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New to IFR


I am fairly new to IFR just got my rating. I filed from KSRQ to X60 Williston FL . route that I filed was pie ocf x60 right from duats . I was flying an P28B/G ,  ATC read back was cleared x60 via radar vectors to a 15 dme point of the OCF 270 radial then as filed. unsure of how to identify that point we canceled ifr. was that their way of saying were going to put you right in front of x60 and you can go direct from their? should I have requested a fix to be vectored to? Thanks! :?

Slant G, which implies that you have an IFR-certified GPS on board.  Which brand, a Garmin or a Bendix/King?   Speaking for the Garmin series setting up a user waypoint to indicate the 15 DME off the OCF 270 radial is a pretty straightforward task and one with which you should become familiar as an IFR pilot in this new GPS era.    However...

Based on my interpretation of the clearance it seems to me that you may have "over thought" that one and it was easier than you gave it credit.  Consider this:   ATC admitted in the clearance that you would be radar vectored (meaning ATC would be vectoring) to the 15 DME point so there really was no need for you to have to navigate via onboard equipment to that point. 

Once you crossed that 15DME point (or maybe even before if traffic permitted) you would have most likely been given direct OCF, which you would have already had in your GPS flightplan, and then released to your own navigation.

Hence I don't believe you would have needed the 15DME point on that radial in your flight plan.  But, to do so is pretty easy by creating a user waypoint as I indicated above and you may want to get your hands on the GPS manual and a GPS simulator software to practice this.  If you are using a Garmin GNS series GPS the simulator software is a free download from Garmin. 

I would have worded it different but to me that means you'll essentially be vectored onto the radial and then are as filed from the DME fix (=direct).

In addition to what has been said already, I would strongly recommend that you try to picture ATC as a RESOURCE you can use....they are not to be feared. 

Presumably, you are comfortable flying radials. I would've asked ATC before reading back the clearance (which implies acceptance of the clearance), "does this mean you'll be vectoring me to the radial, after which I fly to 15 DME, or are you going to send me towards that point after which I'm expected to be able to go direct to the point?"

Even if their initial intention was to send you direct to that point after some initial vectors, I would bet large sums of money that they would've been equally happy to vector you onto the radial and then let you go on your own nav until reaching 15 DME.

The cancellation implies that you are not yet comfortable working with ATC. This is a situation you should try to improve.  It's possible to fly VFR without a lot of ATC interaction (I have heard stories of ppl that flat out refuse to out of anything other than non-towered fields, and haven't spoken on the radio since getting their PPL)...but IFR is a different animal.

Don't be afraid to ask 'em questions, you'll be surprised how willing more of them are to help out!

Thanks for all the responses . I took a look at the GNS 430 and low and behold usr waypoint input is there, and easy to use. I will file again to the same X60 airport this weekend and see if they give me the same route of flight.


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