Short (0-100nm) IFR GA Flights


Q1. How do you plan (a Nav Log) for this type of flight in light of ATC vectoring?

I’ve been flying a few short (0-30nm) IFR flights on FSX Demo. (FSX is way better than FS2004.) Compiling an accurate Nav Log is virtually impossible unless you know how ATC is going to vector you. Im assuming here that FSX approach is the same as real world approach. It seemed to me that they over do it even when I filed /G.
(Ex. … /KPAE/KPWT … /KPWT/KPAE) But when I look at other tracks, it seems FSX does it just about right.
Does this have to do with the orientation of the runways? (i.e. If two runways are inline with each other (such as KPAE and KSEA), your approach will be more direct.)

Q2. Lieberma, I notice that your flights are pretty much direct. How come? Doesnt KJAN traffic interfere? Also, your track log usually ends at 2000 MSL. Is this because FlightAware cant track you or because you cancel IFR at DUHAB, AKALY, JAN, or some other place?


ATC vectors depend pretty much on airline flow in the area.

Here is a real world flight plan for you - first what I filed, then what I got, and then what I flew -

  1. KMIV-KIJD - Leeah departure, Leeah V1 JFK V229 BDR HFD

  2. Cleared as filed- after departure, on the climb out, I get the change - routing is direct CYN V16 JFK V229 BDR MAD ORW direct - maintaiin 5000 [look up the TECs over JFK]

  3. after JFK I get a climb to 7000. after PUGG get cleared MAD direct.

after getting leaving the Class B airspace, I get cleared direct MAD V475 GON ORW direct destination. If the winds are from the east, and I’m IFR I’ll TELL NY Approach that my IAF is over HFD and their routing takes me about 100nm out of the way. They’ll usually then amend the route to HFD after PUGGS, but that is on the fly.

  1. What I fly 95% of the time over that routing is CYN V1 JFK V229 PUGGS Direct HFD Direct. I just program that in the 430 and then keep the other flight plan in case I do not get the re-route as I am coming up on PUGGS.

The guys need to tell me what the computer tells them. One guy told me on a quiet sunday evening to ignore the clearance he just read to me since after I left the class B @ PUGGS the next controller would clear me direct MAD and then direct HFD when I cleared the departures, but the clearance is there for NORDO, not for actually flying it.

Only in New york . . .



As you duly noted, I file direct /G.

Coming from the south in my initial approach phase, I will get vectored 10 degrees off heading for traffic, other then that I get direct.

From the north, my desenct is much more gradual then coming from the south. When I pass KJAN from the south, it’s not unusual for approach to keep me above 3000 for traffic and then slam dunk me once I am passed the approach corridor of KJAN.

2000 is usually the altitude I am released from approach controllers to contact CTAF for advisories. As you can see, I cancel IFR at that point thus my tracks end at 2000.

Go to … /KRNV/KMBO and in this flight, I held my IFR to wheels down since it was IFR conditions.

I usually select the VOR Alpha approach since the approach minimums are lower then either of the GPS approaches. … /KMCB/KMBO would have been the VOR Alpha approach from the south. On this flight looking at my log book, I had annotated 1600 ceilings so I am not sure why my track log stopped at 2000 as I would have held on my IFR til the wheels touched terra firma.

I do remember on this flight, that I received an amendment to my clearance going from MCB V9 JAN.

I find the higher I fly, the better the chance I get direct this neck of the woods.



This is something that we need Congress to understand sooner rather than later. If the system were set up to treat us all the same, the airlines would be right to demand changes, but the whole system we have now is set up almost exclusively for their needs.


I used to tell my students, after they finally completed the NavLog after an hour of working on it, that what you file isn’t always what you get (especially when making up your own routing). And that they are bound to get changes anyway, so all that work was for crap, save for making sure you have enough fuel.