Pilot's Tip of the Week
Finding ATC-Preferred Routes
Featuring John Krug
"When flight planning an IFR flight plan, what's the best way (i.e. ATC preferred) to inquire about the routing most favored/likely to be used by ATC?" - Jay G.
"The best method I know is to file using Fltplan.com. You can see what other users have filed for the same airport pairs or adjacent airports.
The site will also list routes by type aircraft because jets may get different routes than props. About 30 minutes after filing your flight plan, the site returns the ATC expected route.
Additional features of this site are customizable aircraft performance profiles, weather can be displayed as an overlay on your route of flight, NOTAMS, and FAA accepted weather for briefings.
Another method: study the preferential route sections of either the AF/D (green book) or Jeppesen. These will give a general idea of the routing between two airports. If your specific airport is not listed, you can look at nearby airports, typically ones with instrument approaches.
In some cases adjacent airports may have different routes – usually the primary airport in a large metro area (Class B) may have different arrival and departure points than the satellites – to segregate the flows. For example - BOS and satellites have different routes; EWR and satellites have different routes."
Next week's tip: Flap management on approach