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Encyclopedia > Flight plan

Flight plans are plans filed by pilots with the local Aviation Authority (e.g. FAA in the USA) prior to flying. They generally include basic information such as departure and arrival points, estimated time, alternate airports in case of bad weather, type of flight weather instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, pilot's name and number of passengers. In most countries, flight plans are required for flights under IFR. Under VFR, they are optional unless crossing national borders, however they are highly recommended, especially when flying over inhospitable areas, such as water, as they provide a way of alerting rescuers if the flight is overdue. Flightplan is a 2005 action/mystery film directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen and Sean Bean. ... A Tarom Boeing 737-300 and a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 taxi side by side at London Heathrow Airport. ... For other uses, see Aviator (disambiguation). ... International civil aviation is governed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation (commonly known as the Chicago Convention). ... “FAA” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Air traffic control#Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) be merged into this article or section. ... Visual flight rules (VFR) are a set of aviation regulations under which a pilot may operate an aircraft in weather conditions sufficient to allow the pilot, by visual reference to the environment outside the cockpit, to control the aircrafts attitude, navigate, and maintain safe separation from obstacles such as... It has been suggested that Air traffic control#Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) be merged into this article or section. ... Visual flight rules (VFR) are a set of aviation regulations under which a pilot may operate an aircraft in weather conditions sufficient to allow the pilot, by visual reference to the environment outside the cockpit, to control the aircrafts attitude, navigate, and maintain safe separation from obstacles such as...

Contents

Routing Types

Aircraft routing types used in flight planning are: Airway, Navaid and Direct. A route may be composed of segments of different routing type. For example, a route from Chicago to Rome may include Airway routing over the U.S. and Europe, but Direct routing over the Atlantic Ocean. Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


'Airway' routing occurs along pre-defined pathways called Airways. Airways can be thought of as three-dimensional highways for aircraft. In most land areas of the world, aircraft are required to fly airways between the departure and destination airports. The rules governing airway routing cover altitude, airspeed, and requirements for entering and leaving the airway (see #SIDs and STARs). Most airways are eight nautical miles (14 kilometers) wide, and the airway flight levels keep aircraft separated by at least 1000 vertical feet from aircraft on the flight level above and below. Airways usually intersect at Navaids, which designate the allowed points for changing from one airway to another. Airways have names consisting of one or more letters followed by one or more digits (e.g., V484 or UA419). In aviation, an airway is a designated route in the air. ...


The airway structure is divided into high and low altitudes. The low altitude airways in the U.S. which can be navigated using VOR Navaids have names that start with the letter V, and are therefore called Victor Airways. They cover altitudes from approximately 1200 feet above ground level (AGL) to 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) above mean sea level (MSL). The high altitude airways in the U.S. all have names that start with the letter J, and are called Jet Routes. These run from 18,000 feet to 35,000 feet (5,486 meters to 10,668 meters). The altitude separating the low and high airway structures varies from country to country. For example, it is 19,500 feet in Switzerland, and 25,500 feet in Egypt. D-VOR (Doppler VOR) ground station, co-located with DME. VOR, short for VHF Omni-directional Radio Range, is a type of radio navigation system for aircraft. ...


'Navaid' routing occurs between Navaids (short for Navigational Aids, see VOR) which are not always connected by airways. Navaid routing is typically only allowed in the continental U.S. If a flight plan specifies Navaid routing between two Navaids which are connected via an airway, the rules for that particular airway must be followed as if the aircraft was flying Airway routing between those two Navaids. Allowable altitudes are covered in Flight Levels. D-VOR (Doppler VOR) ground station, co-located with DME. VOR, short for VHF Omni-directional Radio Range, is a type of radio navigation system for aircraft. ...


'Direct' routing occurs when one or both of the route segment endpoints are at a latitude/longitude which is not located at a Navaid. Some flight planning organizations specify that checkpoints generated for a Direct route be a limited distance apart, or limited by time to fly between the checkpoints (i.e., Direct checkpoints could be farther apart for a fast aircraft than for a slow one).


SIDs and STARs

SIDs and STARs are procedures and checkpoints used to enter and leave the airway system. There is a defined transition point at which an airway and a SID or STAR intersect.


A SID, or Standard Instrument Departure, defines a pathway out of an airport and onto the airway structure. A SID is sometimes called a Departure Procedure (DP). SIDs are unique to the associated airport. This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...


A STAR, or Standard Terminal Arrival Route, defines a pathway into an airport from the airway structure. STARs can be associated with more than one arrival airport, which can occur when two or more airports are in close proximity (e.g., San Francisco and San Jose). Standard Terminal Arrival Route, also known as Standard Terminal Arrival or simply STAR, is a published procedure followed by aircraft on an IFR flight plan just before reaching a destination airport. ...


