Approved Routes on Flights

For the Cross Countries, is there a list of Approved Routes or Scenarios that must be followed?


No. The FAA defines Cross Country flights as:

To meet the requirements (except rotorcraft and powered parachute category rating) for a private certificate, a commercial certificate, instrument rating, or for the purposes of exercising recreational pilot privileges (except in a rotorcraft) under 61.101©, cross-country time requires a point of landing that is more than 50 nm straight-line distance from the original point of departure. 14 CFR 61.1(b)(3)(ii)

As long as a flight meets that criteria, it qualifies. Now if you’re talking specifically about ATP, then sure there are airports and safe routes they prefer that offer good facilities (fuel, runways in good condition, possibly an ATP location for other services, etc) but nothing is written in stone. Not sure what you mean by “scenarios” but you are expected to practice your instrument skills along the way.


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Yes. You will work with ATP dispatch as they will provide the routes based on operational needs. You will do the flight planning, but it will be approved by dispatch prior to your departure. This is much the same way as the airlines operate.

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Flight Ops keeps the list of approved routes and airports. The CFI’s have access to these routes too.

Cross country is a generic term. Adam explained it well. If you’re doing cross countries during the private, instrument or commercial phase, there are training elements associated with each cross country. The elements are unique to each cross country in the syllabus. They could involve ground based navigation, pilotage and dead reckoning, instrument approaches, flight following procedures, takeoffs and landings, non-towered operations, etc.

Crew Cross Countries (ATP’s approved program that begins after passing the instrument checkride) is different. It’s structured like an airline. A crew of two pair up and complete all of the preflight responsibilities. Then Flight Ops will dispatch the crew to a destination within the approved route system. The scenario during crew cross country IS the crew element of the flight. Each pilot takes turns being the pilot flying and pilot monitoring and both pilots exercise crew resource management and aeronautical decision making, operating under instrument flight rules.



Thank you all for the replies. Sounds good.