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Author Topic: Handing off into local control zone  (Read 2434 times)
Jonathan_tcu
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« on: August 16, 2005, 07:26:26 PM »

Here's the good news, my favorite CYYZ ATC guy was on the air from 22 to 23 UTC tonight.  When our aircrafts drop below radar coverage which is 30 DME and in the descent below 10 000 feet, that's when he asks the pilots to report 20 DME from the airport.  Or sometimes, the pilots WILL request a visual approach before dropping off radar which he DOES approve.  If not, he only approves the contact approach even though the pilot does have the field visual.  However, other controllers, for some reason, hand off the aircrafts almost shortly after being radar identified in our sector on  128.3 and will approve a visual approach when the aircraft is 40 or 30 some DME away from the airport.  Don't the controllers follow some kind of consistency?
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FSS wannabe, just curious about stuff, that's all.
davolijj
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2005, 08:29:41 PM »

I'm not familiar with the manual the Canadian controllers work out of, but I think you could make the case that controllers everywhere have lapses in consistancy.

For example:
Radar approach controllers in the US are required to radar identify aircraft by one of several methods.  The primary method for identifying a departure aircraft which already has a discrete beacon code assigned and no rolling boundary notification has been applied, is to have the aircraft ident.  Once the controller observes the track flashing ID he can then say "radar contact," as the aircraft has been identified.  In many cases controllers will observe the target and associated track, skip the identification method, and offer radar service.  The whole method seems redundant since the aircraft already has a discrete beacon code, but if controllers follow the book by the letter, this step is never missed.

I'm pretty sure aircraft in non-radar environments are unable to be cleared for a visual approach by Canadian controllers, but is it a big deal if a controller does it?  That question can only be answered by the individual.
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JD
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2005, 09:11:50 AM »

Quote from: Jonathan_tcu
Here's the good news, my favorite CYYZ ATC guy was on the air from 22 to 23 UTC tonight.  When our aircrafts drop below radar coverage which is 30 DME and in the descent below 10 000 feet, that's when he asks the pilots to report 20 DME from the airport.  Or sometimes, the pilots WILL request a visual approach before dropping off radar which he DOES approve.  If not, he only approves the contact approach even though the pilot does have the field visual.  However, other controllers, for some reason, hand off the aircrafts almost shortly after being radar identified in our sector on  128.3 and will approve a visual approach when the aircraft is 40 or 30 some DME away from the airport.  Don't the controllers follow some kind of consistency?


Well, there's a good chance each controller is correct. Whether an aircraft can be cleared for a visual or a contact approach is a weather dependant thing. The weather obviously changes, so both types of approaches are appropriate at different times.

Now I'm not familiar with Timmins, but there is no control tower, and so no control zone, or I assume no class D airspace. I believe there is an FSS there and that may be enough to constitute a reliable weather observer.

Generally, a visual approach will be used if the ceiling is good and the visibility is better than 5 miles or so. This may vary from airport to airport. A contact approach (if requested by the pilot) will have lower weather limits. All that is required is 1 mile vis., and a functioning instrument approach for the airport.

Again, I don't know Timmins, so uncontrolled airport procedures are not something I know a lot about, and will differ from a controlled airport environment.

Hope this helps
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2005, 05:33:57 PM »

Here in Timmins, our radar coverage is nil below 10 000 feet.  Normally, aircrafts who are at or drop below this altitude is usually around 30 nautical miles into the zone.  The controller has mentioned that some pilots will request a  contact approach in perfect VFR weather because 'they know the routine' when finalizing their approach when they know a visual cannot be approved.  NavCanada's rule is a visual approach is designed for the controllers to monitor the aircraft's approach on radar and point out other VFR's.  Here in Timmins, our FSS monitor aircrafts here 24/7 and up in Moosonnee Ontario during peak hours now.  Our weather observations are 24/7 manned.  A lot of the times, you hear: "You're cleared to the Timmins airport for an approach, and  contact radio on 122.3"  Sometimes, you'll hear the 'visual' or the 'contact' is approved.  When I lived in the neighbouring sector, North Bay on 127.25, you always heard aircrafts to expect or plan the visual for whichever runway, because they are on radar until either landing or 1000 feet or 2, from final landing.  And one final word is that controlers can no longer provide a 'provisional clearance' until the pilots requests the visual or ATC clears for the contact approach, in a non-radar environment.
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