Special Use Airspace

In general, flight planners are expected to avoid areas called Special Use Airspace (SUA) when planning a flight. In the United States, there are several types of SUA, including Restricted, Warning, Prohibited, Alert, and Military Operation Area (MOA). Examples of Special Use Airspace include a region around the White House in Washington, D.C., and the country of Cuba. Government and military aircraft may have different requirements for particular SUA areas, or may be able to acquire special clearances to traverse through these areas. For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ...


Flight Levels

Flight levels are used to specify aircraft cruising altitude and are abbreviated in 100s of feet above mean sea level. For example, 29000 feet is FL290 and 25500 feet is FL255. Flight levels are an important part of flight planning, assuring a safe vertical separation of aircraft. A flight level is a standard nominal altitude of an aircraft, referenced to a world-wide fixed pressure datum of 1013.25 mbar or the equivalent setting, 29.921 inHg (the average sea-level pressure). It is not necessarily the same as the aircraft's true altitude above mean sea level. Altitudes are only called by their three-digit flight level above Flight Level 180 (18,000ft). In aviation, a flight level is the nominal altitude of an aircraft referenced to a standard pressure datum, as opposed to the real altitude above mean sea level. ...


Airways have a set of associated standardized flight levels (sometimes called the “flight model”) which must be used when on the airway. On a bi-directional airway, each direction has its own set of flight levels. A valid flight plan must include a legal flight level at which the aircraft will traverse the airway. Due to differences in flight levels on different airways, a change in airway may include a required altitude change to stay at an acceptable flight level.


In the U.S., eastbound (heading 0-179 degrees) IFR flights must use “odd” flight levels in 2000 foot increments starting at FL190 (i.e., FL190, FL210, FL230, etc.); Westbound (heading 180-359 degrees) flights must use “even” flight levels in 2000 foot increments starting at FL180 (i.e., FL180, FL200, FL220, etc.).


Large aircraft flying a long distance may plan on altitude changes to a higher flight level, primarily to save fuel. For example, due to a heavy fuel load, an aircraft may be able to reach FL350 early in a flight, but move to FL370 later in the route after weight has decreased due to fuel burn off.


Alternate Airports

Part of flight planning often involves the identification of one or more airports which can be flown to in case of unexpected conditions (such as weather) at the destination airport. The planning process must be careful to include only alternate airports which can be reached with the anticipated fuel load and total aircraft weight and that have capabilities necessary to handle the type of aircraft being flown.


Fuel

Aircraft manufacturers are responsible for generating flight performance data which flight planners use to estimate fuel needs for a particular flight. The fuel burn rate is based on specific throttle settings for climbing and cruising. The planner uses the projected weather and aircraft weight as inputs to the flight performance data to estimate the necessary fuel to reach the destination. The fuel burn is usually given in pounds of fuel instead of volume (such as gallons) because aircraft weight is critical.


In addition to standard fuel needs, some organizations require that a flight plan include reserve fuel if certain conditions are met. For example, an over-water flight of longer than a specific duration may require the flight plan to include reserve fuel. The reserve fuel may be planned as extra which is left over on the aircraft at the destination, or it may be assumed to be burned during flight (perhaps due to unaccounted for differences between the actual aircraft and the flight performance data).


Flight Plan Timeline

Flight plans may be submitted immediately before departure or even after the aircraft is in the air. However flight plans may be submitted up to 24 hours in advance either by voice or by data link; though they are usually filled out or submitted just several hours before departure. The minimum recommended time is 1 hour before departure for domestic flights, and up to three hours before international flights. This time depends on the country the aircraft is flying out of.[citation needed]


Other Flight Planning Considerations

Holding over the destination or alternate airports is a required part of some flight plans. Holding (circling in a pattern designated by the airport control tower) may be necessary if unexpected weather or congestion occurs at the airport. If the flight plan calls for hold planning, the additional fuel and hold time should appear on the flight plan.


Organized Tracks are a series of paths similar to airways which cross ocean areas. Some organized track systems are fixed and appear on navigational charts (e.g., the NOPAC tracks over the Northern Pacific Ocean). Others change on a daily basis depending on weather and other factors and therefore cannot appear on printed charts (e.g., the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) over the Atlantic Ocean). North Atlantic Tracks for the eastbound crossing on the evening of May 4, 2006 North Atlantic Tracks are trans-Atlantic routes that stretch from the northeast of North America to western Europe across the Atlantic Ocean. ... Look up Nat, Nat. ...


