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5 Diamonds Member
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Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N40XE
Airport: S39

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Post by Rich »

In Foreflight I was reviewing one of my flight plans for last August, which partly used T304 from just North of Redmond to just South of Portland. I discovered T304 was now gone, so FF flagged an error. Instead there is now T355, which has slightly lower MEAs, but seemed to use the same fixes. "Why would they do that?", says I. I got to digging and this newly-created T355 goes all the way from near Redding, CA to the Canadian border near Abbotsford, BC, replicating the T304 route along the way. There are also lots more of these blue lines in the NW now. Further digging revealed a Federal Register filing. There are scads of T-route additions as part of the Jan 20, 2020 update:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... amendments

I got to looking at it further and these routes aren't necessarily the best choice for routing over long distances. In fact, my old routing would simply change to S39->HERBS->T355->GLARA->V448->BTG->V287 and onward to Victoria. Following Victor airways in this area looks considerably better than trying to stay on T-routes the whole way. These routes also tend to wander around when examined for longer distances and it's common for them to cross without sharing a waypoint/fix. This wandering probably suggests an intent to provide easier routing over certain terrain and from out-of-the-way initiating/destination locations. The best use is probably in using select segments to optimize your routing where DIRECT isn't advisable for filing.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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