Military Training Routes



Introduction:

  • Military Training Routes (MTRs) are routes used by military aircraft to maintain proficiency in tactical "low level" flying
  • The MTR program is a joint venture by the FAA and the Department of Defense (DOD), mutually developed for use by the military for the purpose of conducting low altitude, high speed training

Route Information:

  • Established below 10,000' MSL to accommodate training for both VFR and IFR operations at speeds in excess of 250 knots
    • Some route segments may be defined at higher altitudes for purposes of route continuity
    • Due to the high speeds, "see and avoid" may be difficult
  • Route segments may be defined at higher altitudes for purposes of route continuity
    • For example, route segments may be defined for descent, climb-out, and mountainous terrain
  • Pilots are responsible for remaining within the route width or FAR 91.117 now applies
  • Operations will be conducted at the minimum speed required to accomplish the mission
  • Specific route information is contained in FLIP AP/1B (Military Training Routes)
  • A thorough review of FLIP AP/1B, temporary route advisories, Chart Updating Manual (CHUM), and Chart Updating Manual Supplement (CHUMSUPP) is essential to ensure flight safety and maximum training from each sortie
  • Check with the scheduling agency for unpublished restrictions and low-altitude charts for airspace restrictions
  • A 1:500,000 scale chart, current tactical pilotage chart (TPC), or sectional aeronautical chart should be used for flying low-level navigation
  • Review the route corridor to identify all significant obstacles and high terrain
  • Note the avoidance criteria for airfields and the need to remain clear of published noise-sensitive areas
  • Routes are identified as IFR (IR) and VFR (VR) followed by a number
  • Nonparticipating aircraft are not prohibited from flying within an MTR; however, extreme vigilance should be exercised when conducting flight through or near these routes
  • Pilots should contact FSSs within 100 NM of a particular MTR to obtain current information or route usage in their vicinity. Information available includes times of scheduled activity, altitudes in use on each route segment, and actual route width
  • Route width varies for each MTR and can extend several miles on either side of the charted MTR centerline. Route width information for IR and VR MTRs is also available in the FLIP AP/1B along with additional MTR (slow routes/air refueling routes) information
  • When requesting MTR information, pilots should give the FSS their position, route of flight, and destination in order to reduce frequency congestion and permit the FSS specialist to identify the MTR which could be a factor

