HighBypass

VFR in a 747? KSEA to KPAE

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I believe it is allowed and how else would you do a flight of just 27 nautical miles?

My reason for asking is that I'm flying to the destinations which Iron Maiden visited in Ed Force On on their Book of Souls world tour. One of the flights was from Sea Tac to Paine Field to have a VIP tour of the Boeing factory!! I've not checked back to see exactly how the flight was done, but for me, in sim, the weather was good to go. I got VFR clearance, (stock FSX ATC) took off and pottered over to Everett at about 180 knots with a bunch of flap and 5000 feet to enjoy the view. :cool: Of course I cheated at the other end and used the autopilot & ILS at KPAE to line up, but what the heck.. :laugh:

Because the wind was coming from the south east my flight distance was more than 27 miles I couldn't just go from  one RWY34 to the other RWY34, but on another day how would real pilots and aircraft do it? Full IFR RNAV and goodness knows how many extra miles?

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This route is just as easy IFR, even 34 to 34.  5000’ puts you in class B airspace for most of the route and flying VFR usually means ATC wanting you out of that airspace as soon as practical which makes it less direct than IFR.  

 

Remember that filing IFR doesn’t mean you have to do an instrument approach either, if the conditions are VMC a right downwind to 16R is more common.

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Sure you can fly a 747 (or any big jet) VFR: indeed if you look in the front of the FCOM you should see words to the effect 'certified for VFR, IFR, over water operations and flight in to known icing conditions'.

In fact, VFR is exactly how BA got one of their 747s from Cardiff (EGFF) to St Athan (EGDX) (just across the bay, barely 5NM in a straight line). https://www.aviationwales.com/could-this-be-the-shortest-747-flight-in-history/

 

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Thanks for the replies gents!

Brian, to my eternal shame I didn't study the types of airspace in the area. I am that hooligan element who just kicks the tyres and lights the fires... :) 

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Yup, I'd love to see an IFR flight plan for a flight I once saw years ago: A Boeing 757 taking off from 24R at Manchester EGCC, coming over to Woodford EGCD to do an airshow routine and then going back to Manchester. Since the locations are about three miles from one another, I actually watched the thing take off in the distance, fly to Woodford, do the airshow overhead, and then I watched it fly back to EGCC and land. That was also when I found out just how aerobatic the 757 can be, amazing. :biggrin:

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From what I recall someone say years ago is big expensive jets file IFR regardless for insurance purposes even if they are on a short route and VMC. The IFR filing is just for insurance

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Planes repositioned all the time to and from JFK, LGA and EWR.  At least in the 1980s. don't know about today.

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In the USA within approach control facilitiy airspace for a short, low altitude flight you could usually request an IFR tower enroute control clearance from the ground control or clearance delivery if one is available. I can not recall ever being denied an IFR clearance when VFR conditions prevailed in those circumstances.However if it is actual IFR conditions where you need an alternate you should file a full flight plan as the controller typically will only ask for the basics like equipment type, fuel, souls on board etc. If it was a VFR situation departing from a Class B primary airport to another just outside the airspace then it could be done VFR as you would be provided with the necessary traffic separation within the class B airspace. I always preferred to have the IFR clearance when arriving at a high density airport rather than showing up unannounced.Otherwise during the busy time you might hear the controller stating "remain outside Class B airspace" .

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