Returning from DLH flight plan

I will be picking up our SR22 on November 4th. After training I will fly it back with CFI to Philadelphia area. I am thinking of routing from DLH to PNE with one fuel/lunch stop. I will file IFR.
I am looking for routing and fuel stop recommendations from folks familiar with crossing Chicago airspace.
Right now I consider flying a great circle if the weather is good VFR. This involves over water flight (50nm) on two occasions. If flying at 11000ft I will be beyond gliding distance from shore for about 8 minutes.
If the weather is less than good VFR I will go to Indiana for a fuel stop and will have to overfly Chicago class B.
The question is if ATC will let me traverse chicago airspace on IFR plan at 11000. My experience from NYC and DC airspace is that approach will control up to FL180 and anyone lower will not get IFR clerance unless landing in metro area. Any suggestions welcome.

Rafal: In late June, I returned from DLH to SMQ (Somerset, NJ). Filed IFR, GPS Direct, 9000 ft with fuel stop in Saginaw, MI (Browne). Only problem was that it was Sunday and the office was closed. Self serve fuel and file for second leg was done airborne with FSS (the latter a new experience for me). Wx was CAVU (unfortunately). Didn’t worry about the lakes too much. Only route changes occurred as I got past Erie, PA which involved Direct VORs. No problem with Garmins. Good Luck and have fun!

Having been based in Chicago for about 30 year now I can tell you that the change of going over Chicago Class B at 11,000 is minimal. Furthermore, as others have pointed out you really should use high power settings to “break in” the engine and that means staying fairly low.
The routing you should plan on is over Rockford (RFD) V128 SMARS V144 FWA. While you will almost certainly be given that routing it is common to get a direct to EON or FWA before you get to SMARS
If you don’t want to go all the way to FWA you can go from SMARS V144 MAPPS and then direct to GSH or VWV. The only other way is to cross Lake Michigan well north of Chicago.
Hope that helps. Have a nice trip.

The nice thing about flying over Lake Michigan is that if you have an engine failure you don’t have to worry about whether to ditch or pull the CAPS because you won’t last long in the cold water anyway. Flying between Palwaukee and Sturgeon Bay, WI a lot I avoid getting out of gliding distance of the shore. I can get an IFR clearance from Milwaukee approach to “follow the shoreline”. Maybe I am gun shy because I had about 100 hours in the SR20 that had the crankcase failure about two years ago ( not while I was flying it). Also every year or so around Sturgeon Bay they find fisherman floating in their life jackets but dead. There is a Coast Guard helicopter in Muskegon and in the summer at Waukegan but it will take them a while to get to you even if they have a good fix. There is a procedure for crossing the lake where you report your position every few minutes until you are across.Have a good flight.

If the weather is really nice you may want to go VFR from Duluth to the Chicago area, maybe the OBK VOR and then head east over the lakefront staying below ORD class B and get a nice tour of the Lakefront right over Miegs (check in with them 10 miles north) then a few minutes to Gary and pick up an IFR flight plan to Philadelphia. I’m also at Palwaukee and flew to Cleveland a few weeks ago and filed Gary to Cleveland Direct. I also asked for no over water. One of the controllers in Lafayette? vectored me torwards Lake Erie and I reminded her that I was no over water. She said I shouldn’t file direct if that were the case. I guess they want specific fixes if you want no over water. Personally, I would like to stay within gliding range of shore for any of the Great Lakes, but that’s a personal decision.

I thought you needed to fly the first 25 hours at 75% power or greater which means staying at 8000 or below?

In reply to:

Self serve fuel and file for second leg was done airborne…

Neat trick! [;)]


That’s correct