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| | |-+  What happens when you call in right at closing time for a Class D tower
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Author Topic: What happens when you call in right at closing time for a Class D tower  (Read 8707 times)
moto400ex
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« on: December 10, 2007, 11:18:45 PM »

St. Petersburgh/Clearwater Intl airport closing just as some traffic starts to pick up.  I guess the controllers dont work a second past closing time.  All this followed by a somewhat flustered flight service personel not ready to give the pilots airport advisory.
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fholbert
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2007, 08:33:35 AM »

St. Petersburgh/Clearwater Intl airport closing just as some traffic starts to pick up.  I guess the controllers dont work a second past closing time.  All this followed by a somewhat flustered flight service personel not ready to give the pilots airport advisory.

They close and the pilots should start giving position reports just like any other uncontrolled airport.

Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
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Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
moto400ex
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 11:43:52 AM »



They close and the pilots should start giving position reports just like any other uncontrolled airport.

Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
[/quote]

Yea I know what pilots need to do im just surprised that they would not handle any more traffic even though one called in just before closing time.   
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erice
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 12:09:24 PM »

I was shooting the ILS 8 into KCXY (Harrisburg, PA). This was a night practice approach under VFR, but it was an unfamiliar airport. Tower did warn me that they were closing in about one minute, and gave me an advisory that there was no traffic in the area. But on short final, all the field lights went dark! Even though I was ready to activiate the Pilot Controlled Lighting, it was still unnerving!
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RV1
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 12:13:33 PM »

Yea I know what pilots need to do im just surprised that they would not handle any more traffic even though one called in just before closing time.   



Be advised, a controller in the U.S. has legal protection, should something happen to that aircraft, during normal hours of operation for his facility. Not after it closes. He's then on his own. Although I've heard it said that the govt will back the controller up, considering the current state of affairs of the FAA, most controllers will not take that chance. If a pilot declares an emergency, or an Air Carrier requests that you stay open longer, it can be done on a case by case basis, but not just because an airplane or two call up and want to land.
Considering the fact that one transmission from a controller can cause loss of life immediately, having someone, be they teacher or Navy, diss a controller because of his trying to explain the state of affairs to the general public, is wrong. Additionally, who would want to be responsible for numerous lives for $9 an hour. This job does take it's toll. I realize that there are many out there that are saying "Put me in coach" and I applaud your enthusiasm, but keep in mind the huge variance between say 'plastic or paper' and 'cross Wakem at and maintain 10000, 250 kts. traffic a dc9 twelve o'clock and five miles at 9000.'
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davolijj
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 01:06:07 PM »

When I use to work in a tower we would issue known traffic as part of our closing broadcast and during the summer months the closing traffic advisory would sound something like,

"...traffic three archers in left closed traffic runway 28, a cessna inbound from the north, a skylane off the departure end departing northwest and a helicopter 3 miles southeast of the airport north-bound.  All aircraft report their positions on this frequency, goodnight."
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JD
tyketto
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 02:15:59 PM »

When I use to work in a tower we would issue known traffic as part of our closing broadcast and during the summer months the closing traffic advisory would sound something like,

"...traffic three archers in left closed traffic runway 28, a cessna inbound from the north, a skylane off the departure end departing northwest and a helicopter 3 miles southeast of the airport north-bound.  All aircraft report their positions on this frequency, goodnight."

Would this be one of a many number of reasons why when some Class D towers close, they use their Tower frequency for CTAF instead of the published CTAF Frequency?

BL.
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davolijj
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 02:45:24 PM »

Well where I worked the tower frequency was the only one published so that's what they used.  But as a pilot I always struggled with that.  When there are two frequencies published which one do you use when the tower is closed?  Take this for example:



Which is it??  I'd use 118.3 but then why is there a Unicom frequency??
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JD
moto400ex
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2007, 03:23:00 PM »

In case anyone wants to listen to St Pete tower, Tampa approach, St Pete ground, and even the ATIS broadcast for St Pete heres the site.  There is also some nice videos even a Garmin G1000 tutorial page.

http://amfly.com/KPIE_tower.htm
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cessna157
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 04:47:34 PM »

Well where I worked the tower frequency was the only one published so that's what they used.  But as a pilot I always struggled with that.  When there are two frequencies published which one do you use when the tower is closed?  Take this for example:

Which is it??  I'd use 118.3 but then why is there a Unicom frequency??

That's because Unicom and CTAF are two completely different things.  Unicom is an FBO frequency to communicate requests, field condidtions, etc.  CTAF is exactly what it says, Common Traffic Advisory Frequency.  At most GA airports, they are the same freq.  But Class D and C airports with towers that close at night, the CTAF is usually the tower freq.  Same thing applies here as always.  During the day, Unicom is 122.95, tower is 1**.**.  You don't tell the tower that you're 15 mins out for a quick turn.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 05:53:16 PM »

Which is it??  I'd use 118.3 but then why is there a Unicom frequency??

In the US, the Airport/Facility Directory is your friend in this case. 

For SMX, take a look at the A/FD entry below.  CTAF indicates the same frequency as the tower:

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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
snipper_cr
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2007, 05:42:49 PM »

Generally Ive noticed that at uncontrolled fields, the unicom is the CTAF, however if its a controlled field part of the time, the CTAF is the tower frequency and the unicom remains unique (generally a non 123.00... often 122.95)
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