Luckyleaf6
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:48 pm

SWA Routing question

Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:57 pm

I will be flying KMDW to KPIT next week, so I have been watching SWA's regular flights on this route on FlightAware.

The filed flight route is always the same:

LEWKE GIJ OTENS ANEWA RIEKE DJB ACO JESEY3

I've noticed every time after OTENS it seems they get clearance to short-cut the route, typically what appears to be the waypoint CUTTA within the JESEY3 arrival.

I think I understand how these in flight route changes occur - I'm guessing the pilot would request a direct to CUTTA as soon as they get into Cleveland Center and they would alter the route modification if traffic allows.

My question is why don't they just file the route that they want to fly instead of filing the longer route and requesting the shortcut every time?

How does each different SWA pilot always know to request that shortcut on that specific route everytime? Is it written in the pilot briefing or something? Are these shortcut requests in every route at SWA?
 
qcpilotxf
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:10 am

Re: SWA Routing question

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:11 pm

Looking at other flights that operate from CHI to PIT, it appear that it would be Cleveland Center issuing the short cut, or it may be the FAAs computer that offers the short cut to avoid DTW/CLEs arrivals. This was just looking quickly at UA and AA also.
 
MO11
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Re: SWA Routing question

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:12 pm

Luckyleaf6 wrote:

My question is why don't they just file the route that they want to fly instead of filing the longer route and requesting the shortcut every time?

How does each different SWA pilot always know to request that shortcut on that specific route everytime? Is it written in the pilot briefing or something? Are these shortcut requests in every route at SWA?


In answering the second question first, as a controller I would issue shortcut/expedited routing/direct routing when traffic/flow control/SOPs permit. The pilot doesn't have to make the request. Of course, if he's used to getting a shortcut, then he may make that request.

The first question is more difficult. I looked at the last flight tonight between MDW and PIT, and Flightaware shows "filed route". Trouble is, that flight plan hasn't been filed yet. But it's probably a preferred route; if you file something different, the computer might bump you back onto the preferred route.
 
Luckyleaf6
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: SWA Routing question

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:42 pm

looking at flights from ORD to PIT (not SWA) it looks like that shortcut is common, so not a SWA thing -

I understand the southern shift to avoid DTW, but why not permanently route something shorter and further south of DTW - say OTENS to ACO since its on the way and a transition for the JESEY3. What's the point of ANEWA RIEKE and DJB?

Any members who are pilots or controllers who have been on this route and have insight?
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1619
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: SWA Routing question

Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:37 pm

Especially on the east coast, there is preferred routing between city pairs. That is the routing the FAA wants you to file.
When it comes time to actually issuing the clearance, you might get the filed routing, you might get something different.

Then after you are airborne, sometimes controllers will offer shortcuts, or if none is offered, the pilots may request a shortcut. The controller takes a look at it, and depending on what he’s allowed to do, and the workload, traffic permitting he clears the aircraft direct to a later fix.

Up and down the east coast though, you usually don’t get any shortcuts. Out west it’s pretty common. 8-9pm departures out of LA going to the Midwest/east coast usually get cleared direct to destination before you pass Thermal. We don’t have to ask, they just give it to us.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 18451
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: SWA Routing question

Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:38 am

One consideration is altitude. If you're at FL320 a shortcut is much less likely than at FL400, since traffic is more dense. When you file the route you file an altitude, but the controller never knows exactly at what altitude every flight will be when they enter his area.

Another consideration is loss of comms. Say you're cleared for a STAR and an Approach. You are likely to get vectors to final at some point, but if you lost comms the approach controller knows you'll fly the entire STAR and Approach, so they know where you will be even if they can't see you.


Luckyleaf6 wrote:
How does each different SWA pilot always know to request that shortcut on that specific route everytime? Is it written in the pilot briefing or something? Are these shortcut requests in every route at SWA?


- Familiarity with the route. You fly a few times through an area, and you'll know what shortcuts you're likely to be granted.
- Looking at the ND and seeing a possible shortcut. In an ideal world, you'd get a great circle from the exit of the SID to the entry of the STAR, but in the real world you typically only get shortcuts to the next FIR or country boundary,
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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