  • Figure 1: Military Training Routes (MTRs)
    Military Training Routes
  • This altitude shall provide obstruction clearance
  • Aircrew must be aware of route structure
  • Unless otherwise delineated in an MTR special operating procedure, aircrew shall avoid charted, uncontrolled airports by 3 NM or 1,500'
  • Aircrew shall avoid Class Bravo, Charlie and Delta airspace
  • Aircrew shall minimize disturbance to persons/property on the ground
  • All route entries shall be accomplished at published entry/alternate entry points only
  • IR Routes:
    • IFR: above 1,500'
    • To be flown, to the maximum extent possible, under IFR
    • Conducted in accordance with IFR regardless of weather conditions
    • Require a specific ATC entry clearance prior to entering
    • Pilots shall be responsible for obtaining an IFR ATC exit clearance prior to exiting an IR route
  • VR Routes:
    • VFR: 1,500' and below
    • Conducted under VFR, except when flight visibility must be 5 SM or more and flights shall not be conducted below a ceiling of less than 3,000' AGL
    • Pilots departing on IFR clearances to fly VRs are required to file to the fix/radial/distance of entry
    • Pilots transitioning to IFR, upon exiting a VR, are required to have on file a previously filed IFR flight plan from the appropriate fix/radial/distance of their point
    • For VR routes, the nearest flight service station will be notified (255.4 megahertz (MHz)) by the pilot upon entering the route with entry time, number/type aircraft, exit fix, and estimated exit time
    • Pilots of aircraft operating on a VR route will adjust their transponder to code 4000, unless otherwise assigned by ATC
  • Route Identification:
    • MTRs with no segment above 1,500' AGL shall be identified by four number characters (IR1206/VR1207)
    • MTRs that include one or more segments above 1,500' AGL shall be identified with three number characters (IR206/VR207)
    • Alternate IR/VR routes or route segments are identified by using the basic/principal route designation followed by a letter suffix (IR008A, VR1007B)
  • Route charting
    • IFR Low Altitude En Route Chart: This chart will depict all IR routes and all VR routes that accommodate operations above 1,500' AGL
    • VFR Sectional Charts: These charts will depict military training activities such as IR, VR, MOA, Restricted Area, Warning Area, and Alert Area information
    • Area Planning (AP/1B) Chart (DOD Flight Information Publication-FLIP): This chart is published by the DOD primarily for military users and contains detailed information on both IR and VR routes
  • MTR Segment Transition:
    • Pilots transitioning from one MTR segment to another segment with a lower minimum altitude must cross the fix defining the next leg no lower than the preceding segments minimum altitude
    • Example: "05 AGL B 15 AGL to "E" 02 AGL B 15 AGL to ..." indicates "E" must be crossed no lower than 500' AGL
    • Pilots transitioning from one MTR segment to another segment with a higher minimum altitude must cross the fix defining the next leg no lower than the subsequent segments minimum altitude
    • Example: "02 AGL B 15 AGL to "B" 10 AGL B 15 AGL to ..." indicates "B" must be crossed no lower than 1,000' AGL
    • Pilots transitioning from one MTR segment to another segment with a lower maximum altitude must cross the fix defining the next leg no higher than the subsequent segments maximum altitude
    • Example: "10 AGL B 60 MSL to "D" 02 AGL B 15 AGL to ..." indicates "D" must be crossed no higher than 1,500' AGL
    • Pilots transitioning from one MTR segment to another segment with a higher maximum altitude must cross the fix defining the next leg no higher than the preceding segments maximum altitude
    • Example: "10 AGL B 40MSL "B" 02 AGL B 70 MSL to ..." indicates "B" must be crossed no higher than 4,000' MSL
    • Pilots shall be responsible for adhering to the provisions of reference (d), subpart 91.119 (Minimum Safe Altitude, General)
    • All route exits shall be accomplished at published exit/alternate exit points only
    • When exiting an MTR below 10,000' MSL, the flight shall comply with reference (d), subpart 91.117 (Aircraft Speed)
  • Communication Failure:
    • If the failure occurs in VMC, or if VMC are encountered after the failure, each pilot shall continue the flight VFR and land as soon as practicable
    • Refer to reference (d), subpart 91.185b and DoD FLIP Flight Information Handbook
    • If the failure occurs in IMC or if paragraph (a) above cannot be complied with, each pilot shall:
      • Maintain to the exit/alternate exit point the higher of the following:
        • The minimum IFR altitude for each of the remaining route segment(s)
        • The highest altitude assigned in the last ATC clearance
        • Depart the exit/alternate exit point at the altitude determined in subparagraph b(1) above, then climb/descend to the altitude filed in the flight plan for the remainder of the flight
  • Emergencies:
    • Adjust transponder to reply on mode 3/A code 7600
    • During an emergency, if aircrews are unable to continue on a VR or IR at the published altitude(s), they shall immediately squawk 7700 and contact the appropriate ATC facility

NOTE:
Climbing above the MTR structure may place aircraft in close proximity to airways traffic; caution is advised

Flight Information Publication (FLIP):

Figure 2: Military Training Sectional Explanation
Military Training Explanation
  • The FLIP contains charts and narrative descriptions of these routes
  • This publication is available to the general public by single copy or annual subscription from:
    • Aeronautical Navigation Products (AeroNav)
    • Logistics Group
    • Federal Aviation Administration
    • 10201 Good Luck Road
    • Glenn Dale, MD 20769-9700
    • Toll free phone: 1-800-638-8972
    • Commercial: 301-436-8301
  • This DOD FLIP is available for pilot briefings at FSS and many airports


Reference:



Written by (mike.manna@cfinotebook.net) || Last modified on