Author Topic: Cleared direct  (Read 25782 times)

Offline totaldigger

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Cleared direct
« on: November 04, 2010, 10:24:07 AM »
So my question is in regards to clearance when a navaid and airport have the same name. For instance, Alexandria International Airport and the Alexandria Vortac. If a controller says "Cleared direct Alexandria" they mean the Vortac, right? This is especially important when the navaid and airport are not co-located. If they are clearing you to the field I usually hear something like "Cleared direct Alexandria airport."

I'm looking for the specific regulation that covers this. I had this discussion in the airplane the other day and the other pilot was convinced that we were cleared to the airport. Fortunately we were at an airport where the navaid was on the field so it was not a big deal, but I'd like to know what the correct procedure is.



Offline StuSEL

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 04:16:33 PM »
Usually controllers will specifically state "Airport" when referencing an airport on the radio. They will usually not state "VOR" when referencing VORs. I've searched long and hard for a reference, but I can't seem to find one. I'm just speaking off of personal experience and from conversations with other controllers.
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Offline atcman23

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2010, 08:04:18 AM »
I've never seen anything specific written down but typically when clearing to an airport a controller will say "airport" and for the VOR/VORTAC, they just state the NAVAIDs name.  However, I have heard a few controllers use VOR after the NAVAID name for clarification.

If in doubt, always ask.
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Offline Jason

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2010, 09:18:21 AM »
I haven't been able to find any specific regulatory guidance related to your question, but my experience has been that the controller will either append "airport" or "VOR" to the end of the clearance to clarify (ie: "Cleared direct Alexandria airport" or "Cleared direct Alexandria VORTAC").  Another way I've been cleared is "direct destination" which would be considered direct to the airport.  If in doubt, ask.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 09:19:54 AM by Jason »

Offline captray

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 07:16:47 PM »
I agree w/Jason. If your flight plan, let's say, includes the BUF VOR and your destination is KBUF. I would proceed to the VOR as they are not colocated. A controller will generaly specify, but when in doubt, ask. It's your license!
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Offline totaldigger

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 08:48:31 AM »
Many thanks for all of the replies. I have heard "Cleared direct _____ Airport" or "cleared direct the field" many times, I was just wondering if there was a regulation that covered it. Thanks again.

Offline keith

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 02:33:33 PM »
I once asked if the controller meant the airport or the VOR, and he stated he didn't care, "just pick one."  No, the airport and VOR were no co-located.

In his defense, he was just getting me out of another sector's airspace before getting me enroute to the destination (which was not the intermediate airport/VOR).

I'd assume it's the VOR, but if there's any doubt...ask.
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Offline NWA ARJ

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2010, 10:39:25 AM »
My deal with cleared direct is that where I work at the pilots file direct all the time. But if they are flying across the country I have no idea if the vor/airport are colocated. Take this flight plan:  http://flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL8918/history/20101119/2030Z/KFAR/KSGF
I worked this plane yesterday and I told him proceed direct Redwood Falls. I had no idea that the aiport/vor were not located. I believe that they will fly direct to what they filed.
Nightmare 68, Fargo Tower, Runway 36, Fly Runway Heading, Mantain 10,000, Cleared For Takeoff, Change To Departure

Offline StuSEL

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2010, 01:33:30 AM »
My deal with cleared direct is that where I work at the pilots file direct all the time. But if they are flying across the country I have no idea if the vor/airport are colocated. Take this flight plan:  http://flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL8918/history/20101119/2030Z/KFAR/KSGF
I worked this plane yesterday and I told him proceed direct Redwood Falls. I had no idea that the aiport/vor were not located. I believe that they will fly direct to what they filed.
Are you saying it went to KRWF? That would be very strange.
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Offline NWA ARJ

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 11:47:02 AM »
No. If you look at the flight plan his first fix is Redwood Falls. I told him to proceed direct Redwood Falls. But if you look on a sectional the airport and vor are not co-located.
Nightmare 68, Fargo Tower, Runway 36, Fly Runway Heading, Mantain 10,000, Cleared For Takeoff, Change To Departure

Offline dozing4dollars

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2010, 04:03:54 PM »
In the case of the DAL A-319 mentioned above, it would be standard procedure for the monitoring pilot to select the navigational fix already entered in the MCDU cleared flight plan  (e.g.- RWF) as the DIRECT to navaid, fix or point. It would require both pilots consent to enter and accept a cleared direct clearance to KRWF , as that navigational navaid, fix or point  is not on the cleared flight plan and is usually only reserved for final destination entry on the MCDU.
As a readback technique, I would always read back the "cleared direct to______ navaid"  terminology to preclude confusion. While rare, I have been cleared direct to certain airports by controllers on late red eye flights, etc. Again, I would always clarify my " direct to ____ airport" with the controller and then verify my MCDU/CDU entry with the other pilot prior to activation.
I'll take the top bunk  and what time is changeover ??

