The new Northern California T-routes I wrote about a while back in April now appear on the NACO and Jeppesen IFR en route charts. For some pilots, this should be a welcome relief. Here's an email I received a while back:
I frequently fly IFR from S50 to KRHV. Just before SAC, they amend my filed plan (... V23 SAC V334 SUNOL) to "... depart SAC at hdg 157 and intercept the ECA 215 radial, then fly hdg 215 to CEDES". The first time they gave me this clearance, it was a curve ball, I got off GPS mode and navigated to CEDES using VORs (I could have used OBS, but didn’t bother). However, upon closer inspection, I realized that all they did was send me to MOVDD, then CEDES. So I wonder why they simply don’t clear me "... direct MOVDD direct CEDES". In the 3 times I have flown this route IFR, every single time, I got this funky clearance.
Assuming controllers have been briefed on T-routes and assuming they can determine when an aircraft is equipped for en route RNAV, this reader's amended clearance should simply be "cleared Sacramento, Tango 259, CEDES ..."
At least one ZSE controller told me a few months ago that they had not been trained on the use of T-routes and, at that time, were not assigning them in clearances even if specifically requested by pilots to do so. There are a bunch of aircraft out there equipped to fly T-routes and we can only hope the FAA will work out the training and procedural side of things.