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Filing a flight plan in flight


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Richard Branderhorst
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On a recent (long) multiple legged trip, we twice had to use the SkyDemon Flight Plan feature, IN FLIGHT. Most went well, I have a Samsung A6 with an on board SIM card (DUO SIM from VODAFONE) although we ran into some problems, as the flight plan needed was for the next part of the route.

Filing a flight plan, as far as I'd reckon, needs to be done with the flight plan it is referring to, activated. If You are flying, that means You have to stop the current active route, and select the new one. After sending the FlPL we had to reactivate the route we were flying on. The first time that was a bit messy, the second time we selected "stop navigating" and selected the new route, filed the flight plan, and reactivated the route we were flying on. Afterwards, for logging, You can "merge" the two disconnected parts of the route.
But still it was a bit messy, anyone has more experience/suggestions on this use?

Suffice to say that the procedure is dangerous at least, IF done SINGLE PILOT, there is way too much "heads down" time involved. Using another device was compromised as I was the only one with a SIM equipped tablet.

Richard.

Tim Dawson
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I'd suggest using a secondary device, or (better yet) not trying to file a flightplan while airborne. As you say, it's always going to be a distraction and therefore potentially dangerous. File it when you've landed, or before you set off.
Richard Branderhorst
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Tim, both times were on flights where either SS or field closure were causing situations to have sharp turnaround times. Because filing it after landing would mean a one hour waiting time before the next T/O could be made (ATC requirement here). Anyways, it worked and went as planned, but it was clumsy and as I also said, no recommendable procedure for single pilot VFR OPS, which we weren't with three O/B.
Just wanted to confirm there was nothing we overlooked or could have done better, like an option of filing it in the background, while the active leg would continue without interruption. Indeed using another device would be the best workaround for now.
The flight plan filing from SD is a great feature we discovered, plus a tablet with a SIM card slot gives way more flexibility. I never regretted the extra cost when I decided which type of device I bought.
Like during an intermediate stop at places where there is no or bad WiFi signal, having no worries about a stable internet connection.
And the cost of a DUO SIM card is like a one time 30 euros or so investment, data use is just added up from both devices by the provider and if the total does not exceed Your data limit, no extra payment is generated. Mind that DUAL SIM is something else. (both are Vodafone options, no idea whether all providers have similar options).
Richard

grahamb
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Richard Branderhorst - 7/28/2022 3:07:07 AM

Tim, both times were on flights where either SS or field closure were causing situations to have sharp turnaround times. Because filing it after landing would mean a one hour waiting time before the next T/O could be made (ATC requirement here). Anyways, it worked and went as planned, but it was clumsy and as I also said, no recommendable procedure for single pilot VFR OPS, which we weren't with three O/B.
Just wanted to confirm there was nothing we overlooked or could have done better, like an option of filing it in the background, while the active leg would continue without interruption. Indeed using another device would be the best workaround for now.
The flight plan filing from SD is a great feature we discovered, plus a tablet with a SIM card slot gives way more flexibility. I never regretted the extra cost when I decided which type of device I bought.
Like during an intermediate stop at places where there is no or bad WiFi signal, having no worries about a stable internet connection.
And the cost of a DUO SIM card is like a one time 30 euros or so investment, data use is just added up from both devices by the provider and if the total does not exceed Your data limit, no extra payment is generated. Mind that DUAL SIM is something else. (both are Vodafone options, no idea whether all providers have similar options).
Richard

FWIW the one hour waiting time is a bit of anachronism these days. It stems from the days when flight plan filing was done by a variety of manual methods, ultimately ending up by someone, somewhere typing it into a system. An hour was required just to get through the process. These days, filing is instant, straight off the back of you pressing ‘submit’. I’ve sat on the apron at an airfield engine running with SD open in the cockpit, filed, and less than thirty seconds later had the Tower radio me to tell me that they’d got the plan and I was free to taxi.

Edited 7/28/2022 5:40:14 AM by grahamb
Adam Erchegyi
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Richard Branderhorst - 7/28/2022 3:07:07 AM
Because filing it after landing would mean a one hour waiting time before the next T/O could be made (ATC requirement here).

Tim Dawson - 7/27/2022 10:16:40 AM
File it when you've landed, or before you set off.

so what stops you to file before the preceding leg, or (god bless us!) even the previous day?

Richard Branderhorst
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Adam, a turnback on the first leg of a 600Nm trip causing us to refuel again as quick as possible, as not to compromise the arrival time before SS many hours later. The other one was a few days later on the return trip as the result of accumulated small delays and slower groundspeeds as planned, in face of airport closing time, hours before SS.
BTW, interesting was: I had to refile the first leg, so my initial question to ATC over the radio was, could they refile it with adjusted times. After some minutes it was answered the FLPL data were delivered "by another system" (SD thus), and they could not modify that. So then we tried the in flight option, which worked!
Only the LOG was compromised, as the original SD NAV plan was not only interrupted, but that we diverted to another APT, in this case the departure APT.
GrahamB: this is what our (Dutch) AIP says, in both cases a FlPl was mandatory due to leaving/arriving to the country. Some countries have made bilateral agreements with specified neighbouring countries, alas ours hasn't.
1.1.2.2 Time of submission
← (ICAO) flight plans shall be submitted at least 60 minutes prior to departure,


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