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Bristol Radar ‘cancelling IFR plan’ without my request of approval

Today I filled a IFR Flight plan at FL140 from EGBJ to EGKB as follows using Rocket Route > BADIM Q63 MIMBI Q63 KENET .

I had all the acceptance confirmations from Rocket Route. Departed EGBJ no problem with a ‘maintain own visual separation as we have no radar and contact Bristol’. Was climbing to 7000ft direct BADIM as per my departure clearance from EGBJ.

Switched to Bristol Radar who told me that they had cancelled my plan and I could see if London would pick me up!!! I asked them to repeat this as I could not believe what I was hearing? I considered having a discussion on frequency but thought I would try London first. Switched to London who just picked me up and vectored me the rest of the way at FL140 to LAM and then via vectors to the ILS no problem.

Am I mistaken in thinking that ATC cannot just cancel an IFR plan on you? Was it due to the fact that I was on a Traffic service departing EGBJ that Bristol have an ‘option’ to pick me up for IFR. It was just very strange to have a ‘we have cancelled you’ message… and the ambivalent ‘ try your luck with London handoff’

Normally I think ATC are just brilliant all over Europe and US but this is really an odd one for me? Am I missing something?

The sky is the limit
EGKB, United Kingdom

Call Bristol radar and ask what happened. If not happy file an MOR.

Are you sure you just weren’t in their airspace and LONDON was the correct ATC facility?

Last Edited by JasonC at 02 Sep 21:49
EGTK Oxford
UK pilots are currently being encouraged to file reports using FCS1521 in cases of restrictive ATC practices. The is much discussion on the fora regarding Bristol in this regard.

EGCJ, United Kingdom

Have a chat with the unit first, but sounds like a MOR event to me as it involves flight safety, than a FCS1521.

Last Edited by James_Chan at 02 Sep 21:55

I would be interested in the exact words used. Even for UK standards, where some ATC units like to just „drop“ aircraft, I can‘t imagine they said they „cancelled your flightplan“. Wouldn‘t make tiniest bit of sense.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 02 Sep 22:01
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

JasonC wrote:

Are you sure you just weren’t in their airspace and LONDON was the correct ATC facility?

Being at 5000ft IFR does not help neither with Bristol, it was “handover” Cardiff/Bristol that end up with vectors to outside their CAS to the north (I was going south-east), also, I think it was the only time when I heard ATC asking if you are IR/IMC-rated versus you are IFR/VFR

ESSEX, United Kingdom

I was going back to Oxford the other day and London Control said, as I was descending, “my service terminates, squawk 7000 and freecall enroute” which seemed strange to me. I was still in CAS at the time too.

We're glad you're here
Oxford EGTK

That is standard UK procedure. It is a silent removal of your IFR clearance and a de facto cancellation of your IFR flight plan. Yes, they usually do it while you are still in CAS. See e.g. here.

I would like to hear a recording of the ATC actually saying they have cancelled his FP. Not impossible but really bizzare. This is really serious because you could be busted and spend 5 digits on a lawyer to get out of it. You won’t have access to the evidence; only the CAA gets it. In fact if they cancel the FP while OCAS then the pilot is 100% in the wrong and cannot get out of it, regardless of what ATC did.

Did they give a frequency for “London”? If they cancelled the FP then going to either “London” (London Info or London Control) is going to be useless.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

That is standard UK procedure

It shouldn’t be – the correct phraseology would be ‘you are cleared to leave CAS via descent’ or if CAS is rising above your current level ‘in 5 miles you are leaving CAS where (either) my service terminates (or) you are on a traffic/basic service ‘.

They can’t terminate radar control inside CAS.

On the OP a bit more info would be helpful as to FL and location. A BADIM Q63 join is typically FL70 eastbound, if at A5,000 feet Bristol might have concluded you were not following Gloucester’s departure instructions (ie not a clearance)? Gloucester don’t have radar at the moment and normally you would be on a basic or procedural service, so being on a traffic service seems unclear. They would typically hand you over to Bristol for clearance into CAS and you would remain outside CAS at DTY D46 until cleared. Bristol would offer basic service OCAS, sometimes traffic depending on controller workload.

London joining is at MALBY the next easterly waypoint on Q63.

Before issuing MORs etc on an overworked ATC station I suggest starting with Gloucester to understand the lack of coordination with Bristol. It is quite typical for puddlejumper GA to be awkward to fit into Q63 at FL070-080, hence the need to be prepared to hold OCAS until ATC can resolve separation on commercial traffic being vectored/departing either Bristol or Cardiff.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

I find this quite shocking to see how UK ATC (all cases appear to be with UK ATC) seem to forget they are a service to pilots. “Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace. The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots”

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France
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