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When does IFR begin in VFR?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 7th 05, 02:36 AM
Wizard of Draws
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Default When does IFR begin in VFR?

I took a short XC today after a layoff of a few months due to real life
constraints and weather. I filed IFR even though it was VFR because I wanted
to get back into the groove of communicating with ATC.
I filed for 5000 going east. On the ground, they told me it would be faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.

I was at 5500 when I finally got through since I was VFR, but all I was
given initially was a squawk code with no altitude assignment or clearance.
I assumed that I was IFR at this point so I began to descend to 5000 per my
flight plan. As I did I asked ATC if he had an altitude assignment, and he
came back with 6000, cleared direct. No problem, I pull back up and fly as
I'm told.

So, was I IFR as soon as I was given a squawk and required to fly my flight
plan, or should I have waited to change from a VFR altitude to an IFR
altitude until I was given specific instructions?
--
Jeff 'The Wizard of Draws' Bucchino

Cartoons with a Touch of Magic
http://www.wizardofdraws.com

More Cartoons with a Touch of Magic
http://www.cartoonclipart.com

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  #2  
Old February 7th 05, 02:58 AM
Stan Prevost
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Hi, Jeff -

You are not under IFR until you have received an IFR clearance including the
words "cleared to". If you departed VFR (without an IFR clearance and
release), you are not IFR and must obey VF Rules. Once airborne, you
contact ATC with something like "ABC Approach (or center), N1234 off Podunk
Field, IFR to Niceville, request clearance." They will assign you a squawk
code, wait to identify you on radar, then give you your clearance and
instructions (inlcuding altitude). Until then, you maintain VFR, including
altitude.

But see http://www.avweb.com/news/columns/189034-1.html .

Stan


"Wizard of Draws" wrote in message
news:BE2C303C.4C813%[email protected] aws.com...
I took a short XC today after a layoff of a few months due to real life
constraints and weather. I filed IFR even though it was VFR because I
wanted
to get back into the groove of communicating with ATC.
I filed for 5000 going east. On the ground, they told me it would be
faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.

I was at 5500 when I finally got through since I was VFR, but all I was
given initially was a squawk code with no altitude assignment or
clearance.
I assumed that I was IFR at this point so I began to descend to 5000 per
my
flight plan. As I did I asked ATC if he had an altitude assignment, and he
came back with 6000, cleared direct. No problem, I pull back up and fly as
I'm told.

So, was I IFR as soon as I was given a squawk and required to fly my
flight
plan, or should I have waited to change from a VFR altitude to an IFR
altitude until I was given specific instructions?
--
Jeff 'The Wizard of Draws' Bucchino

Cartoons with a Touch of Magic
http://www.wizardofdraws.com

More Cartoons with a Touch of Magic
http://www.cartoonclipart.com



  #3  
Old February 7th 05, 03:11 AM
Ron Rosenfeld
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On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 20:36:12 -0500, Wizard of Draws
wrote:

So, was I IFR as soon as I was given a squawk and required to fly my flight
plan, or should I have waited to change from a VFR altitude to an IFR
altitude until I was given specific instructions?


The salient items of a clearance that tell you you are operating under IFR
a
1. Clearance Limit
2. Route (which could be "as filed")
3. Altitude


You did state that the plan was to "open your flight plan in the air".

If your only conversation with ATC went as you report:

=======================
Jeff: XYZ approach, N123WD
ATC: N123WD, squawk 5547
======================

Then at the time you were given a squawk code, you were still operating
under VFR. You had not received any clearance from ATC.


Ron (EPM) (N5843Q, Mooney M20E) (CP, ASEL, ASES, IA)
  #4  
Old February 7th 05, 03:46 AM
Roy Smith
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Wizard of Draws wrote:

I took a short XC today after a layoff of a few months due to real life
constraints and weather. I filed IFR even though it was VFR because I wanted
to get back into the groove of communicating with ATC.
I filed for 5000 going east. On the ground, they told me it would be faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.

I was at 5500 when I finally got through since I was VFR, but all I was
given initially was a squawk code with no altitude assignment or clearance.
I assumed that I was IFR at this point so I began to descend to 5000 per my
flight plan. As I did I asked ATC if he had an altitude assignment, and he
came back with 6000, cleared direct. No problem, I pull back up and fly as
I'm told.

So, was I IFR as soon as I was given a squawk and required to fly my flight
plan, or should I have waited to change from a VFR altitude to an IFR
altitude until I was given specific instructions?


You're IFR when you hear the magic words "cleared to". When the controller
first gave you squawk code, you were still VFR. He wanted to get you in
radar contact before issuing your clearance (so he didn't have to apply
non-radar separation rules). I assume when you wrote, "6000, cleared
direct", it really sounded more like, "Cleared to the XYZ airport, via
direct, maintain 6000". Clearance limit, Route, Altitude, always in that
order (followed by Frequency and Transponder code, giving the popular CRAFT
acronym).

What confuses me is, "given a squawk and required to fly my flight plan".
In what way were you required to fly your flight plan? Until you are IFR,
the controller can't really require you to do much of anything (assuming
class E airspace).
  #5  
Old February 7th 05, 04:04 AM
A Lieberman
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On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 20:36:12 -0500, Wizard of Draws wrote:

I took a short XC today after a layoff of a few months due to real life
constraints and weather. I filed IFR even though it was VFR because I wanted
to get back into the groove of communicating with ATC.
I filed for 5000 going east. On the ground, they told me it would be faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.