Description of Flight Plan Blocks

Standard FAA flight plan form
Standard FAA flight plan form
  • 1. Type: Type of flight plan. Flights may be VFR, IFR, DVFR, or a combination of types, termed composite.
  • 2. Aircraft Identification: The registration of the aircraft, usually the flight or tail number.
  • 3. Aircraft Type/Special Equipment: The type of aircraft and how it's equipped. For example, a Mitsubishi Mu-2 equipped with an altitude reporting transponder and GPS would use MU2/G. Equipment codes may be found in the FAA Airman's Information Manual.
  • 4. True airspeed in knots: The planned cruise true airspeed of the aircraft in knots.
  • 5. Departure Point: Usually the identifier of the airport from which the aircraft is departing.
  • 6. Departure Time: Proposed and actual times of departure. Times are Universal Time Coordinated.
  • 7. Cruising Altitude: The planned cruising altitude or flight level.
  • 8. Route: Proposed route of flight. The route can be made up of airways, intersections, navaids, or possibly direct.
  • 9. Destination: Point of intended landing. Typically the identifier of the destination airport.
  • 10. Estimated Time Enroute: Planned elapsed time between departure and arrival at the destination.
  • 11. Remarks: Any information the PIC believes is necessary to be provided to ATC. One common remark is "NO SIDS/STARS", which means the PIC is unable or unwilling to accept a SID or STAR on an IFR flight.
  • 12. Fuel on Board: The amount of fuel on board the aircraft, in hours and minutes of flight time.
  • 13. Alternate Airports: Airports of intended landing as an alternate of the destination airport. May be required for an IFR flight plan if poor weather is forecast at the planned destination.
  • 14. Pilot's Information: Contact information of the pilot for search and rescue purposes.
  • 15. Number Onboard: Total number of people on board the aircraft.
  • 16. Color of Aircraft: The color helps identify the aircraft to search and rescue personnel.
  • 17. Contact Information at Destination: Having a means of contacting the pilot is useful for tracking down an aircraft that has failed to close its flight plan and is possibly overdue or in distress.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1228x839, 64 KB) Summary Excerpt from Standard FAA flight plan form 7233-1 Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1228x839, 64 KB) Summary Excerpt from Standard FAA flight plan form 7233-1 Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR - Spaceflight Society) was an association of amateur rocket enthusiasts active in Germany from 1927 to 1933. ... in-flight refueling Instrument flight rules Interface Repository Integral Fast Reactor This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... In the United States, DVFR is an aviation acronym for Defense Visual Flight Rules. ... An Ontario Highway 407 toll transponder In telecommunication, the term transponder (short-for Transmitter-responder and sometimes abbreviated to XPDR, XPNDR or TPDR) has the following meanings: An automatic device that receives, amplifies, and retransmits a signal on a different frequency (see also broadcast translator). ... Over fifty GPS satellites such as this NAVSTAR have been launched since 1978. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Some Terms and Acronyms Used in Flight Planning

Above Ground Level (AGL) 
A measurement of altitude above a specific land mass (also see MSL).
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO
The ICAO is the specialized agency of the United Nations with a mandate “to ensure the safe, efficient and orderly evolution of international civil aviation.” The standards which become accepted by the ICAO member nations “cover all technical and operational aspects of international civil aviation, such as safety, personnel licensing, operation of aircraft, aerodromes, air traffic services, accident investigation and the environment.” A simple example of ICAO responsibilities is the unique worldwide names used to identify Navaids, Airways, airports and countries.
Knot (Kt) 
A unit of speed used in navigation equal to one nautical mile per hour.
Mean Sea Level (MSL) 
The average height of the surface of the sea for all stages of tide; used as a reference for elevations (also see AGL).
Nautical Mile (NM) 
A unit of distance used in aviation equal to approximately one minute of arc of latitude. It is defined to be 1852 metres exactly, or approximately 1.15 statute mile.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations, develops the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. ... KNOT is a commercial Classic Country music radio station in Prescott, Arizona, broadcasting to the Flagstaff-Prescott, Arizona area on 1450 AM. Query the FCCs AM station database for KNOT Radio Locator Information on KNOT AM radio stations in the Flagstaff-Prescott, Arizona market (Arbitron #151) By frequency: By... A nautical mile or sea mile is a unit of length. ... metre or meter, see meter (disambiguation) The metre is the basic unit of length in the International System of Units. ... A mile is any of several units of distance, or, in physics terminology, of length. ...

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Flight plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1726 words)
Some flight planning organizations specify that checkpoints generated for a Direct route be a limited distance apart, or limited by time to fly between the checkpoints (i.e., Direct checkpoints could be farther apart for a fast aircraft than for a slow one).
Flight levels are an important part of flight planning, assuring a safe vertical separation of aircraft.
The reserve fuel may be planned as extra which is left over on the aircraft at the destination, or it may be assumed to be burned during flight (perhaps due to unaccounted for differences between the actual aircraft and the flight performance data).
Featured Document: Apollo 11 Flight Plan (224 words)
The flight plan for Apollo 11 was a minute-by-minute time line of activities for the mission crew--Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin--and Mission Control in Houston.
The flight plan describes tasks to be done 102 to 103 hours into the flight.
Flight plans, officially known as "flight data files," for Apollo 8 to Apollo 17, and other records related to the Apollo program, are in the custody of NARA's Southwest Region in Fort Worth, Texas.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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