kcrwflyer
Posts: 2550
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 11:57 am

Question For Airline Flight Planners

Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:18 am

I was just curious if someone could explain how/why some of the routes flown by commercial airliners are drawn up. I realize there are a ton of VOR's and high altitude intersections, and jet airways and such, but what factors go into making the "right route".

I'm sure theres good reason for the design of every route, but some just seem horribly horribly out of the way and inefficient.

I'll use a Pinnacle DTW-CRW flight as an example. Pinnacle just took over the route from XJ a few days ago.

Exhibit 1: This is the route Mesaba always took, regardless of aircraft.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/M...7/history/20100405/1950Z/KDTW/KCRW

Exhibit 2: This is the route that Pinnacle has drawn up. On this day the aircraft actually flew the entire route as planned.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/F...5/history/20100408/1750Z/KDTW/KCRW

Exhibit 3: This flight had the same planned route as the one above, but got cleared direct pretty early into their route.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/F...5/history/20100406/1748Z/KDTW/KCRW


Is making what should be a 40 minute flight 20-25 minutes longer really ever the "best" way? I understand routes like this going into NYC airspace to hit the STARS, but I dont quite get it in this particular situation - and I'm sure there are others like it.


Any information from Pilots / dispatchers is appreciated. Also do dispatchers actually plan the routes or is that someone else's job?
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5015
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Question For Airline Flight Planners

Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:55 am

Yes, dispatchers actually plan routes. Although, in busy airspace and city pairs, ATC tells us what to fly, so our routes are canned. On longer routes, we have a lot more freedom.

According to the flight histories, they were all filed the same, but all flew different routings. That said, at their furthest extent, they are wildly out of the way, so fuel planning should be too far off.

I'll have to do some research as to the preferred IFR route for this segment.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5015
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Question For Airline Flight Planners

Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:05 pm

Okay, Here's what I've found:

Preferred IFR routing is KDTW..ACO..AIR..HVQ..KCRW

Mesaba is filing this:

KDTW ACO2 ACO HVQ KCRW, which, aside from the SID, follows the preferred, and in fact is more preferrable due to the SID.

Pinnacle is filing this:

KDTW ROD2 ROD J43 FLM KCRW, which strikes me as odd, as FLM is WAY out of the way (150 NM west of CRW.) However, on 09APR, they filed that, but got the preferred routing.

So, that said, I would have to believe that there was some sort of weather going on and for some reason, their canned routing got modified, perhaps by accident.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
kcrwflyer
Posts: 2550
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 11:57 am

RE: Question For Airline Flight Planners

Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:37 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 2):
KDTW ROD2 ROD J43 FLM KCRW, which strikes me as odd, as FLM is WAY out of the way (150 NM west of CRW.) However, on 09APR, they filed that, but got the preferred routing.

I really dont understand how that even gets filed..

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 2):
So, that said, I would have to believe that there was some sort of weather going on and for some reason, their canned routing got modified, perhaps by accident.

So the route they're filing could essentially be a mistake? It looks like they've been able to get cleared direct to Charleston before even getting halfway to FLM on most occasions. Could they be banking on this happening?
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5015
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Question For Airline Flight Planners

Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:10 pm

Quoting KcrwFlyer (Reply 3):
Could they be banking on this happening?

I would say no. It would be pretty unprofessional to assume that you would get a shortcut everytime you fly. Since I don't work there, I can't say anything specific as to the reason they are filing that route, aside from entry error, or ATC request.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
kcrwflyer
Posts: 2550
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 11:57 am

RE: Question For Airline Flight Planners

Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:44 pm

Interesting information. Thanks!

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