To file a change to your flight plan en route, the pilot communicates five required items to the ARTCC.
You can recall these items by using the acronym D-R-A-F-T: (D)estination, (R)oute, (A)ltitude, (F)uel, and
(T)ime. This acronym may not be understood by ATC; it is only a memory aid for you to recall the items
necessary in the request.
When dealing with a communications failure, you are expected to use good judgment in whatever action
you take. Dont be reluctant to take emergency action to maintain safety of flight.
If your aircraft has a usable transponder when two-way radio communications are lost, squawk mode 3,
code 7600. Using this code will bring immediate controller attention to your problem. Continue to squawk
this code while you still have radio problems or until directed by ATC to change your squawk. In addition
to the squawk, also make in the blind calls in case your transmitter is still operating.
appropriate frequency listed in the FLIP Enroute IFR Supplement. If you are unable to reestablish contact
with center, attempt to call the nearest FSS on 255.4 or 122.5, monitor the appropriate VOR frequency (as
center may issue instructions over this frequency), or as a last resort, transmit on guard.
If you have lost your transmitter but are still receiving, you can expect ATC to attempt to determine if you
are receiving by requesting that you do one or more of the following: squawk ident on your IFF, change
your IFF squawk, switch IFF squawk to standby, or by requesting that you execute turns.
If you are in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) when communications are lost, do not enter IFR
conditions if it is possible to descend and land VFR at a suitable field.
If you are in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) or must reenter IMC when communications are
lost, continue along your route and altitude in accordance with the following procedures in the order
Route assigned in the last ATC clearance
If on a vector, direct to the point specified in the vector clearance
In absence of assigned route, by the route given in an expected further routing (EFR)
In absence of EFR or assigned route, by route filed in flight plan
Altitude (at the highest of the following):
Altitude or flight level last assigned
Minimum enroute altitude/flight level for the segment being flown
Altitude ATC says you may expect in a further clearance
As previously mentioned, if a climb is required, commence it as necessary to comply with the minimum
altitude as required in one through three above.
If you lose communications while on a vector off your planned route with no expected further routing,
return to your filed route. If at all possible, do not accept a clearance off your filed route without an
expected further routing.