News and Information for FltPlan Users      •     April 29, 2015
FltBrief Newsletter Avfuel. Fuel. And so much more.

ICAO Equipment Suffixes: “Where did my /Q go? It’s showing /M!”

Every so often FltPlan receives a flurry of questions about ICAO equipment suffixes and wake turbulence categories. It’s important to note that filing an ICAO format flight plan does not necessarily mean filing an international flight plan. ICAO format is a format, and has nothing to do with where you are going. In 2012 the FAA started requiring ICAO format flight plans on all domestic flights using RNAV departures and arrivals. The FAA plans to eliminate Domestic format flight plans for civil aircraft on October 1, 2015.

In ICAO format flight plans, the wake turbulence category appears directly after the aircraft type. The confusion here is that in Domestic format the equipment suffix appears in this position. Wake turbulence categories are as follows:

  • "H" for Heavy – Greater than 300,000 lbs. maximum certificated take-off weight
  • "M" for Medium – Between 15,000 and 300,000 lbs. maximum certificated take-off weight
  • "L" for Light – Less than 15,000 lbs. maximum certificated take-off weight

When filing ICAO format, the equipment is entered in the equipment box (versus right after the aircraft type), and appears as a string of letters in the equipment box. So a Challenger 601 with standard equipment (which is VHF, ADF, VOR, ILS) and DME, HF Radio, RVSM, and RNP certification, and Mode S transponder would look like this: CL60/M - SDHRWZ/S (Fig. 1). If you're flying a Piper Saratoga with standard equipment (VHF, ADF, VOR, ILS) and DME, GPS, point-to-point RNAV capability, and a Mode C transponder it would look like this: PA32/L - SDGZ/C. (Fig. 2)

ICAO Equipment Suffixes

When talking to ATC about aircraft equipment, it's necessary to specify whether you're referring to ICAO or Domestic format. Here's why: Government computers are currently translating ICAO format flight plans back into Domestic format to send to Air Traffic Controllers. The change to ICAO formatting is part of a huge transition to the ERAM (En Route Automation Modernization) system. Because of the many computer networks involved in ATC, the changeover to the use of ICAO data will be in the works for quite some time. If you are PDC (Pre-Departure Clearance) capable, you'll also notice that your filed ICAO equipment information has been translated back into the Domestic format.

FltSafetyFltPlan’s SMS Service Includes Canada

FltPlan’s comprehensive SMS (Safety Management System) program meets Canada’s requirements for turbine equipment. Among the many features of FltPlan’s SMS program are:

  • Written and online documentation of implementing Compliant SMS for your company
  • Guidance on use of ICAO / FAA / Transport Canada / IS-BAO compliant templates
  • An SMS Compliance Certificate for each aircraft in your fleet
  • Expert SMS phone and email support
  • Dashboard showing FRATs, Open Risks, Special Messages and Training notices
  • Multiple, customizable FRATs
  • Individual account and dashboard for each user / employee
  • Fully accessible by company employees without FltPlan accounts

For those unfamiliar with SMS, it is a systematic approach to managing the day-to-day hazards and risks associated with running a safe flight operation. It also sets into place a program that engages both management and employees in the quest to constantly improve the safety of their operation. One of the byproducts is that you will soon see that enhanced safety leads to a better quality operation and a cost benefit.

While some countries (Bermuda and Cayman Islands) are requiring operators of jet aircraft and aircraft over 12,500 pounds to have SMS, others are sure to follow. If you're not already implementing SMS, it might be a good time to start considering an SMS for your company, whether large or small.

For more information, click here:

You can enroll in our SMS service by calling our Premium Services office at 731-855-8000 between the hours of 8am and 5pm Eastern Time.

82.8% of all flight plans for Embraer Phenom 100s and 300s filed with an N# were filed by FltPlan in March 2015.

Avfuel. Fuel. And so much more.

New Pilot Customizable Color-Coded METARs Display on FltPlan Go for iPad

Our latest FltPlan Go for iPad feature is the color-coded display of METARs on the Maps. This great addition to our rapidly improving FltPlan Go app is an industry first, that allows a pilot to determine his/her own criteria for checking weather conditions, including winds and temperatures. Whether you’re a corporate or private pilot, this is a valuable tool for you.

In the past, the standard was the static four criteria VFR, MVFR (Marginal VFR), IFR, and LIFR (Low IFR). FltPlan Go for iPad now lets the user define these categories based on his skill and the type of aircraft he flies.

See our iPad manual, pages 31-32, for step-by-step instructions.

Download the free iPad FltPlan Go app from the App Store.

The latest feature on the FltPlan Go iPad app allows you to select which weather conditions to view based on the type of aircraft that you fly and your skill level.

New VFR Capability for FltPlan Users

FltPlan is now filing VFR flight plans in and out of the Washington DC SFRA zone.

The airports included are: K2W5, KANP, KBWI, KFME, KGAI, KHEF, KIAD, KJYO, KNYG, KW00, KW18, MD14, KW50

This feature is easy to use, while still meeting the FAA regulatory requirements.

Create your VFR flight plan to or from one of the above airports, and we will submit the flight plan in the correct format for filing. Your Active Flight Plan List will also show links to the FAA SFRA Checklist and FAA DC SFRA Course.

Follow FltPlan on Twitter

TwitterIf you haven’t been following FltPlan on Twitter, now is the time to start. With access to FltPlan’s tweets, you can be among the first to get news about our changes and enhancements. FltPlan’s Twitter feed is a great resource for helpful tips, useful information, and updates regarding new features on our website or apps. Click here to follow FltPlan on Twitter.

Lead Editor, Claire Warner,    •    Click Here To Unsubscribe from FltBrief    •    Advertising Contact,
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