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Boston "LOA"???


Rich Heimlich
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The other night I was on and noticed a growing logjam of flights starting at Newark and ending at Boston (and visa-versa of course), so I fired up X-Plane, submitted a flightplan and started in.

 

The first thing that happened was a dialogue with a very informal controller at EWR who didn't seem all that familiar with process, so much so that after he asked me to stand by for clearance, he didn't change frequencies and I heard him ask someone if I should be even given a clearance since I "didn't seem to be part of the LOA" (or something that sounded like that.

 

He then came back and didn't approve the flightplan, but instead gave me some rough vectors. The rest of the flight pretty much went along the same way. Vector here, fly this other flight level, fly this vector, and so forth. The only time it felt "normal" to me was when I reached the controller handling Boston Approach.

 

What did I trip into and is this something I should have known about or needed to be invited to?

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thats a high traffic corridor, they have very specific LOA's between NY and Boston to route the traffic.

 

from EWR, its going to be MERIT ORW ORW6 or you can also get the KRANN3 which is a newer procedure

 

theirs also altitude restrictions on this, forgot what that is.

 

as a pilot though, you arent expected to know the LOA's, simply look for the proper routing, if it doesnt match up with an LOA, theyll let you know and work you in.

 

as far as what was going on, there was a group flight with lots of traffic the other day, thats probably what you were in the middle of. no invite required, if you ever have a controller tell you that, .wallop and summon a supervisor. also leave feedback. they arent allowed to do that

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An LOA is a letter of agreement between two facilities. This agreement many time will set routes too and from the two facilities involved; which is the case in this situation.

 

The ZBW/ZNY LOA is posted on there site at http://bostonartcc.net/docomeent_library/loas/ny.pdf

 

According to http://stats.vatsim.net/flightplan_details.php?conn=37734248&dep=KEWR&arr=KBOS you filed EWR1 MERIT KRANN3

 

Problem is you were a DASH8 and the first page of the KRANN3 states: "NOTE: Turbojet aircraft only."

 

On page three of the LOA it states that props should fly MERIT ORW.WOONS (STAR) or BDR V229 HFD V3 WOONS. Since your FP of EWR1 MERIT KRANN3 did not match one of those two routes, they needed to either provide you an alternate clearance to those LOA established route or coordinate with ZBW. Since it sounds like you got vectored the entire flight it sounds like they coordinated against the LOA to just provide you headings.

 

What I am curious is if you could recall what your IFR clearance was. Whether it was Radar vectors BOS or radar vectors to another point for a route to follow. This is important for lost comm procedures that you as the pilot should always know where you are being vectored to so if lost comms happens you know where to go.

The above pertains to United States

 

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  • Board of Governors

Based on the information here, and not knowing what was going on with the controllers in play, I'd say that the Newark Clearance Delivery controller erred by clearing you as filed, as the KRANN is not for props, as William has pointed out. That said, not all controllers at departure airports know all the arrivals at the destination, so not all Clearance Delivery controllers will catch a bad STAR in your flight plan. However, as these Centers are adjoining, and as there is an LOA in place that all controllers working any of the major airports in either facility are required to be trained on and know, he should have amended your flight plan.

 

That said, getting the vectors and altitudes on departure is very normal on the EWR1 (or JFK1 or LGA1). That will normally happen on departure; the controller know their arrival and departure corridors and their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and will provide you vectors and altitudes to comply. That's generally true up until MERIT, when you'll be switched to Boston Center (likely to cross MERIT at or below 17,000).

 

I don't think the controller was questioning whether or not he should allow you to fly, I think he was asking if he could clear you as filed or needed to issue a different clearance than what you filed.

 

Since you received an invalid clearance, I'd also suggest you provide the New York ARTCC with feedback at http://nyartcc.org/feedback to explain what happened (maybe all you have to do is ask them to read this thread), so ARTCC leadership can determine the facts from the controller's viewpoint, and remind the controller that it's important to issue a valid clearance.

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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Since you received an invalid clearance, I'd also suggest you provide the New York ARTCC with feedback at http://nyartcc.org/feedback to explain what happened (maybe all you have to do is ask them to read this thread), so ARTCC leadership can determine the facts from the controller's viewpoint, and remind the controller that it's important to issue a valid clearance.

 

So noted.

 

Ira Robinson

New York ARTCC

Air Traffic Manager

 

__________

Ira Robinson

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