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JimMac
10-21-2016, 08:17 AM
I wish to use VFR waypoints that are named something like "VPxyz" for flight planning. I would like to use them for route planning to avoid MOA's or class B or C control areas. I can't seem to find any on a sectional chart. What good are they for flight planning if they aren't shown on a sectional chart? With "foreFlight" flight planning tool I can see waypoints that have 5 letter names but they do not start with "VP". Can someone clear up my confusion?

DGlaeser
10-21-2016, 08:49 AM
Where do you find the "VPxxx" waypoints? I'm not familiar with those.

There are visual checkpoints on the sectional (the little flags) which you can use when talking to ATC to specify your location, but these aren't GPS waypoints (usually).

The 5 letter checkpoints are IFR waypoints (good luck pronouncing most of them :rolleyes:) Those you will find in your GPS (and ForeFlight).

You can use whatever you want visually, but if you want to put it into your GPS, only airports and the 5 letter waypoints can be used (at least that's all I've ever seen).

MarkW
10-21-2016, 08:51 AM
I don't believe they are really for route flight planning.

A VFR waypoint is a predetermined geographical point depicted on a chart for transitioning and/or circumventing controlled and/or SUA, that is defined relative to a visual reporting point or in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates.

SMRacer
10-21-2016, 09:16 AM
Not saying this is absolutely accurate, but here is my take.
VPXXX designations are used for VFR flight plans and navigation. My trips through the WDC SFRA include the points VPONX and VPOOP. These points are not on the sectional, but DO appear on the TAC chart.

Plummit
10-21-2016, 09:21 AM
I don't believe they are really for route flight planning.

A VFR waypoint is a predetermined geographical point depicted on a chart for transitioning and/or circumventing controlled and/or SUA, that is defined relative to a visual reporting point or in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates.

No so fast grasshopper ;-), Visual reporting points (VFR waypoints) may lead a pilot into controlled airspace that requires a clearance. This is from an article on the AOPA website:

"VFR waypoints will ease navigation for VFR pilots, using the Global Positioning System (GPS) for supplemental information, operating around, under, and between airspace that may require clearance or be restricted from their operation. These waypoints will provide pilots with additional tools to improve positive situational awareness."

They can be used as an aid to VFR navigation, but that's all they are intended to be. Here is the full article:
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2008/february/28/vfr-waypoints-overview

regards

~Marc

maus92
10-21-2016, 10:00 AM
Not saying this is absolutely accurate, but here is my take.
VPXXX designations are used for VFR flight plans and navigation. My trips through the WDC SFRA include the points VPONX and VPOOP. These points are not on the sectional, but DO appear on the TAC chart.

Yep, they are definitely *useful* for those of us in the DC area - if your GPS has those points in it dataset. BTW, there's nothing visual about them, i.e. no ground feature associated with them. Anyway, navigating direct between VPOOP and VPONX keeps one clear of the super secret FRZ to the south, and the BWI Class Bravo to the north. Sadly - and incredulously / inexplicably - these waypoints are not in the FAA supplied AeroNav VFR database that Garmin uses for its basic navigation data for G3X. They are included in the more expensive data options, including the Garmin massaged Navigation data, which is why I'm switching to the US Database Bundle next month.

Plummit
10-21-2016, 11:05 AM
BTW, there's nothing visual about them, i.e. no ground feature associated with them.

I beg to differ: VPLQM= The Queen Mary, VPLHP= The Huntington Beach Pier, VPLDS= Dodger Stadium etc etc.

~Marc

donaziza
10-21-2016, 12:15 PM
I don't Know about Foreflight, but you can easily see th?m on Garmin Pilot. I once accidentally planned myself thru 5 class D airports on a "sectional". Never saw th?m. Upon double checking on Garmin Pilot, I saw all my mistakes, and fixed th?m all. Don't use sectionals for flight planning anymore because of this.:eek:

az_gila
10-21-2016, 01:17 PM
Not all little red flag markers on the FAA maps are created equal...:)

Some markers seem to be reporting points for local control towers and do not get VPxxx designations.

The ones that are in the data bases with the VP designations only seem to be marked with labels, on a Terminal Area Chart.

