IFR Flight Plans on the G1000

by HPA · October 31, 2010

“Cleared As Filed”

By Chris Reed, CFI, CFII, MEI

IFR Flight Plans on the G1000

The Instrument Flying Handbook states that situational awareness is simply “knowing what is going on” (1-14). The Garmin G1000 is a great tool to help maintain situational awareness on an IFR flight. In order to fully realize the system’s potential, however, the pilot must be able to load an IFR flight plan on the G1000 that matches his or her route exactly. This includes the ability to load a departure, an airway, and an arrival. This training article will cover these topics as well as how to store a flight plan in the G1000 and recall it from the database. Our sample IFR flight will take us from Dallas Love (KDAL) to New Orleans Lakefront (KNEW).

Choosing the Route

Looking at the Terminal Procedures Publication (available electronically at aeronav.faa.gov) shows that there are departure procedures (DPs) for Dallas Love and standard terminal arrival routes (STARs) for New Orleans Lakefront. I chose the Hubbard Six departure with the Longview transition and the Awdad Six arrival with the Baton Rouge transition. These procedures fit in well with our direction of flight. They do not have prohibitively high altitudes or any notes precluding us from using them. Pictures of the chosen procedures are below.

To complete our route, we need to connect the departure to the arrival. Looking at the IFR low altitude en route chart shows that there are several restricted areas near Alexandria, Louisiana. Because of this, I chose to use a victor airway in my route to simplify my planning. V114 runs from the Gregg County VOR (the terminating point of the Hubbard Six departure) to the Baton Rouge VOR (the starting point of the Awdad Six arrival). It doesn’t get much easier than that! To summarize, our chosen IFR route as it will be filed is HUBB6.GGG V114 BTR.AWDAD6. Now let’s find out how to put our IFR flight plan in the G1000.

1 Hubbard 6 DP

Awdad 6 Arrival

Loading a Departure

You may load a departure using the primary flight display (PFD) or the multifunction display (MFD). I chose to use the multifunction display for this example. Press the FPL key on the MFD. If the departure airport is not already on the first line, use the FMS knob to enter KDAL and press the ENT key.

Load DP

Now press the PROC key. The following window will appear. Use the large FMS knob to highlight SELECT DEPARTURE, and press the ENT key.

Load DP

Use the FMS knob to highlight the desired departure. Press the ENT key. Notice that our G1000 simulator does not contain the latest revision to the desired departure.

Select DP

Now select the desired transition and press ENT. Press ENT again to load the departure into your active flight plan. Notice that some departures also require you to select a departure runway.

Select Transition

Loading an Airway

After loading the departure, the next step is to load the chosen airway. Loading an airway into the G1000 requires that you provide an entry point and select an exit point. We know that our entry point is the Gregg County VOR (GGG). It is already in the flight plan because it is a waypoint on the departure. Press the FMS knob to bring up the cursor on the active flight plan page. Use the large FMS knob to select the line under GGG in your flight plan, and turn the small FMS knob to the right as if you were going to enter another waypoint.

Load Airway

Pressing the LD AIRWY softkey at the bottom right corner of the MFD brings up the following window. Select the desired airway and press ENT.

Select Airway

Now select the desired exit point from the airway. Notice that the fixes along the airway are arranged spatially around your entry point. In other words, SPOUT is closer to GGG than CARTH and so on. Keep going down the list until you find BTR; then press the ENT key.

Select Airway Exit

Press ENT again to load the airway into your active flight plan.

Load Aiway into FPL

Loading an Arrival

The last step in loading our IFR flight plan into the G1000 is to load the arrival. Loading an arrival is almost exactly like loading a departure. However, do not manually enter your destination airport at this time. The G1000 automatically adds your destination airport as the final fix when you load an arrival.

Press the PROC key on the MFD. Use the FMS knob to highlight SELECT ARRIVAL and press ENT. Use the FMS knob to enter your destination airport’s identifier and press ENT. Select the desired ARRIVAL and TRANSITION from the list. Press ENT to load the arrival. Notice that some arrivals require you to select which runway will be used.


Storing and Recalling a Flight Plan

We have now finished loading our IFR flight plan into the G1000. It is good practice at this point to take an overall look at what you entered and make sure it is correct. See the picture below. If you are not ready to start your engine right now, you will want to be able to save your flight plan. Otherwise it will disappear when you turn off the master switch, and you will have to start all over.

Flight Plan on MFD

To store the flight plan, the active flight plan window has to be open. If it is not, press the FPL key to open it. Then press MENU, highlight Store Flight Plan with the FMS knob, and press ENT. Make a mental note of the flight plan number and press ENT to accept. Now you may safely turn off your master switch without losing all your hard work.

