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Equipment Code on Flight Plan

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 5:58 pm
by AuxBatOn
One of the aircraft type I fly (Tutor) is non-RNAV capable. As such, I don’t put RNAV in the equipment code. I put SUT/C (ILS, VOR, VHF, UHF, TACAN with Mode 3/C).

Ever since I have been flying the Tutor, I am almost always given some sort of RNAV procedure as part of my clearance, normally an RNAV SID. Today, I went as far as putting my desired SID on my flight plan out of Winnipeg. I request my clearance and I am given an RNAV SID. I politely tell clearance delivery that I am unable RNAV and I am finally given what I had requested all along.

Does ATC even crosscheck our equipment code when issuing a clearance?? If not, what’s the point?

Re: Equipment Code on Flight Plan

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:02 pm
by ahramin
Either you got a dummy or they never check, I'm not sure which.

As for enroute controllers, I don't know if they can even see the equipment codes on their screens. I had a complete transmit failure last year and even though my destination was airport X, the controller was convinced that I was going to airport Y, even to the point of telling me that I needed to turn in order to get to airport X otherwise I'd fly right through airport Y's airspace. So flight planned destination does not appear to be available therefore I'd be surprised if onboard equipment was displayed. Even if it was I'd be really surprised if they checked each time before issuing a clearance. It's pretty rare for an IFR aircraft to be without some sort of RNAV system these days.

Certainly for MNPS airspace everything gets checked and if you don't have each and every one of the required equipment approvals listed in your flight plan, you're not getting in. It gets checked for every flight going through their airspace.

Re: Equipment Code on Flight Plan

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:10 pm
by kevenv
We have easy access to "most" flight planned info. It's just a matter of bringing up your flight plan on the screen (when busy, no one want's to have to do this as it takes up valuable real estate on the screen). We will see all of the equipment codes that you have filed (again, we have to open your flight plan to see these, they are not available on our data tags). Some of the other data is available on the a/c data tag (not equip suffixes though). I don't get the destination confusion experienced by ahramin as we can click on the data tag and the route to destination that we have on file is displayed. In the OP's case our flight data strips that we use for each a/c will show in his case, /S. To be fair, it is pretty small and when 99.9% of IFR a/c that I deal with are RNAV equipped, it is easy to miss. I won't take offence if you point it out to me when I try and issue you something that you cannot fly. I am attaching a photo of a flight data strip that we used to use. On the far right side the equipment codes we see in this case are W and X. You can see all the data that we see without having to dig into your flight plan on screen. The electronic ones are almost the same. I think now we only see one equipment code, I might be wrong though.

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To turn this around, I routinely see an air carrier that has a flight plan, indicating they are RNAV equipped. They know when they call for clearance that the RNAV is broken and they are in fact now /S, yet they accept a clearance that requires RNAV and depart. When sent to an intersection that they have on their flight plan, they reply with "we are unable that today can we get a heading?"

Re: Equipment Code on Flight Plan

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 6:46 pm
by ahramin
Thanks for the information Kenvenv. I guess in my case the controller was convinced he knew where I wanted to go.

Re: Equipment Code on Flight Plan

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 7:41 pm
by AuxBatOn
Who assigns SIDs? If so, if someone asks for a specific SID, wouldn't that person at least try to figure out why someone asked for something specific? Not worried about myself but more junior pilots that assume ATC read their strip, accept the clearance and at best, realise it before takeoff and ask for an alternate and at worst, takeoff and fly a SID they can't follow.

Pilots accepting clearances they can't follow isn't acceptable either.

Re: Equipment Code on Flight Plan

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 1:06 am
by kevenv
AuxBatOn wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 7:41 pm
Who assigns SIDs? If so, if someone asks for a specific SID, wouldn't that person at least try to figure out why someone asked for something specific?
If you are at an airport with a tower, it would be whoever happens to be working clx delivery, otherwise it is obtained and relayed from the ACC controller.

If you asked for something specific that I wasn't expecting, I would at the very least make an effort to clear up my confusion.

I may not always appear to understand the issue so don't be afraid to press your point home, as I said earlier, I won't be offended if you point out something that I missed.