I-02: Short IFR Flight


Recommended aircraft: slow piston (Cessna Skyhawk, Piper Warrior) , fast piston (Beech Baron, Piper Seneca)

Short IFR Flight - This IFR rating involves a flight from KSNA to KCRQ, using a predescribed route and altitude. The pilot will then request the ILS RWY 24 approach at CRQ, and will receive vectors to the final approach course from ATC.

File 'V23 OCN' for your route, with an enroute altitude of 5000.  This is the published preferred route for slow and fast piston aircraft from SNA to CRQ.  In later ratings, we'll learn more about where to find these routes, but for now, that's the route to fly.

What is V23?

v23.PNGOur filed route reads 'V23 OCN'. V23 is a low altitude airway (a Victor airway, hence the 'V' code) running from the Seal Beach (SLI) VOR to the Oceanside (OCN) VOR. These airways form the backbone of the low altitude enroute structure in the National Airspace System.

V23 runs southeast out of SLI along the 120 radial, all the way to OCN, and then continuing to the southeast.

In the real world, you would be required to have current low-enroute charts to fly IFR. These charts depict the airways, intersections, published holds, minimum enroute altitudes, and other information needed to safely fly IFR. 

You can access an interactive version of the required low-enroute chart (L3/L4) at, or use the reference page below.

Obviously, it's not convenient for all online pilots to obtain these charts, so there are other substitutes including online navigation tools and flight planners.  If you don't have access to charts or a flight planning tool, then avoid filing routes involving airways.  Simply file a VOR-to-VOR route instead, such as 'SLI OCN', or just 'OCN'.

Required Materials
KSNA Facility Chart
KCRQ facility chart
KCRQ ILS RWY 24 approach

Related Materials
ATC Transcript
Transcript: John Wayne to Carlsbad, IFR
ZLA - External Link
Web site containing scrollable, zoomable VFR and IFR charts
ZLA - Instructional Video
KSNA-KCRQ Instructional Video
Introduction to Victor airways, IFR to KCRQ for the ILS RWY 24 approach
ZLA - Practical Test Standards
IFR Practical Test Standards
list of requirements for all IFR ratings
Practical Test Standards
list of requirements for all ratings
ZLA - Reference
IFR Clearance Primer
Simple intro to the common elements of an IFR Clearance
IFR Cruising Altitudes
L-3 low enroute IFR chart
IFR chart depicting victor airways around southern California