Offline Jason

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 08:55:54 PM »
It would require both pilots consent to enter and accept a cleared direct clearance to KRWF , as that navigational navaid, fix or point  is not on the cleared flight plan and is usually only reserved for final destination entry on the MCDU.

Usually the destination airport is the clearance limit (ie. "Cleared to Redwood Falls Airport...") and thus, would technically be a part of the flight plan.  I usually enter the destination field as the last fix on the FMS in addition to the DEST field on the initial FPLN page.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 09:02:10 PM by Jason »

Offline n07cfi

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2010, 02:59:48 PM »
In the east coast ... we have "Allentown airport" (KABE, Lehigh Valley International) as well as "Allentown VOR" (FJC).  They are not co-located.

I have been given "cleared direct Allentown" many times.  On many occasions I've asked, "Allentown airport or VOR?"  Because depending on where I'm going, I may want one or the other.  Can be a problem under IFR if we're not specific on the routing.

Offline dozing4dollars

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2010, 05:08:17 PM »
Quote from Jason:
"Usually the destination airport is the clearance limit (ie. "Cleared to Redwood Falls Airport...") and thus, would technically be a part of the flight plan.  I usually enter the destination field as the last fix on the FMS in addition to the DEST field on the initial FPLN page."

In the specific case alluded to above, as I recall, the DAL  A-319 flight plan was something like KFAR FAR RWF  FOD ...xxx...xxx KSGF. Tell me how KRWF would be the clearance limit and why it would be input in this specific case? Was this not the example given above or did I misinterpret the narrative as given by NWA ARJ?

Having flown both Airbus and Boeing glass, we typically only enter the destination airport once and do not carry it over for manual entry in the LEGS page. Typically, we will enter a STAR/FMS arrival  into the FLT PLAN page after verifying our ATC clearance and let it propagate into the LEGS page for our destination airport and eventually link it up to the cleared instrument approach.

(On rare occasions, I have manually entered the destination airport into the LEGS page when no STAR/FMS arrival info was filed and only PAR/ASR/TACAN/Visual/Not in database  approaches were available. We would then build RWY overlays to augment radar controller instructions and improve situational awareness).




I'll take the top bunk  and what time is changeover ??

Offline Jason

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2010, 07:00:35 PM »
In the specific case alluded to above, as I recall, the DAL  A-319 flight plan was something like KFAR FAR RWF  FOD ...xxx...xxx KSGF. Tell me how KRWF would be the clearance limit and why it would be input in this specific case? Was this not the example given above or did I misinterpret the narrative as given by NWA ARJ?

I didn't fully read the example NWA ARJ made, my mistake.  I thought you were referring to KRWF as the destination.  In that case, KRWF wouldn't be in the flight plan at all, but RWF would be as you mentioned.

Best,
Jason

Offline kitsap2

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 04:43:22 AM »
It's not an exact science.  "Cleared Direct", is mainly a way of getting you headed where you want to be going.  It will normally be part of your flight plan.  If "cleared direct" to the name of an airport, which is also the name of the vor, even if not co-located, I, as a controller, would expect you to fly directly to the airport.  Besides, you're going to be vectored and sequenced to final before you reach the airport/vor.  And if it's a busy area, you'll be put on an arrival/star.  Unless you're flying in a non-radar environment.  Then, the control instructions will be a lot more precise, for very different reasons.

When receiving a hand-off from the center, and the controller tells me, "so and so's direct [place name here], descending to 10,000, I expect the aircraft to be heading directly to the field, even though the vor/navaid is a couple of miles away.

Hope this helps un-muddy the waters :)
Separation exists until point of impact.  (author unkwn)

Offline frusa

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2011, 02:55:02 PM »
If you clear someone to an airport, then you specify just that. VOR or VORTAC the same.

I used to work that airspace at AEX.


Offline BytheBook

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2011, 09:56:18 PM »
This is so simple.  If the controller does not say "airport," he does not mean airport.  How could anyone possibly confuse this??? If you are cleared "direct Alexandria," it means the VORTAC. Period.

Offline tyketto

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Re: Cleared direct
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2011, 11:38:56 AM »
This is so simple.  If the controller does not say "airport," he does not mean airport.  How could anyone possibly confuse this??? If you are cleared "direct Alexandria," it means the VORTAC. Period.

Not really buying it, especially with how much ATC instructions are so scrutinized. If I didn't hear 'airport' explicitly, as PIC, I would ask for clarification. Something like this doesn't have much leeway, if at all, for assumptions.

BL.