Skyport_OR_undated_cartoonMembers of the AFTW, at its November meeting, raised the following discussion topic:

Consider the following as flight instructors and students share the National Airspace System:

An instructional flight files an IFR flight plan (in VMC) and after departing in accordance with a clearance asks for a change in routing to deviate to another facility or airport early in the flight.

Elements trained and practiced

  • Pilot in training performs preflight planning including route, weather, and filing flight plans.
  • Pilot in training practices receiving and using an actual IFR clearance
  • Pilot in training performs departure procedures IAW clearance
  • Pilot in training begins moving toward enroute phase of flight
  • Pilot in training responds to unplanned events with diversion or change

Actual and Unintended NAS impacts

  • Airspace is committed to the flight based on time and aircraft performance
  • Modifications, changes, diversions to an IFR flight plan require modifications to airspace commitments and would necessitate coordination between differing controlling agencies.
  • Modifications, changes, diversions to an IFR flight plan could change or delay the flights of other airmen.


  • Are there issues and problems that result from a particular operation?
  • Do changing operations trigger reports for system improvement or security?
  • What are the impacts of your operations on other users or the support personnel in the NAS?
  • What are the right of way issues when on an IFR flight plan and operating in VMC?
  • Could a composite flight plan meet your training need? (AIM 5-1-7)