Store FPL

When you are ready to use your stored flight plan, press the FPL key on the MFD. Make sure the cursor is not flashing in the active flight plan window. If it is, you need to press the FMS knob before going to the next step. Turn the small FMS knob one click to the right to bring up the list of stored flight plans. Highlight the desired flight plan, press the ACTIVE softkey at the bottom of the MFD, and press ENT. You are now ready to go. Have a great flight!

Flight Plan Catalog

How it Started

One of my best friends in high school, (Doug Gray) was a private pilot. He offered to take me up for a flight in a 1967 Cessna 150, N6228S. We took off from Calhoun, Georgia, and he took me on a scenic tour of the area, I was hooked. I later found out that my English teacher, (Jan Haluska) was also a flight instructor and the school was offering a ground school course the next year, which he taught, along with flight training with the goal of becoming a private pilot. I managed to talk my dad into funding the training, at the time the total cost was right around $500. Cessna 150 rental rates where $12 an hour, and the 172 we used for cross country was $15 an hour including fuel.

Training Begins

It started August of 1977. The fall semester rolls around, and I am enrolled in ground school, and if memory serves me, we met twice a week. First came the paperwork for my student pilot certificate, which at the time was included with the 3rd class medical. I loved ground school, especially learning navigation, plotting courses on the sectional, again this was before iPads and GPS, so we did a lot of dead reckoning and VOR navigation for cross countries. At the end of the course, I made an 83% on the Private Pilot written exam, remember this was before we had the question-and-answer books that on future test I would consume before taking a written.

2022.06.09 11.19 Flyhpa 62a27fea7716a


The fun really began on August 22, 1977, it was my first flight. To my surprise we used the same Cessna 150, N6228S that my friend Doug Gray had taken me for a ride in. The Cessna 150 had a standard VFR instrument panel, with one NAV/COM, and one VOR CDI. No intercom, so no headset, at the time I didn’t know what I was missing. I didn’t get my first headset until I started my instrument training in 2003. I was a big guy, I was 6’ 4” and weighed 245 lbs. but I do not remember being uncomfortable in the 150 even with the instructor in the right seat.

First flight lasted .8 hours, and we accomplished orentation, shallow turns, stability, and effects of flight controls. Over the next few months we added steep 720’s, slow flight, stalls, turns around a point, S-turns, emergencies, landings, (short field, soft field and normal).


At this point I want to talk about a training experience that still stands out. We were close to solo and were practicing takeoffs and landings. Turning base to final Jan got very upset at the way I was cross controlling the aircraft. Cross control is when you are in, say a left turn, and use opposite rudder to line the nose up with the runway. So, he had me depart the pattern and head east to the practice area, and climbing up to 5500 feet MSL, he had me slow down to just above stalling speed, start a left shallow turn and add right rudder. As the airplane stalled I had the strangest sensation, no roller coaster has ever come close, instead of blue sky in the windscreen I was looking at brown ground, and as far as I could tell we were upside down, through the terror of the moment Jan talked me out of the spin, controls neutral, oposite rudder, pull slowly out of the dive. As we leveled off he asked me what altitude we were at, as I remember it was around 2,800 feet MSL. Then he asked me what would happen if I experenced this on base to final in the traffic pattern. The answer was obvious, I would be a pile of wreckage off the end of the runway with a very short-lived aviation career. Needless to say this cured my cross-control tendencies.

Another training event the sticks out in my mind was the first time we did takeoffs and landings at the High School runway. The runway was 1,500 feet long, not sure of the width, but it seems like we had about 5 feet on each side of the wheels when on the center line of the runway. Landing from the south you also had to go between a cutout in the trees to be able to stop in time on the runway. After getting confortable landing here every runway since seemed huge. I remember landing at Chattanooga (KCHA) on a night cross country and commenting to Jan, that I felt like I could of landed sideways on the runway, it felt that large.

Very soon after this I started wearing old shirts to all my flight lessons, the reason for this occurred on February 8, 1978. The lesson that day was stalls, takeoffs and Landing. As we were taxing back in Jan told me it was time for my first solo. I was very excited, and after some last minute advice from Jan, including watch for floating on landing the plane will be light with him not in the right seat, complete 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop. It was a blast, and at the end of my shirt was shorter in the back because Jan cut the tail out of it signed and dated my solo [an aviation tradition]. Total flight time accumulated on the day of my solo was 18.1 hours. I was now officially a pilot with solo priveleges.

In my next article I start cross country training, when Jan decided that it would be best accomplished this in the 172. Checking out in N5970R was like moving into a 747, this started a love affair with one of my faviriote planes to date. Since this time I have flown over 900 hours in many different models of the 172 and feel like I am stepping into an old friend every time.

More about Randy here: https://www.flyhpa.com/team/randy-delong/


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