Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 8
User avatar
By Rob P
#1838663
Mike Tango wrote: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?


Tell me about it.

African Eagle and I were crawling at leisurely pace across the Mediterranean in The Shiny Colt and had drawn a straight line from (I think) Bastia to Cannes.

The controller was having none of it and insisted on routeing us in a zig-zag from one IFR reporting point to another. We had VFR charts and a mono Garmin 111.

Much searching in unexplored corners of the Garmin menu system was needed. Eventually we persuaded him to give us more than just the next point, allowing some time to locate them, rather than just being given the next point on reaching the one he'd given us last.

I think today I might have been a little more bolshie.

Rob P
johnm, Mike Tango liked this
User avatar
By Iceman
#1838666
IFR reporting points are plastered all over the standard half-mil chart and reproduced on SkyDemon charts so they are readily available to all VFR flyers.

Iceman 8)
By Mike Tango
#1838671
Iceman wrote:IFR reporting points are plastered all over the standard half-mil chart and reproduced on SkyDemon charts so they are readily available to all VFR flyers.

Iceman 8)


In that case, perhaps then just be aware they are not necessarilly plastered all over the controller's radar screen or indeed known to said controller.

Interesting human factors to some extent, that as equipment is introduced which should make life easier it actually has the opportunity to make the system a little more complicated than it should or need be.
User avatar
By JonathanB
#1838679
There are many many waypoints these days that even the ATCOs who control the sectors that they are in won't readily know - many waypoints have recently been added where routes cross sector boundaries in preparation for Free Route Airspace. Most of these are currently not used routinely so ATCOs won't be aware of them, so it's very difficult to know which waypoints an ATCO will know well and which they don't.

Most of the time we may have waypoints shown on radar maps, but will very likely not have the named labels turned on as that causes too much clutter.
johnm, chevvron, Instructor Errant and 1 others liked this
By Mike Tango
#1838687
JonathanB wrote:There are many many waypoints these days that even the ATCOs who control the sectors that they are in won't readily know - many waypoints have recently been added where routes cross sector boundaries in preparation for Free Route Airspace. Most of these are currently not used routinely so ATCOs won't be aware of them, so it's very difficult to know which waypoints an ATCO will know well and which they don't.

Most of the time we may have waypoints shown on radar maps, but will very likely not have the named labels turned on as that causes too much clutter.


But this is exactly where it gets unnecessarily complicated.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you predominantly work airways sectors at higher levels?

The waypoints you refer to such as the boundary ones will certainly be totally irrelevant to a low level approach radar controller talking to the majority of the VFR traffic around. They won't know them or display them.

Ergo if SkyDemon (plus any other electronic systems) and the half mil maps are just doing a dump of all these possible IFR waypoints into their electronic or printed environment without taking any cognisance of who in the air traffic system actually utilises and may know of these waypoints, well, it all just seems a bit ill thought through to me.
Rob P, AlanM liked this
By IMCR
#1838693
I agree with ICEMAN, the point is they are all over much of the available software, so I suspect the assumption many of us have made is the controllers also have the same points - but clearly they do not, so it has been a useful discussion.

Personally I dont especially like VRPs, I find they are difficult to spot and not always in the database - but this may well be just me. I recall pitching up at a French airfield and being given a series of VRPs, and a point at which to hold. I should have been prepared for the list but wasnt, and one of the VRPs I never found on my chart when I studied it subsequently in preparation for leaving. Ah they said, we have only just added that one, you wont found it on the chart!

MIKE TANGO re your reply to my post, I do agree with you, and wasnt advocating controllers should adopt IFR WPs either, I dont think this woud be helpful.

I dont quite understand what happens when you declare IFR OCAS. Presumably now you might well be exected to use IFR WP's (maybe not those at FL350 ;-)) and also tongue in cheek if you are IMC you arent going to be able to navigate using visual WPs. In my experience you dont get a different controller so I am guessing some controllers do have the IFR WPs on their screen or know where they are?
By Mike Tango
#1838697
IMCR wrote:
I dont quite understand what happens when you declare IFR OCAS. Presumably now you might well be exected to use IFR WP's (maybe not those at FL350 ;-)) and also tongue in cheek if you are IMC you arent going to be able to navigate using visual WPs. In my experience you dont get a different controller so I am guessing some controllers do have the IFR WPs on their screen or know where they are?


They will have IFR waypoints relevant to their sector and the immediate surrounding airspace. But if for example some of the high level sector boundary waypoints Jonathan refers to above overlay the airspace, they likely won't have or know them, even though the pilot may have and intend to use them on their equipment.

Take Terminal Control, each sector has its own bespoke radar video map that is relevant only to them. So when I swapped between doing Heathrow approach and Gatwick approach, the map I was looking at was different and contained different information depending which approach I was working at the time. Neither showed irrelevant airspace info above the levels that were of interest either.

Although whilst doing Gatwick I could have been working VFR traffic in a similar area to Farnborough LARS, my radar map was different Farnborough's.

The waypoints I may have used for Gatwick IFR traffic were mostly irrelevant to Farnborough.

