Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1838611
I was flying a (totally 100% bonefide legal Covid secure etc etc) flight today under VFR in Class G, quite unusual for me!

I was asked by the radar controller for my routing and I used an IFR waypoint SOKDU (mainly because I am a lazy bugger and wanted to let the a/p do the work and the IFR waypoints are in the database and the VRPs are not).

The response was something along the lines of “That’s an IFR waypoint and you’re VFR so what the routing using VFR waypoints” which I assume means VRPs, towns etc.

In response I just said “Sandbanks - Corfe - Wareham”.

At this point guess I could have just said I was IFR (as I was in Class G and basically a state of mind as I fulfilled the relavant IFR criteria) and used the IFR waypoint which then begs the question why was my using of IFR waypoints not accepted?

Is there a general rule that I have forgotten or never known about.

Honest question and not a dig at our ATSU partners, I am too long in the tooth for that type of thread :lol:

Thanks :thumleft:
Last edited by Instructor Errant on Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
By Iceman
#1838613
That sounds unusual in that most ATCOs that I’ve ever spoken to would have been entirely happy with such an unambiguous report. Indeed, London Info are entirely happy with such reports, as they make very good FIR crossing references. You should have given him a lat / long :lol:.

Iceman 8)
flybymike, David Wood liked this
#1838619
Glad I am not having a “D’oh!” moment.

It is officially an N17 airway reporting point I think and I wondered if these points were decluttered off the radar screen or something like that?

It has been ages since I plugged in to radar controller at work, thought it may have changed?

I shall take to the telephone tomorrow :thumleft:
User avatar
By Dave W
#1838621
Same here. I have regularly used those position references in comms with FIS etc in Europe, VFR - often spelling them out phonetically if necessary.

Usually when there is no handy nearby ICAO airfield code to reference relative to.

Nobody has ever commented adversely, and they have apparently always been content with the concept.
flybymike liked this
By Mike Tango
#1838623
If the SOKDU waypoint wasn’t directly relevant to the approach unit you were talking to it almost certainly wouldn’t be on their radar video map and also quite possibly not known to the controller.

A (very!) quick look at the AIP suggests SOKDU may not be relevant below FL175, so if you were talking to Solent or Bournemouth I doubt it’s part of any of their procedures so first para above may well apply.

ATC sectors are very compartmentalised laterally and vertically, an IFR waypoint won’t necessarily be known or relevant to all ATC units in its vicinity.

I wouldn’t say never use them when VFR, but consider the above.
#1838624
Thanks Mike Tango, that makes sense. I thought it might be something like that.

Probably a more recent phenomenon since I “SkyDemon” the route, spot any handy IFR waypoints and stick ‘em in the Garmin and let the a/p figure it out. Wind back a few years and the waypoints weren’t on the CAA half-mill.

Lazy pilot flight planning :oops:
By IMCR
#1838625
I have had exactly this so it is not a surprise.

I assume it is possible controllers dont think you should use IFR waypoints, unless you are IFR, but after all they are no more or less than convenient points in space, and much more precise than VRPs. Persoanlly I dont see it says anything about your flight rule status.

Personally, as I did, I would say I was using IFR waypoints as my VFR reporting points and leave it at that. I also agree that some controllers may not have on their system the IFR waypoints, but if this is the case, I dont see why the controller cant then ask for further clarrification.
By Mike Tango
#1838648
IMCR wrote:
Personally, as I did, I would say I was using IFR waypoints as my VFR reporting points and leave it at that. I also agree that some controllers may not have on their system the IFR waypoints, but if this is the case, I dont see why the controller cant then ask for further clarrification.


Conversely I don’t believe it is yet a requirement for VFR flights to carry an IFR database, be it in paper or electronic form. So I imagine it might be considered unhelpful if ATC were to routinely ask VFR flights their position or route in relation to some random obscure IFR waypoint?

I agree some VFR pilots may not have on their flight IFR waypoints, but if this is the case, I don’t see why the pilot can’t then be distracted by unnecessary r/t and workload as they have to ask for further clarification.
By chevvron
#1838650
Mike Tango wrote:A (very!) quick look at the AIP suggests SOKDU may not be relevant below FL175, so if you were talking to Solent or Bournemouth I doubt it’s part of any of their procedures so first para above may well apply.

ATC sectors are very compartmentalised laterally and vertically, an IFR waypoint won’t necessarily be known or relevant to all ATC units in its vicinity.

I wouldn't have let that bother me if I was still controlling, but it's quite possible that a reporting point meant for FL175 and above wouldn't be shown on the video map of an approach radar controller, indeed he/she may not even have known where it was; I had this years ago (pre London LARS) when a guy called me southbound at Cowley and I had to get the books out to find out where it was.
#1838651
chevvron wrote:I wouldn't have let that bother me if I was still controlling, but it's quite possible that a reporting point meant for FL175 and above wouldn't be shown on the video map of an approach radar controller, indeed he/she may not even have known where it was; I had this years ago (pre London LARS) when a guy called me southbound at Cowley and I had to get the books out to find out where it was.


It might have bothered you if, on a busy frequency, every conversation involved you getting the books out, or an unnecessary back and forth, trying to figure out what should instead have been a quick and simple exchange of information.
AlanM, Flyin'Dutch' liked this
User avatar
By AlanM
#1838657
For me, VFR (or even IFR) flights using high level reporting points when at lower levels is a pita. We have around 90 IFR reporting points that we are expected to know..... so using high level ones generally means that I have to look at a high level chart and guess where it is. I have some pilots give the next point that is 100 miles away and have taken ages to find..... we often essentially google it on Skyvector if we have time.

Using IFR points when VFR is fine if they are known - but as said above, be aware that the ATCO may not have a clue. (And vice versa, I would never tell a VFR aircraft to route to any IFR RP unless it was in the FPL)

More annoyingly is when pilots file lat/long - that increases the guessing game!
Mike Tango, Flyin'Dutch', PropPeter and 1 others liked this
#1838658
This is a good reminder to me that just because something is in my Garmin/Avidyne/SkyDemon/Foreflight/Jepp et al database and, in these days of ubiquitous GNSS tools, at the pilots’ fingertips doesn’t mean that it is at anyone else’s fingertips and/or displayed on the controllers screen thus potentially causes extra work for someone else.
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