How does one file an IFR round robin flight plan?

Tried Voyager, AOPA flight planner and DUAT to no avail.

Want to go KMBO KGLH KMBO do either a visual or instrument approach at KGLH touch and go and fly back home 13Z tomorrow morning. DUATS kicked out my “route of flight” of KGLH as invalid so that field must be only for NAV fixes would be my guess and not airports? I didn’t try the GLH VOR.

Called DUAT support and they said round robins could not be filed through them.

Called FSS, they put it in and he stated it’s filed. I asked what they did, he never really did say though depending on the airport, some require a second flight plan for the return trip. So what does one think he did he do that he wouldn’t divulge to me that I should / could have done in DUATS?

Hope by 12Z I see on Flight aware origin KMBO destination KMBO and route of KGLH is what I hope…

If not, will just refile two plans, one each way and ask Memphis Center if they have my second flight plan in their system as I get closer but one would think I would be able to file a round robin without FSS?

It’d be nice if cfijames would chime in on this one from an instructor’s perspective… But I would think that you could electronic file KMBO…GLH…KMBO round robin and advise ZME and KGLH tower of your intentions. Or, file two flight plans with the first segment terminated by KGLH tower and then the return FP activated by KGLH tower. Either way, with good communication of intent with the controlling authorities I imagine they would be accommodating…

We file Round-Robins for nearly every flight. … /KGJT/KGJT
We avoid DUATS because it limits the number of Lat/Lon points we can put in and about 10% of the time our plan doesn’t make it through the system. Unfortunatly Lockheed has made the FSS nearly as troublesome as DUATS.

File to the VOR or approach fix, then home and notify ATC of your intentions. Or as you noted file two plans and during the approach let ATC know that you plan a missed w/ a climb out on the return plan. Military will due this often. IFR XC to an airport, VFR patterns then 2nd IFR home.

Boeing files two plans when they come through here on maiden flights. Usually when they’re doing the second to last approach they pick up the clearance back to Seattle. They’re given a new squawk code and told to switch to it as they go missed on their last approach.

1st leg

2nd leg

Thanks all for the replies. As 185Driver and azav8r sez, looks like FSS put in the GLH VOR for my route which turns out to be my initial approach fix anyway based on forecasted winds… … /KMBO/KMBO

I will try this next time myself, and use an initial approach fix based on the prevailing wind forecast.

I figure it will be easier this way, using one flight plan and telling center what I want in the air rather then having to activate a second plan.

If it doesn’t work easy enough today or causes any confusion, will just do two plans in the future.

What we have been doing around here (KCLL and Houston Center) is using Duats and putting KMBO, in your case, in the departure and destination fields. Put KGLH in the route box and “PLA” (practice low approaches) in the remarks box.

Seems to work ok for us. It’s pretty much what was stated before, I doubt it matters whether you use the airport or the approach fix as the route.


Your round trip shenanigans resulted a strange ETA, which led to the dreaded flight result unknown because we didn’t accept the arrival message. I suppose I can have someone fix that for you.

This happens on N136DH & N101AJ often. I always assumed it was due to the time of day/night that we flew. Maybe not?

Way to go Allen. :unamused: Screwing up FA again… First the forums, and now the tracking system itself… :stuck_out_tongue:

The roundtrips seem to cause issues with ETMS predicting the arrival time. At time X, ETMS will tell us the flight is active and the ETA is nearly an hour earlier than time X.

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: or nah nannah nannah.

Somebody has to be the “mess up” in the crowd so why not me :confused:

Anyhooo, no problems with ATC comms.

Picking up my clearance on the ground, C&D seemed a little confused and once I confirmed it was a round robin, I was cleared the entire route to and from Madison.

Once I contacted center after leaving KJAN approach, they asked me if I wanted an approach or what my intentions were, so it was sure was easy enough to request the ILS 18L in Greenville. They passed it on to the next sector and handoffs went smoothly.

I didn’t request an altitude on my return and was surprised Memphis wanted me at 7000 for such a short trip but I wasn’t complaining, air was cool and smooth as can be…

Had an instrument student pilot in the right seat, and with him used to VFR flying, he enjoyed the trip immensely being able to reach out and touch some clouds.

Of course, video forthcoming later on :smiley:

I see it’s fixed. Thanks Mark!

Altimeter between KJAN and KGLH was .12 difference which I hope explains my altitude deviations.

Otherwise my Mode C may need to head to the shop :open_mouth:

Pretty big change for such a short distance and also explains the healthy winds we are getting for this time of the year.