So, as indicated before, predominantly VFR traffic having access to and considering utilising randomly the entire IFR waypoint database for VFR flights (or indeed pop up IFR), well...
Last edited by Mike Tango on Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
By chevvron
#1838700
Know what you mean by un-published VFR reporting points; once upon a time I was flying out of Edinburgh where the 'accepted' way of arriving/departing was via the Forth Bridges however I decided to go east; I was told to 'report at Preston Pans'.
Wasn't marked on my half mil; wasn't in the club flying order book; never did find it!
On the way back same again; I said 'don't know where it is but I'm passing a race course' (Musselborough) which was a much more obvious VRP.
By chevvron
#1838702
Mike Tango wrote:
Although whilst doing Gatwick I could have been working VFR traffic in a similar area to Farnborough LARS, my radar map was different Farnborough's.

The waypoints I may have used for Gatwick IFR traffic were mostly irrelevant to Farnborough.

So, as indicated before, predominantly VFR traffic having access to and considering utilising the entire IFR waypoint database for VFR flights, well...

At Fairoaks, many pilots 'invented' their own approaches to 06 using 'FIMLI' as a waypoint because it was virtually on 06 centreline.
I tried to point out that (at that time, dunno if it still is) FIMLI was an arrival fix for Gatwick inbounds at F120 or higher but it all fell on deaf ears.
By IMCR
#1838720
Mike Tango wrote:
IMCR wrote:
I dont quite understand what happens when you declare IFR OCAS. Presumably now you might well be exected to use IFR WP's (maybe not those at FL350 ;-)) and also tongue in cheek if you are IMC you arent going to be able to navigate using visual WPs. In my experience you dont get a different controller so I am guessing some controllers do have the IFR WPs on their screen or know where they are?


They will have IFR waypoints relevant to their sector and the immediate surrounding airspace. But if for example some of the high level sector boundary waypoints Jonathan refers to above overlay the airspace, they likely won't have or know them, even though the pilot may have and intend to use them on their equipment.

Take Terminal Control, each sector has its own bespoke radar video map that is relevant only to them. So when I swapped between doing Heathrow approach and Gatwick approach, the map I was looking at was different and contained different information depending which approach I was working at the time. Neither showed irrelevant airspace info above the levels that were of interest either.

Although whilst doing Gatwick I could have been working VFR traffic in a similar area to Farnborough LARS, my radar map was different Farnborough's.

The waypoints I may have used for Gatwick IFR traffic were mostly irrelevant to Farnborough.

So, as indicated before, predominantly VFR traffic having access to and considering utilising randomly the entire IFR waypoint database for VFR flights (or indeed pop up IFR), well...


Thank you for such a excellent answer and summary.

I entirely understand.

Re your last paragraph this is interesting. I suppose on an IFR flight plan OCAS everyone does their best then, and maybe you give your IFR WP routing, or maybe not? I know for example going to the CIs (and appreciate this is slightly different) on the FP whether I am going in the airways or outside I have always given the IFR WPs both in UK airspace and outside as it is far easier to route via these both in the UK and also if non airways whislt avoiding the VFR corridor between St Catherines Point and the Cap (or where ever the corridor actually is, cant quite recall without a chart in front of me). It seems to work and I havent had an issue. Also frequently done much the same with an extended FP into France where routing between IFR WPs is a great deal easier, regardless of whether it is airways or VFR. I appreciate in the UK IFR WPs routes while also avoiding CAS can be a little more challenging unless perhaps you are in Scotland. :lol:
User avatar
By skydriller
#1838723
Rob P wrote:I think today I might have been a little more bolshie.


The thing is, today, you wouldnt have that problem because you would be using SD (or eqiv) as your primary nav tool and its all on there.

Garmin may well have VRPs in their database today on their new GPS systems, but I distinctly remember spending hours back in the day programming in VRPs to my old GPS196, and there was some effort on this forum to produce uploadable files for UK VRPs...

Regards, SD..
Rob P liked this
#1838725
Iceman wrote:IFR reporting points are plastered all over the standard half-mil chart and reproduced on SkyDemon charts so they are readily available to all VFR flyers.

Iceman 8)


I am going to embarass myself further now by saying I have't looked at a half-mill for a while. I pulled out my own, ahem, completely up to date chart and found MALBY on Q63 but not, for example, BADIM, WOTAN etc etc. and not SOKDU which begs another question...

"Why are some reproduced on the half-mill and some not?"

Everyday a school day!
User avatar
By James Chan
#1838726
As a pilot, I have been taught to try and use the charted VRPs when VFR as taken from the half-mil or VAC - as not every controller has every IFR waypoint overlaid on their screen - and not every controller has the name of every village and feature overlaid on their screen either.

When abroad and at FIR boundaries, some VRPs are made up of five letters, which is why some think they are IFR waypoints but they are either dual-use, or they are VFR-only and you can't file IFR using them.
Last edited by James Chan on Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Instructor Errant liked this
User avatar
By skydriller
#1838730
Instructor Errant wrote:I pulled out my own, ahem, completely up to date chart and found MALBY on Q63 but not, for example, BADIM, WOTAN etc etc. and not SOKDU which begs another question...

"Why are some reproduced on the half-mill and some not?"


I dont know, but could it be due to what another poster mentioned about waypoint altitudes? I havent looked at an actual paper UK chart for a while, but presumably they have a max altitude like french charts do?

Regards, SD..
Instructor Errant liked this
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 8