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Flight Plan Rules

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:00 pm
by alphaLaura
My two friends and I were flying from a Class C airfield today and landing at a Class G (licensed) airfield. We didn't file a flight plan, as per normal. After take-off, ATC asked us whether we had a flight plan filed - we said no as we were under the impression that it wasn't needed for our trip to a Class G airfield.

But apparently this has been implemented since 2 weeks ago - you must file a flight plan from C->G if the G airfield is more than 25nm from the C airfield.

I completely missed this in any AIP updates o_O Anybody else encounter it during the last couple of weeks?

Class 'c'

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:13 pm
by hum
I believe that anytime you fly in Class 'C' airspace you should in theory have a flight plan. You opt to keep it open or close it as you please on leaving at the boundary if your destination is outside controlled airspace and you don't need a plan for any other reason (eg crossing an international boundary, going IFR, flying at night, > XX miles offshore etc).

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:20 pm
by tally1
As always what i write is open to contradiction but for what its worth...

Hum is correct ANY time you are departing from, arriving into, or flying thru class C you need a flightplan or to put it simply for any flight in controlled airspace. As you leave class C (laterally or vertical) it is then your choice whether you want to close or leave open your flight plan and the protection this gives you and also the responsibility to remember to close it. as far as i am aware the whole class C to G airfield thing and more than 25nm away is poppycock as the only rule is the flight in controlled airspace with or without airports a flightplan is needed rule. However many regionals especially with locally based club aircraft dont bother with the requirement so the aren't overwhelmed with 16 flightplans for the one airplane. As most of the regionals are not connected to the AFTN system if you file a flightplan with the AIS the regional wont know that you have filed a plan until Shannon ATC ring to tell them you are on the way.

Again on this i am open to contradiction but unlike what Hum says if you do cross an international boundary a flight plan is necessary and is indeed compulsory.

And again if you fly at night vfr this can only be done in a control zone with a special vfr clearance and as such a flight plan is necessary.

Hope this is informative and helpful..if not sorry :oops:

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:31 pm
by Dogbiscuit
Most regional airport's will accept a flight plan over the radio for exit from Class C to Class G.

They usually ask for POB, elapsed time in CTR, fuel endurance,brief details of your flight and max.altitude.

You should close it at the CTR Boundary. If you require a flight watch beyond the CTR then file a full flight plan with ARO Shannon.

That 25nm new rule sounds like rubbish.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:24 pm
by alphaLaura
Thank you all for the replies - and for reinstating what I had already believed.

Just as an example, if I'm flying Waterford to Kilkenny, I file a local flight plan and close it at the EIWF zone boundary. They have already asked if I am returning later on, so they know I'll be calling them at Thomastown for permission to enter the zone.

Today, we were told that we had to file a flight plan because the class G airfield was >25nm away from the class C airfield. ATC very reluctantly filed it for us as we made the outward journey.

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:08 am
by tally1
yeah atc can be funny about these things. You are correct in in all you said regard to the eiwf to eikl flight and closing at the boundary. The only thing i can think of is that you do need a flight plan to enter class c and as you said you were going to be heading back to eiwf then maybe they wanted a flight plan to keep it kosher from their (and maybe yours too!) point of view. As for the 25nm mile distance still think its poppycock and ive never heard of it but you live and learn in this game. Having said that it might be interesting to ask them what regulation this is..could be a local one to eiwf especailly for keeping an eye on all the training traffic.

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:30 am
by Pilot
A flight plan is needed for all flights through controlled airspace in Ireland. I suspect what is happening here, is that EIWF are allowing local flights with something less than a flight plan, but are insisting on a flight plan if it's not a local flight.

That of course does beg the question what are they accepting for local flights, if it's not a flight plan over the radio, and what authority to they have to do that?

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:08 pm
by alphaLaura
Just to point out: I wasn't actually travelling from EIWF yesterday morning when ATC said this. It was another class C airport... And seeing as how there aren't many of them in Ireland, well, you get the idea...

I must try flying from EIWF to some class G field and see what ATC say to me.

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:03 pm
by airoshane
I was the PIC of that flight with Flyer1 and AlphaLaura. I was personally shocked by the procedure.

ATC were quite smart when they asked me for my flightplan. I replied and said I didn't hear anything about this new rule. ATC tried to burst my bubble and said that they personally told the company about this rule. I get the impression that he confused me for an instructor. I am not part of the company that owns and runs the aircraft, I simply rented it for a short trip. I got this lecture from both tower and approach. I had to literally beg approach to help us. Eventually this controller said he'd ring shannon for us but he wasn't happy.

