If your flying a commercial airliner you need to be filing a IFR (instrument flight rules) flight plan. Creating this type of flight plan will allow you more freedom in following your flight plan. Why? Because if all IFR aircraft are filing this type of plan it cuts down on vectoring instructions as your all on an airway.
So first what is an Airway. In the picture I have them labeled these are the highways in the sky.
These are what you should fly on during your flight other then to break off for an approach or enter after departure. These go hand and hand with the Plates for you advanced pilots out there.
Next the VOR, the intersections of the sky. In the picture below I also have them labeled.
In RL the VOR transmits a frequency in which you can follow a heading to or from. If you look in this picture below you will see the VOR selected and its frequency. Useful information if they ever add VOR tracking capability’s.
So if you follow the airways from VOR to VOR you get a flight plan that looks like this.
So now we have created our IFR flight plan. Now you maybe asking yourself ok that’s all well and great but how do we avoid flying into and thru each other if we are on the same airway, and it’s a excellent question that has a simple answer. Low level IFR seperation is 1,000 ft. To maintain this we follow a simple rule. If your heading is between 0-179 deg we fly a odd numbered altitude 11,000 13,000 and so on. If we are on a heading between 180-359 we fly a even numbered altitude 10,000 12,000 and so on. Avoiding conflict with passing traffic. If you need to overtake an aircraft simply decend or acend 2,000 ft from your altitude and overtake.
Now here’s where it gets fun. VFR traffic follow the same principles but add 500ft so odds between 0-179 deg 3500, 5500 and so on. And evens 4500, 6500 and so on up to FL180. Since VFR seperation is 500 ft, VFR and IFR have adequate seperation during every stage of flight.
Thanks for reading see you in the sky’s.