Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

2 Answers

Legal altitude for filing?

Asked by: 1448 views , , ,
Instrument Rating

If the OROCA for my area of flight is 2000, is this the lowest legal altitude that I could file if my course was an off-airway route?

Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

2 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Dec 10, 2015

    It is a legal altitude for filing, but that does not mean that you will be cleared at that altitude. ATC will use there own minimum IFR altitude for your route. The minimum altitude for IFR operation on a random route outside of the designated mountainous areas is 1000 feet above the highest obstacle within +/- 4 NM of the route center line. In most cases, the pilot does not have adequate information to determine what the route minimum is, so as a practical matter, ATC assigns an altitude that meets this requirement.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  2. Vitaliy Krivoruk on Dec 11, 2015

    Just to add a quick story to this as an example.

    I was flying from KALW-KSZT and on my last leg I was cleared direct to SZT. I was level at 7,000ft and decided to glance at the sectional to see how high the terrain was since it is a mountainous area. I realized that our course was right over a peak that was about 5,100ft. So I got curious because I was aware of the requirement that IFR traffic needs to be at least 2,000ft AGL above obstacles within a 4nm radius in a mountainous area. Sure enough, less than a minute later Seattle Center (pretty sure it was center…) came on and asked us to climb and maintain 7,100ft. Just enough to keep us 2,000ft above the peak. It was a completely clear day by the way, but I thought it was an interesting example of what John D Collins mentioned.

    Thank you, and happy landings!

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes


The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.