Hi Jeff,

This happened to me once leaving KMBO with a ceiling of 2000. Controller
advised me that I could leave VFR and pick up my clearance when I contacted
approach. So, I departed per usual VFR rules, and when I contacted
approach, I said:

Jackson, 43 lima climbing through 700 feet out of Madison, ready to recieve
IFR clearance.

ATC came back and said, 43 Lima, cleared to Covington LA as filed, climb to
5000, squawk 1234. I think, by me saying "ready to receive clearance",
triggered the response. I read back my response, ATC responded read back
correct and off I went into the white wild yonder. I wasn't about to enter
any clouds without hearing the CRAFT response.

I was at 5500 when I finally got through since I was VFR, but all I was
given initially was a squawk code with no altitude assignment or clearance.


snip

So, was I IFR as soon as I was given a squawk and required to fly my flight
plan, or should I have waited to change from a VFR altitude to an IFR
altitude until I was given specific instructions?


I would suspect, until you hear "CRAFT" from ATC, you are still under VFR
rules.

Allen
  #6  
Old February 7th 05, 05:35 AM
Peter R.
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Wizard of Draws wrote:

On the ground, they told me it would be faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.


Hey, Jeff, since you received a lot of answers to your direct question, I
thought I'd take a different slant with your post. In response to the
above quote, consider this article:

http://www.avweb.com/news/columns/189034-1.html

This article, coupled with a "learning" experience I had last summer have
taught me to really ensure there are comfortable VFR conditions for many
miles surrounding the airport before I launch VFR expecting to pick up an
IFR clearance in the air.

Just something to consider for future flights.

--
Peter







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  #7  
Old February 7th 05, 02:50 PM
Roy Smith
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In article ,
"Peter R." wrote:

Wizard of Draws wrote:

On the ground, they told me it would be faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.


Hey, Jeff, since you received a lot of answers to your direct question, I
thought I'd take a different slant with your post. In response to the
above quote, consider this article:

http://www.avweb.com/news/columns/189034-1.html

This article, coupled with a "learning" experience I had last summer have
taught me to really ensure there are comfortable VFR conditions for many
miles surrounding the airport before I launch VFR expecting to pick up an
IFR clearance in the air.

Just something to consider for future flights.


The avweb article doesn't say who the pilot was talking to on the ground.
If it's FSS, I could see that happening.

On the other hand, small airports often have direct comm with ATC; the guy
you're talking to on the ground is the same guy you'll be talking to in the
air. In a situation like that, it's hard to see how things could get lost.
  #8  
Old February 7th 05, 03:07 PM
Peter R.
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Roy Smith wrote:

On the other hand, small airports often have direct comm with ATC;


True, but many airports in mountainous areas do not. These are the
airports where it might be tempting to depart VFR rather than wait 10 to 15
minutes for the inbound IFR arrival to land and cancel.

In good visibility, high ceiling weather, departing VFR wouldn't be an
issue. In marginal VFR weather where one might not be able to raise ATC in
the air without climbing into the clouds despite being told that one could,
it will be an issue. I discovered this butt clenching experience and I
won't do it again.

--
Peter







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----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
  #9  
Old February 7th 05, 03:08 PM
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Default

I could argue that "cleared to" is by itself insufficent. Even more significant
is to hear "maintain XXXXX altitude."

Roy Smith wrote:

Wizard of Draws wrote:

I took a short XC today after a layoff of a few months due to real life
constraints and weather. I filed IFR even though it was VFR because I wanted
to get back into the groove of communicating with ATC.
I filed for 5000 going east. On the ground, they told me it would be faster
if I took off VFR and opened my plan in the air, so I did.

I was at 5500 when I finally got through since I was VFR, but all I was
given initially was a squawk code with no altitude assignment or clearance.
I assumed that I was IFR at this point so I began to descend to 5000 per my
flight plan. As I did I asked ATC if he had an altitude assignment, and he
came back with 6000, cleared direct. No problem, I pull back up and fly as
I'm told.

So, was I IFR as soon as I was given a squawk and required to fly my flight
plan, or should I have waited to change from a VFR altitude to an IFR
altitude until I was given specific instructions?


You're IFR when you hear the magic words "cleared to". When the controller
first gave you squawk code, you were still VFR. He wanted to get you in
radar contact before issuing your clearance (so he didn't have to apply
non-radar separation rules). I assume when you wrote, "6000, cleared
direct", it really sounded more like, "Cleared to the XYZ airport, via
direct, maintain 6000". Clearance limit, Route, Altitude, always in that
order (followed by Frequency and Transponder code, giving the popular CRAFT
acronym).

What confuses me is, "given a squawk and required to fly my flight plan".
In what way were you required to fly your flight plan? Until you are IFR,
the controller can't really require you to do much of anything (assuming
class E airspace).


  #10  
Old February 7th 05, 03:11 PM
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Roy Smith wrote:

On the other hand, small airports often have direct comm with ATC; the guy
you're talking to on the ground is the same guy you'll be talking to in the
air. In a situation like that, it's hard to see how things could get lost.


The guy who wrote the article really knows his stuff. He is a working
controller, smart, has a great attitude, and is a NATCA safety representative.

He really drives the point home about biz jets launching VFR. The performance
requirements and distances covered can get you in trouble in a hurry, much more
so than with a Skylane.

 




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