IFR Over Top of ATL?

Planning an IFR trip Dallas-Aiken, S.C., and best route is V278/V18 over the top of ATL. But chart says file to north or south. Anyone know what is the preferred/best route around ATL, going west-east, or will they likely let me overfly? I’d also be interested in Alabama food stop recommendations?
N262GM, SR20 #1129

You are almost guaranteed to be routed well north or south. There is no ‘corridor’ for east-west transient traffic because the runways are east-west. You would have to fly right through the arrivals and departures. It you were going north or south, you would stand a good chance of being sent right over the top of the airport.

I have flown this several times. Just file direct over top. Most of the time you will get straight through. If you stay at 10- 11,000 it will help.


Scott, I’m not sure of the answer but as someone who flies to Aiken periodically (a brother in law lives there) I can tell you the approach gate is IRQ (Colliers).
Personally I would try MCN (Macon) direct. This will keep you almost 50 miles south of the Atlanta Class B. and shouldn’t be too far out of the way.


What day and time are you going? If you’d like to stop in Huntsville, AL at Madison County Executive Airport (KMDQ), I’d be glad to meet you for lunch or dinner (schedule permitting, of course), and hangar, err, restaurant flying. My SR22 is based there.


I regularly fly IFR east-west through Atlanta class B. I have never been refused Victor 18. Eastbound 9,000, westbound 8,000. Atlanta Approach likes to keep you on the airway if they get busy. I have always gotten direct after clearing Class B.

In my experience, it depends on WHERE you want to fly on your N/S or E/W route. When I fly through ATL class B on a DIRECT or VOR-to-VOR flight plan, and my route will put me in or near one of the arrival or departure corridors, I end up getting vectored around the class B. (BTW, you can negotiate to keep on your heading if you’re willing to take a different altitude - frequently quite low and sometimes technically UNDER the class B - watch out for all the class D spaces under the shelf, you can get busted for not talking to the correct tower controller!). If my flight plan will take me directly over the airport, or If I file airway routing, they pretty much leave me on my plan all the way through. It also helps if you time your entry into the class B to avoid a “push” time at ATL or PDK, when the controllers are at their busiest and less willing to haggle over airspace.

BTW, I’ll be in Orangeburg SC (KOGB) over the thanksgiving holiday (Wed. to Sat.) and then on to Manteo for the fly-in. If you get the chance, hop over and we’ll go eat BBQ (O’burg has a BBQ place that has the BEST mustard-based pork barbeque on the planet!). My cell # is 828-719-0704

Mason: What altitude do you have to be to get cleared over the top?

I have made the N/S trip about a dozen times at altitudes up to 12,000’ and I have always been vectored east or west. They are nice though, they always give me a choice on which side I want to circumnavigate. [;)]


Me too, Marty, I always get vectored around to the east or west.


I have done this North South and South North over ATL a few times normally IFR and once recently VFR, almost direct each time. 8 to 11,000 feet is what I normally fly so it would have been in that range.

In fact my last trip in that direction was VFR and there were a few clouds I needed to go around so when I asked for 20 to the left for clouds the controller asked if I could stay straight and take a pop up IFR. He cleared me to a fix for about 15 minutes then I went back to VFR before the hand off.

I think I took off VFR flight following because I did not want to wait around for an IFR release and it was a nice day.

Maybe just lucky. For me I always fly direct and let them amend me as needed. I am mostly a Southeast flyer.


Many thanks to all for the expertise. I’ll try direct over the top and see what happens.

And Mike, I’ll be stopping in Friday between 12-1 p.m., but probably quick lunch/quick turn. Love to meet you at KMDQ if you had time…

262GM, SR20 #1129

Just goes to prove that without bad luck, I would have no luck at all. Perhaps I should stop telling “stupid controller jokes” on the radio and the “See you next time” good-by was perhaps inadvisable. [;)]

Well, I’ll be heading down that way on December 28/29 and back on the first or second, so we shall see.



In reply to:

. If you get the chance, hop over and we’ll go eat BBQ (O’burg has a BBQ place that has the BEST mustard-based pork barbeque on the planet!).

That sounds so much better that what is likely to be standard Thanksgiving fare in Santa Barbara: