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-   -   Canadian IFR/VFR Flight Plan (http://www.aviationbanter.com/showthread.php?t=18031)

gwengler August 9th 04 03:00 PM

Canadian IFR/VFR Flight Plan
 
David Megginson wrote in message le.rogers.com...
Andrew Sarangan wrote:

I understand that ATC opens and closes VFR flight plans. Lets say I file an
IFR flight plan. ATC comes back with a routing I don't like. I decline the
IFR clearance and decide go VFR. Could I ask ATC to change the IFR flight
plan to a VFR flight plan? Or, do I have to file a separate VFR flight
plan, and call them back to activate the VFR flight plan?


Yes, if you cancel IFR, Canadian ATC will give you the option of changing
the rest of your flight plan to VFR.


David,

I believe that is incorrect. If I remember correctly, you have to
file an entire new VFR flight plan. It is not possible to "convert"
IFR into "VFR". Some years ago, I flew at night IFR from Regina to
Saskatoon, got into icing conditions halfway, turn back to VMC and
than had to air-file a complete new VFR flight plan.

Gerd Wengler
ATP

David Megginson August 9th 04 03:20 PM

gwengler wrote:

Yes, if you cancel IFR, Canadian ATC will give you the option of changing
the rest of your flight plan to VFR.


I believe that is incorrect. If I remember correctly, you have to
file an entire new VFR flight plan. It is not possible to "convert"
IFR into "VFR". Some years ago, I flew at night IFR from Regina to
Saskatoon, got into icing conditions halfway, turn back to VMC and
than had to air-file a complete new VFR flight plan.


Possibly because of a route change? Here's what the AIP says about the
issue (RAC 3.12.2):

When flying IFR, use of the phrase "Cancelling IFR" results in ATC
discontinuing the provision of IFR separation, but it does not
automatically close the flight plan or flight itinerary. Therefore,
alerting service with regards to search and rescue notification is still
active and is based upon the information submitted in the original flight
plan or itinerary. Because the pilot is now flying in accordance with
Visual Flight Rules (VFR), the flight plan or itinerary must either be
closed prior to landing, or an arrival report filed after landing, with an
air traffic control unit, a flight service station or a community
aerodrome station.

Normally, I cancel IFR only when I'm close to my destination and want to
avoid a lot of vectoring around for IFR separation, but when I have
cancelled earlier in a flight, ATC has asked me explicitly if I wanted to
keep my search-and-rescue time (i.e. convert to a VFR flight plan).


All the best,


David

gwengler August 9th 04 07:52 PM

David Megginson wrote in message . net.cable.rogers.com...
gwengler wrote:

Yes, if you cancel IFR, Canadian ATC will give you the option of changing
the rest of your flight plan to VFR.


I believe that is incorrect. If I remember correctly, you have to
file an entire new VFR flight plan. It is not possible to "convert"
IFR into "VFR". Some years ago, I flew at night IFR from Regina to
Saskatoon, got into icing conditions halfway, turn back to VMC and
than had to air-file a complete new VFR flight plan.


Possibly because of a route change? Here's what the AIP says about the
issue (RAC 3.12.2):

When flying IFR, use of the phrase "Cancelling IFR" results in ATC
discontinuing the provision of IFR separation, but it does not
automatically close the flight plan or flight itinerary. Therefore,
alerting service with regards to search and rescue notification is still
active and is based upon the information submitted in the original flight
plan or itinerary. Because the pilot is now flying in accordance with
Visual Flight Rules (VFR), the flight plan or itinerary must either be
closed prior to landing, or an arrival report filed after landing, with an
air traffic control unit, a flight service station or a community
aerodrome station.

Normally, I cancel IFR only when I'm close to my destination and want to
avoid a lot of vectoring around for IFR separation, but when I have
cancelled earlier in a flight, ATC has asked me explicitly if I wanted to
keep my search-and-rescue time (i.e. convert to a VFR flight plan).


All the best,


David


David,

I don't want to be just controversial or too hairsplitting; however, I
think you seem to believe that keeping your search and rescue portion
of the flight plan constitutes flying under a flight plan or flight
itinerary after having "cancelled IFR". Nowhere in the paragraph
cited by you does it say that your IFR flight plan is now converted
into a VFR flight plan. To be hairsplittingly correct, there would be
some ambiguity, for example, in equipment codes: You are not "G"
under IFR, but legally "G" under VFR using your handheld GPS.
The case described by you is of course the most common. I almost
always cancel IFR shortly before I arrive at an uncontrolled airport
and usually cancel the search and rescue portion as well. Your
statement "ATC has asked me explicitly if I wanted to keep my
search-and-rescue time (i.e. convert to a VFR flight plan).", however,
is simply incorrect. The "conversion" is not taking place. This is
not at all relevant for day-to-day real life flying but it is relevant
in the case experienced by me where I cancelled IFR about one hour
before ETA. The routing and all other information was exactly the
same IFR and VFR. Without re-filing in the air I would have been in
contravention of CAR 602.73 (2):
"No pilot-in-command shall operate an aircraft in VFR flight unless a
VFR flight plan or a VFR flight itinerary has been filed, except where
the flight is conducted within 25 nautical miles of the departure
aerodrome."

Anyone cares to comment about this from a US perspective?

Gerd

David Megginson August 9th 04 08:39 PM

gwengler wrote:

Without re-filing in the air I would have been in
contravention of CAR 602.73 (2):
"No pilot-in-command shall operate an aircraft in VFR flight unless a
VFR flight plan or a VFR flight itinerary has been filed, except where
the flight is conducted within 25 nautical miles of the departure
aerodrome."


This passage from Transport Canada's Instrument Procedures Manual (TP
2076E), section 4.1.7 clarifies it a bit:

A pilot may cancel the IFR flight plan or change to a VFR flight plan
provided the aircraft is operating in VFR weather conditions, and is
outside Class A or B airspace. Where conditions permit the remainder of a
flight to be conducted in accordance with VFR, and the pilot so chooses,
the pilot may notify ATC by:

a/ cancelling the IFR flight plan - CANCEL IFR FLIGHT PLAN; or

b/ converting the IFR flight plan - CHANGE FLIGHT PLAN TO VFR.

Only an acknowledgement should be expected when either of the above
messages is transmitted. To convert to a VFR Flight Plan, the pilot must
contact the appropriate flight service station to airfile a VFR Flight
Plan if any other flight plan changes are required.

I just called the London FIC to double-check. They told me that after you
cancel IFR you have an almost-normal VFR flight plan, except for the fact
that it will be ACC rather than FSS that has to alert S&R if you do not
arrive on time. They said that you might run into one tricky problem if
you're flying through Montreal or Ottawa terminal airspace, however --
Montreal and Ottawa want to know the squawk codes for all aircraft flying
through before first contact: if you file an IFR flight plan, terminal has a
(virtual) slip for you, of course, and if you file a VFR flight plan, flight
services calls Quebec FIC and *tells* them your code so that they can pass
it on to terminal. If you switch to VFR in the air, however, terminal won't
have your slip or a phone call from FSS, so people sometimes run into
trouble flying VFR though those two terminal areas if the pilot does not
check in with FSS after cancelling IFR -- it's a little hole in the ACC/FSS
procedures right now, probably because the required squawk codes for VFR is
a very new thing.

Without re-filing in the air I would have been in
contravention of CAR 602.73 (2):
"No pilot-in-command shall operate an aircraft in VFR flight unless a
VFR flight plan or a VFR flight itinerary has been filed, except where
the flight is conducted within 25 nautical miles of the departure
aerodrome."


I don't think so. Even if you didn't want to call it a VFR flight *plan*,
you have a responsible party (ACC, no less) who knows your expected time of
arrival and will put out an alert if you don't show up: that qualifies as a
VFR flight itinerary and still satisfies the CAR.


All the best,


David


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