Good example here from the Phoenix area

https://skyvector.com/?ll=33.34032584767691,-111.91610902470393&chart=121&zoom=3&fpl=N0125%20KSKX%20KAEG%20KTCS%20KDMN%203217N11038 W%203219N11057W%2057AZ

The link should go to the TAC, select the Phoenix sectional in the upper "buttons" and you will see the same red flag markers, but with no VPxxx designations.

Added, looking closer some of the red flags from the TAC disappear on the Sectional - Firebird Lake (VPFRB) a very easily recognizable feature, is on the TAC but not on the Sectional.

JimMac
10-21-2016, 01:43 PM
OK, I finally did find some VPxxx waypoints on the New Orleans sectional that are designated by a 4-pointed star. But they are few and far between and don't seem to be very useful. They are all listed in a table in the bottom margin of the sectional with their Lat/lon coordinates - that's how I was able to find them on the map. There are 10 of them on the entire sectional.
On the other hand, the waypoints with the 5-letter names (not starting with "VP) are peppered all over the place. If you go to foreFlight, and click on the IFR Low map, you can see them all - little triangles with the name beside them.
Now provided that my Garmin SkyView GPS database has those sites in it, I suppose I can use these locations to route me around MOA's or whatever.

JimMac
10-21-2016, 02:01 PM
This has been an interesting discussion. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I have just started back flying after about a 15 year absence and now I've made more cross-country flights in the past 4 weeks than I have made in the past 30 years. So I am learning (or re-learning ) a lot of this kind of info. I was planning a flight from Huntsville, AL to Evergreen, AL to attend the SERFI fly-in in my new RV-12 E-LSA and I thought it would be good to fly a set of GPS legs that would miss the MOA's. When I get to my plane, I'll try to load in the 5-letter sites that I've selected and see if it knows about them.

Captain_John
10-21-2016, 02:02 PM
In my experience I have found that controllers are largely unfamiliar with visual waypoints, unless they live and fly in the area.

I have referred to them in the past and controllers were puzzled.

Otoh, there was reference to one this summer on a NOTAM while flying into Simsbury, CT. They obviously were aware of that one.

My guess is that they are on sectionals for deduced reckoning navigation and pilot refernce.

:cool: CJ

az_gila
10-21-2016, 03:28 PM
In my experience I have found that controllers are largely unfamiliar with visual waypoints, unless they live and fly in the area.

I have referred to them in the past and controllers were puzzled.

Otoh, there was reference to one this summer on a NOTAM while flying into Simsbury, CT. They obviously were aware of that one.

My guess is that they are on sectionals for deduced reckoning navigation and pilot refernce.

:cool: CJ

I think they may be much more familiar with the ones in and around Class B areas - the ones on the Terminal Area Charts.

maus92
10-21-2016, 04:13 PM
I beg to differ: VPLQM= The Queen Mary, VPLHP= The Huntington Beach Pier, VPLDS= Dodger Stadium etc etc.

~Marc


OK, not *always* VPOOP and VPONX are just points in space.

maus92
10-21-2016, 04:16 PM
Now provided that my Garmin SkyView GPS database has those sites in it, I suppose I can use these locations to route me around MOA's or whatever.

Do you mean Dynon Skyview vs. Garmin Skyview?

az_gila
10-21-2016, 04:38 PM
OK, not *always* VPOOP and VPONX are just points in space.

Interesting that they put the "VPOOP" one near Washington DC, sounds appropriate...:)

Apparently some are co-located with visual references and others are not.

They are all listed here -

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/16824590/372-city-military-airport-cross-reference-aeronautical-navigation-/57

It does seem like the two areas I am somewhat familiar with - LAX and PHX TAC charts - are 100% co-located with visual references.

Not so much correlation in other parts of the country though.

bruceh
10-21-2016, 05:07 PM
I use these Visual reporting points all of the time in my flight planning. You can go on skyvector.com (https://skyvector.com/), select the Departure and Destination and then rubber-band the magenta line to all of your intermediate way points. Select the Terminal Area charts and you can see the VPXXX points. Save the Flight Plan you create and email it to yourself with ForeFlight as the Destination App. When I get into the airplane, I open up the email on my phone, which starts up ForeFlight app on the phone. From there I can send it over WiFi to my Skyview.

Isn't technology great? :)