR flight plan while still airborne and able to communicate with ATC by radio. This will not only save the time and expense of canceling the flight plan by telephone but will quickly release the airspace for use by other aircraft.

5-1-16. RNAV and RNP Operations

a. During the pre-flight planning phase the availability of the navigation infrastructure required for the intended operation, including any non-RNAV contingencies, must be confirmed for the period of intended operation. Availability of the onboard navigation equipment necessary for the route to be flown must be confirmed.

b. If a pilot determines a specified RNP level cannot be achieved, revise the route or delay the operation until appropriate RNP level can be ensured.

c. The onboard navigation database must be current and appropriate for the region of intended operation and must include the navigation aids, waypoints, and coded terminal airspace procedures for the departure, arrival and alternate airfields.

d. During system initialization, pilots of aircraft equipped with a Flight Management System or other RNAV-certified system, must confirm that the navigation database is current, and verify that the aircraft position has been entered correctly. Flight crews should crosscheck the cleared flight plan against charts or other applicable resources, as well as the navigation system textual display and the aircraft map display. This process includes confirmation of the waypoints sequence, reasonableness of track angles and distances, any altitude or speed constraints, and identification of fly-by or fly-over waypoints. A procedure must not be used if validity of the navigation database is in doubt.

e. Prior to commencing takeoff, the flight crew must verify that the RNAV system is operating correctly and the correct airport and runway data have been loaded.

f. During the pre-flight planning phase RAIM prediction must be performed if TSO-C129() equipment is used to solely satisfy the RNAV and RNP requirement. GPS RAIM availability must be confirmed for the intended route of flight (route and time) using current GPS satellite information. In the event of a predicted, continuous loss of RAIM of more than five (5) minutes for any part of the intended flight, the flight should be delayed, canceled, or re-routed where RAIM requirements can be met. Operators may satisfy the predictive RAIM requirement through any one of the following methods:

1. Operators may monitor the status of each satellite in its plane/slot position, by accounting for the latest GPS constellation status (e.g., NOTAMs or NANUs), and compute RAIM availability using model-specific RAIM prediction software;

2. Operators may use the FAA en route and terminal RAIM prediction website: www.raimprediction.net;

3. Operators may contact a Flight Service Station (not DUATS) to obtain non-precision approach RAIM;

4. Operators may use a third party interface, incorporating FAA/VOLPE RAIM prediction data without altering performance values, to predict RAIM outages for the aircraft's predicted flight path and times;

5. Operators may use the receiver's installed RAIM prediction capability (for TSO-C129a/Class A1/B1/C1 equipment) to provide non-precision approach RAIM, accounting for the latest GPS constellation status (e.g., NOTAMs or NANUs). Receiver non-precision approach RAIM should be checked at airports spaced at intervals not to exceed 60 NM along the RNAV 1 procedure's flight track. “Terminal” or “Approach” RAIM must be available at the ETA over each airport checked; or,

6. Operators not using model-specific software or FAA/VOLPE RAIM data will need FAA operational approval.

NOTE-
If TSO-C145/C146 equipment is used to satisfy the RNAV and RNP requirement, the pilot/operator need not perform the prediction if WAAS coverage is confirmed to be available along the entire route of flight. Outside the U.S. or in areas where WAAS coverage is not available, operators using TSO-C145/C146 receivers are required to check GPS RAIM availability.