Problem I encountered bataza was that DUAT would not accept the airport in the route field, which makes me think it must be a NAV fix.

**This may be a difference in DUAT and DUATS ** especially if you say DUATS allows airports in the route field.??? Support person for DUAT said my experience was to be expected, that DUAT doesn’t like round robin.

Yep, significant difference that “S” at the end makes. I guess you could consider getting an account with duats for your round robin flights. Although, it was a pain to get it set up when I did it 7 years ago. Maybe that has improved… :unamused:


Or you could just call them and tell them its a a round robin flight when you file. That’s what I had my students do. That way GOD forbid if anything happened at least it was on a recording that they called got a wx breifing and filed a FP.

Is it / could it be different for round robin VFR flight plans since a strip is not generated to ATC??? Assuming of course you are talking about a VFR student?

I did exactly what you said above by calling FSS, but if you look at my route in the link, FSS put the VOR not the airport.

I went IFR of course due to weather conditions.

Have you tried dropping the ‘K’ from your airports all together? The ATC system drops them anyway. Our computer will let us use airports as waypoints, so maybe DUAT(S) will too.

If it works, the best way to go is file MBO GLH MBO with a remark “LOW APP AT GLH” then advise the approach controller what approach you want.

Side note . . . if you can file a domestic flight plan without lat/longs in it, leave them out. There are certain cases when the FAA system won’t accept a route without them, but most of the time MSN 4420N/08831W ATW is exactly the same as MSN ATW, and it saves some time on longer routes (on the ATC side).

Hmm, good possibiity, but how would the plan differentiate between the VOR GLH and the airport KGLH if I file the plan for clearance purposes? I ask this question as I would hope the strip comes out clear and concise before I contact clearance and delivery. No doubt, even if I do everything text book right, I realize I would be clarifying it anyway based on Friday’s experience.

As you can see from my last track, there is quite a bit a distance between the two for approach planning purposes … OC+RWY+18L

For MBO assuming of course if DUAT allows me to drop the K, that would work, but airports that have a corresponding VOR as a nav fix (KJAN and JAN) may be a problem??? Thinking out loud of course that DUAT may come back with MBO as an invalid fix for a starting point? I think that FSS did exactly what you said above, but not sure what they put for my beginning and destination (K vs no K) but for sure they used the GLH VOR for my route indication on Flight Aware.

If weather cooperates this Friday (early extended outlook not so favorable), I plan to try and do the same thing with another airport maybe without a corresponding fix with a similar name, and will play with the DUAT the evening before. If it doesn’t work with DUAT, will check out DUATS and see if I can get Bataza’s experiences to work for me.

May I suggest KTUP, VOR is OTB?
Or, if you still want to play with similar names, MEI/KMEI?
Maybe do both on a multi-airport round robin. Like KMBO-OTB-MEI-KMBO?

The flight strip doesn’t differentiate between the VOR and the airport with the same identifier. Even if you file KMBO GLH KMBO, the strip will still say MBO GLH MBO.

The first fix in the route is the departure airport or the point that the clearance begins . . . if you call approach for a clearance over XXX VOR, ATC will figure out that you’re not on the ground at XXX Airport and the flight will begin as if you took off from the airport instead of picked up the clearance in the air.

None of the waypoints in the middle are assumed by ATC to be airports unless the airport identifier is used (for example, ETB is the West Bend, WI airport, but BJB is the West Bend VOR). If you file a route including GRB, FAR, or SYR, ATC assumes it’s the VOR, not the airport, that you’re navigating to. But, if you tell ATC you want to shoot an approach at GRB, FAR, or SYR, the controller will coordinate down the line so you can do that. It’s really easy . . . If you’re flying through, say, MSN approach airspace, just tell the controller you’d like to do the ILS approach to runway 21 (or whatever), then continue on your way . . . traffic permitting, they’ll set you up to do it.

The last identifier on the strip is your clearance limit, assumed to be the destination airport, but it can be a VOR or other fix if you want. If you tell me on clearance delivery that you want to cancel over the ABC VOR, I’ll put “CNCL OVER ABC” in the remarks . . . down the line, the controller should ask you what it is you want to do and proceed from there.

Should you have a communication issue, you’re probably not going to shoot any practice approaches anyway, and unless it was verbally coordinated already, ATC will be expecting you to get to GLH, then make a 180 back to MBO or start flying towards known VFR conditions.