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Tips & Tricks for Successful Flight Planning and Managing


Probably, you fly for a while already and all that general tips won’t be as valuable for you. That’s why we have prepared a short tips & tricks list with four most unobvious pieces of advice on IFR and VFR flight planning and managing.

How to work with this? 1) Check; 2) Overthink; 3) Remember. 4) Use it!

Well, let’s get it started.

1. Don’t have a connection during your IFR flight? Check out the secret solution.

Actually, there may be two cases: absolute absence of any signals or connections and lost of a transmit. In such cases, Bill Cox from “Plane and Pilot Magazine” advises just to follow your line due to the initially planned flight plan without any sudden improvisations, but if you really need to reach the ATC, try to switch on the audio signal of the nearest VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range and try to catch your own sign. If you got it, respond to ATC using transponder codes. 

Obviously, that is not the way you have to communicate with dispatchers just for fun, so just keep it in mind for appropriate cases and go straight inline that way RocketRoute flight planning app gives you.

2. Get high and then get even higher: IFR flight wants you to rise up above the clouds.

Actually, when you fly IFR, each point of your flight planning process should be revised twice, especially if you do it manually. Using RocketRoute Flight Planning Software you can do it much faster, but still keep in mind that it’s strongly recommended to file a flight for 8500 – 12500 height but not lower (and MEA really doesn’t matter, we talk about comfort and confidence, not just the official flight planning rules). It may be quite obvious, but there are a lot of quite experienced pilots who fly IFR much lower. Well, as a rule, it has no sense. Want to enjoy the landscapes? Fly VFR!

3. Flight planning homework: know your destination airport.

If it’s a daytime, it’s not that critically important, but if you arrive at night, make sure you are prepared to what your next airport will offer you: 24×7 aircraft fueling? local FBO schedule? free slots in reserve? aircraft handling services? A lot of airports nearly “sleep” at night, especially if it’s a cosy country-side airport.

How to do that? Two ways – sit down and Google for it, or use professional flight concierge services. We have it here at RocketRoute, so just check it out when you have time.

Aircraft fueling? That seems to become the easiest thing in aviation ever (yes, even easier than flight planning software). Here is our brand new RocketRoute Fuel app, which is not even the app, but the new way how customers will interact with aircraft fueling companies in the age of new economy:

  1. Choose the Airport
  2. Click & Book
  3. Pay & Fuel your Aircraft

Yes, that is simple enough, no need to stop here, let’s go on.

4. A short way is not always the optimal one.

Distance is not always the only attribute of most convenient and cheap flight route. Imagine that you are flying from point A to B and you have three different options for your trip (actually, the waypoints and airways you may choose for your flight). If the first option seems to be the shortest one, will you definitely choose it without any doubts? Yes? Well, that’s wrong, saving 5 minutes of flight sometimes may cost you some extra dollars. Check out Bill Cox’s (experienced pilot and flight planning expert) real case that illustrates it all out:

“On the 650 nm leg from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Wick, U.K., there are two typical routes. The most direct and the one most pilots are encouraged to file takes the aircraft through three FIRs (Flight Information Regions): Iceland, Shanwick and Scottish. If you file that trip, you’ll save about five to seven minutes in Shanwick airspace, but you’ll spend an extra $170 in airways fees for the privilege. If you file for Reykjavik direct to 60N 10W and then direct to Wick, you’ll extend your trip by about 20 miles, but you’ll only operate in two FIRs, Iceland and Scottish, and you’ll save that $170.”

That’s how it works, so keep it in mind, or just use RocketRoute Flight Planning Software for most convenient flight optimization.

Have your own tips and tricks? Mail to us, let’s share them with everyone!


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