Yes you can file using FRD (fixed Radial Distance) waypoints of your own liking. It is useful for nearly direct routing that needs to wiggle a little to deal with airspace, TFRs, etc… However if an existing fix is nearby it is better to use it.
We file LAT/LON for survey work because our survey points are never matched up w/ a fix. It works great here in North America where ATC can use LAT/LON or convert it to FRD using a VOR of there choice. Most controllers that I know prefer Radial/DME definition of waypoints. In Europe we convert the LAT/LON to Radial/DME but with multiple VORs to pick from its a guessing game as to which one ATC would prefer to reference from.
In the end we it’s the same once we hear “cleared as filed”.
To reaffirm what 185driver sez above, I was going to ask how does one file FRD so figure to check in DUATS before asking and came up with the following from their help screen. (note last bullet)
Route of Flight
Enter your Route of Flight without repeating your Departure or Destination Airports. You may use NAVAIDs, Jet and Victor Airways, SIDs, STARs, Latitude/Longitude, and Fix-Radial-Distances. Separate each element with a space.
Except when filing a flight plan (domestic or ICAO) you may enter your route in either DOMESTIC format or ICAO format. If you are filing a domestic or ICAO flight plan, enter the route in that format.
When transitioning between two airways, (e.g. V3 to V318) the system will require you to enter the name of the fix where the transition will occur if it is a published fix: “V3 HUL V318”. If, however, the airways cross at an unnamed intersection, the system will accept the two airways without entering the name of the fix between them: “V318 V400”.
ICAO Format Routes
In ICAO format, fixes (which includes NAVAIDs and latitude/longitude points) must be separated from each other by “DCT” (which indicates a direct navigation between the two fixes). Do not enter “DCT” between Fix-Radial-Distances or Latitude/Longitudes.
Latitude/Longitude points in ICAO format do not include the / character and MUST include the hemisphere information (N/S, E/W). ICAO format also accepts latitude/longitude in either whole degrees or degrees and minutes:
* 3349N09640W 0130S17833E
* 30N075W 32N077W 34N079W
o Direct route from Departure airport to Destination airport:
o Using NAVAID's (direct route between NAVAID's is assumed):
ACY MXE DQO LRP
o Using Airways (enter the Junction Fix between Airways, if known):
OAK V195 ECA V244 NICOL
o Latitude/Longitude using Domestic format:
CVE 3349N/09640W 3448N/09640W 3612N/09547W GNP
o Latitude/Longitude using ICAO format:
DCT CVE DCT 3349N09640W 3612N09547W DCT GNP DCT
o Latitude/Longitude in degrees only using ICAO format:
DCT CVE DCT 34N097W 36N096W DCT GNP DCT
o **Using a Fix-Radial-Distance (radial 045 from ADM at 15 NM)
CVE ADM045015 IRW**
Just to add one more thing.
In the US the ATC computer likes to have at least one waypoint in each centers airspace so each center’s computer can figure out where the airplane is supposed to go next. Apparently LA centers computer has no idea where some VOR in NY is but can figure out lat/long. or FRD IF the VOR is in its own or an adjacent centers airspace.
In Europe doing the type of specialized flying 185driver does requires a little more work from the controller while doing a manual handoff, something they just don’t like to do. For more normal flights they really like you to file airways or at the worst short distance direct routes. It’s all but mandatory to cross an FIR boundary on an airway since the ATC computers still don’t talk to each other between countries. Again in 185s type of flying direct is possible to do but only in those kinds of special cases.
In the Middle East filing flight plans on airways is mandatory, direct is not permitted except on a tactical basis after you are already airborne and then never across boundaries.
Hmmm… wonder if something is happening when the planes get picked up by a new ARTCC radar, and out of range of the old one…?
I’ve noticed the same kind of thing happen sometimes lately, right about the area where LA Center hands the flight off to Albuquerque Ctr. Today, I’m closely watching AAL226 cuz the gf is on it. So far so good as she passes by KSAF.