Usually ATC at this airport are quite helpful, even when it is very busy. ATC really wanted to make a point and decided to "burn" me on a busy frequency. It was like my air law exam all over again.
The company that owns the aircraft also has 4 other aircraft based at that airport, perhaps they were getting fed up of the company not knowing about this rule so they took it out on me!

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:25 pm
by tally1
"Usually ATC at this airport are quite helpful, even when it is very busy. ATC really wanted to make a point and decided to "burn" me on a busy frequency. It was like my air law exam all over again.
The company that owns the aircraft also has 4 other aircraft based at that airport, perhaps they were getting fed up of the company not knowing about this rule so they took it out on me!"

Oh dear! its not very nice when atc "burn" you on frequency and it really shouldnt be done and it could have waited til and should have waited til you were on the ground-they could have givin you a phone number to ring after landing.

Having said that no flight plan in controlled airspace probably wouldnt make atc too inclined to help you out if the mood took them. As pilot said they probably have been accepting aircraft without flightplans especially when stayin within their area or out to 30 odd miles or so which they cover but if you are going further than that then you leave the bit they are responsible for and have to coordinate with shannon who if they dont have a flight plan may very quickly tell you no entry into class C. So how do you get back if you havent filed a flightplan?

I think i see where this 25-35nm rule is coming from...its probably related to corks area of responsability which does go out to 25 to 30 miles and i reckon if you are staying within this for your flight they couldnt be ar*sed dealing with all the flight plans all the training flights would generate for 'local' training sorties but if you venture past this then they probably need a full flight plan filed.

Hope the shock has worn off!

I take it its cork we are talking about alpha laura and aeroshane?

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:28 pm
by Pilot
I think that sort of approach from ATC is very unprofessional.

I can see why they might be upset if people are taking advantage of a local concession, but take it out on someone over the R/T is seriously unhelpful. You say that they may have mistaken you for an instructor. I take, as far as ATC knew, you could have been a student on a solo cross country either.

How would a student on a first solo cross country take a bashing from ATC on departure? How would affect their subsequent decision making?

Highly unprofessional. It would have been far safer to has asked you to call them once on the ground. Then they could have figured out what the reason was that you departed without a flight plan, and if necessary, then complained about it.

If I was you I would ring them up afterwords. Not to complain, but simply to let them know that you didn't know why they were getting upset, and ask for clarification. They should realise themselves at that point, that they've barked the wrong person out of it on the R/T. If you can't get the ATC person themselves, ask for the duty manager.

There is one thing that I don't understand in all of this. How did ATC ever let you get airborne? Presumably they needed to know what your intension's were before departure, so as to know which direction to send you. At this point it should have become clear that your flight wouldn't be eligible for their local procedure, and that you'd need a flight plan. So why did they let you depart without one?

ATC are guilty of mistakes here too.

I think a friendly call to ATC is in order to figure out what went wrong from both sides.


Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:29 pm
by Dogbiscuit
I have checked the latest version of the AIP/AICs and Notams no mention of the 25nm rule that has been suggeted to you.

You should ring the Class C involved and ask for further info.

Or if you are based at a Class C (EIWF) ring ATC there and ask, they won't have any problem pointing you in the right direction.

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:00 pm
by Yahweh
There is no 25nm rule. Don't know where WF got that one from. Maybe they were just having a bad day. That said if you are leaving or entering class C airspace the onus is on you to have a flight plan filed. Its shows bad airmanship to think otherwise. I'm still suprised by the amount of pilots who get airborne in class C with no flight plan filed and then think that ATC are gonna be happy about it. Its certainly not a lot of effort to either e-mail or ring ais and doesn't usually take more than a few mins. In class G you can do what you want and we don't give a s*** but in C show that at least some of that training did'nt go to waste and file your plan preferably before you get airborne or at least in good time.

P.S. I agree with you as regards EIWF eating you out over the comms. It was most certainly unprofessional and shows a lack of consideration on their part.

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:42 am
by Lambada Crazy
Just to point out: I wasn't actually travelling from EIWF yesterday

Can you please all stop blaming waterford, it has already been stated that alphalaura was NOT travelling from EIWF!!!!!!!!

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:10 am
by MarBergi
Was it EIKN??

AIP - EIKN AD 2.22 FLIGHT PROCEDURES wrote:Arriving aircraft to call no later than 25 DME CON from EIKN.

Link - ... IKN_en.pdf - Go to page 9 section 2.22