Plans and Flight Itineraries Commentary
Information for Flight Plans and Flight Itineraries
If you are travelling more than 25 nautical
miles from your point of departure, you must file either a
flight plan or a flight itinerary. A
flight plan is filed with a flight services station and
includes information about your aircraft, your route, and the
exact time you anticipate the trip to take, from take-off to
landing at your final destination, including the time taken
for any stops along the way. If you do not report your
arrival to either an air traffic controller or a flight
services specialist within 60 minutes of your filed
arrival time, you are considered overdue, and a search
begins. If you will not be crossing any international
borders, nor requiring IFR ATC services, you may file a flight
itinerary instead of a flight plan. A flight
itinerary contains much the same information, but is left with
a responsible person instead of flight services. The
only qualification for a responsible person is that he or she
has agreed to report the aircraft overdue. You are required to
report to your responsible person within 24 hours of
the time you gave for your arrival.
Flight Plans and Flight Itineraries
Student pilots of
helicopters and airplanes write the same PSTAR. If you
are learning to fly fixed wing, your school probably won't
give you helicopter questions, but you never know. CARs
602.88 gives the fuel requirements for both helicopters
and airplanes. Day VFR requires 20 minutes reserve in a
helicopter and 30 minutes reserve in an airplane.
Formerly, airplane pilots were required to carry 45
minutes reserve, but now that much is only legally required at
night. The answer choices that mention alternates
refer to IFR, not VFR requirements.
As it says in CARs
602.73, any aircraft going more than 25 nautical miles
from origin, whether it lands or not, needs to be on a flight
plan or a flight itinerary.
(2) In sparsely settled areas
rescue will take longer, but aircraft can still get lost very
close to urban areas.
(3) You may fly to any aerodrome
within 25 nm of your starting point, without filing a flight
plan or itinerary. Theoretically you could fly all the way
across Canada without filing anything, as long as you never
went more than 25 nm at a time.
(4) Local flights are not
usually on flight plans or flight itineraries.
In practice, flight services may begin making telephone calls
to look for you as soon as 20 minutes after your filed arrival
time has passed, so as CARs
602.77 tells you, report in "as soon as
practicable after landing" but never more than 60
minutes after your last reported ETA.
Your flight plan is where the search for you will begin if you
don't arrive, so it is in your best interest and in CARs
602.76, for you to notify air traffic services "as
soon as practicable" of any change in your route,
duration or destination. Canadian search and rescue begins
their search by covering the area within 10 nm of your
proposed route, then if they don't find you they go back and
search again within 15 nm of your track. So if you are
going to be more than 10 nm from where you said you would be,
ensure you update your flight plan.
(1) One hour after ETA is the time for a flight plan, not
a flight itinerary.
(2) How could it be an hour after
landing, when the responsible person has no way of knowing
when you actually landed until you call them?
hours is correct, but choice 4 is better.
(4) It is
important to remember to call as soon as practicable after
landing. Twenty-four hours is an absolute maximum.
There are no age or knowledge qualifications in CARs
602.70 for your responsible person. It's better if you
choose a pilot, because non-pilots, especially your friends
and relatives, can become quite stressed over the
responsibility of holding the flight itinerary, and over the
possibility of accident which it represents. Also a pilot will
be more efficiently able to pass the information to flight
services in the event you are overdue.
ATS will often ask you if are on a flight plan and wish them
to close it, but you cannot rely on them doing this. It
is your responsibility to ask that it be closed, either on
frequency, "Prince George Radio, Yankee Charlie Alfa
clear of the runway on Alfa, request you close our flight
plan," or by telephone, "Hi, this is Foxtrot
Yankee Charlie Alfa, landed in Lillooet, request you close my
flight plan." Don't close your flight plan until
the end of the flight, unless you have changed your mind and
will stay at one of the intermediate airports.
The time to put on your flight plan is the total time it will
take between take-off at your point of origin and landing at
your final destination. That is equivalent to the elapsed time
for each leg plus the duration of each stop.
(1) You either
confused 3 h 05 minutes and 3 h 50 minutes, or you added 45
(2) Don't add 15 minutes "grace"
time to a flight plan.
(3) 1h 15 mins + 30 mins + 1 h 20
mins = 3 hours 05 minutes.
(4) You forgot to include the
time of the 30 minute stop.
all the leg times plus the stopover times.
Do not add any extra "just in case" time, but don't
forget the stops.
lot of pilots get this wrong when filing flight plans, but
it's not that difficult. To quote the A.I.P. "each
intermediate stop is indicated by repeating the name of the
stopping point and its duration in the route section of the
flight plan/itinerary. Record the duration of the stop in
hours and minutes with four consecutive digits."
So if you are flying from Chilliwack (CYCW), to
Pitt Meadows (CYPK), to Abbotsford (CYXX) with a touch and go
at Pitt Meadows, the route section of your flight plan reads:
CYCW CYPK CYXX.
If you are doing the same flight,
but doing a full stop landing at Pitt Meadows to drop off some
model airplanes for the air traffic controllers, the route
section of your flight plan reads: CYCW CYPK 0030 CYPK
CYXX. Over the telephone
(the way most flight plans used to be filed before we had
Internet filing) you would say "Chilliwack Pitt Meadows,
three zero minute stop, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford."
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This page written 8 October 2002 by Robyn Stewart. Last
revised 16 February 2013.
2003 Flying Start Initiatives